On December 16 last year, Super Typhoon Rai (locally known as Odette) swept across the southern Philippines, leaving behind incredible destruction. At least 407 people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured. Over 500,000 people are still in evacuation centers and emergency tents because their homes have been destroyed. Terre des Hommes has projects in the Philippines on the islands of Samar and Cebu, aimed at prevention and support to children who are victims of sexual exploitation. Under the direction of our country team from the capital Manila, we are setting up an emergency action to provide assistance to affected families, vulnerable women and children.
The emergency in the affected area is high. Gráinne Le Fèvre, Acting Regional Director Asia, tells from Cambodia: 'In a large part of the disaster area - which extends over several provinces and islands - the power has been cut, roads are impassable, and many people have lost their homes and possessions. There is a great need for food, safe drinking water and shelter.”
“Where people are crammed together in emergency shelters and everything is lacking, women and children in particular are at extra risk of sexual abuse and exploitation.”
“Our colleagues on the ground also sought refuge in the many evacuation centers in the Philippines; their houses have equally been damaged. Rai was already the fifteenth typhoon this year, but by far the worst.”
Terre des Hommes is currently working on an emergency action to help vulnerable children in the Philippines. This will be done through our local network of organizations in the Cebu region. We will focus on helping families to rebuild their lives, setting up safe child-friendly spaces, with the provision of learning materials (school materials, etc), attention to mental health problems, psychosocial support and the prevention of (sexual) exploitation.