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Alison Wallace, Chief Executive of ShelterBox, is travelling to the Philippines to see for herself how ShelterBox aid is helping communities devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
In less than three months ShelterBox teams have worked tirelessly to bring shelter and vital aid to nearly 4,500 Filipino families who lost their homes to the devastating Typhoon Haiyan on 8 November.
This is part of the international disaster relief charity’s commitment to provide 1,685 ShelterBoxes, 4,607 tents and 1,516 midi tents, which in total will help over 7,800 families. The remainder of this aid will arrive in fortnightly consignments over the coming months.
ShelterBox distributions are continuing on many islands, including Bohol, Leyte, Bantayan and Panay, and now Mindanao.
Chief Executive Alison Wallace flew in with colleagues yesterday. Her aim is to check progress, talk to partner organisations, and meet beneficiary families.
‘Collaboration key to efficiency’
‘In terms of the number of Response Teams required, and the complexity of getting to remote island communities, this has been ShelterBox’s most testing disaster response ever,’ said Alison. ‘Collaboration is key to efficiency, and we have had valuable support from partner aid agencies such as Plan International and Handicap International, and from the British, Australian and Philippines Navies.’
Aid distributed includes ShelterBox’s specially-designed family tents, mosquito nets and water filtration kits to protect against disease, and solar powered lighting for personal security. Tool kits also allow the long process of rebuilding to begin.
‘I visited the Philippines last year before Haiyan struck, when ShelterBox was responding to another typhoon,’ added Alison. ‘Our people are well-practised at providing aid in this part of the world, so we have been able to deploy extremely well-experienced individuals. While I am here I will see the full range of our work, from the urban devastation of Tacloban to remote islands such as Bantayan and Panay.’
‘I’m sure it will be an eye-opener’
‘It will be a privilege to report back to our donors, whose generosity has made this disaster relief possible. I am sure it will be an eye-opener, both in terms of scale and the international aid response. I’m looking forward to meeting some of the recipient families, and our hardworking response teams who will continue to help them until the job is done.’
Follow Alison in the Philippines through her twitter account and get the latest updates through the ShelterBox team account.