VILLAGERS are getting their lives back on track with the help of children’s charity Plan International a week after Typhoon Bopha tore through the Philippines.
The death toll has risen to 714, with 890 missing – and numbers are expected to rise.
“We work a lot on preparedness with communities, so we saw this Typhoon coming,” says Plan’s Country Director in the Philippines, Carin van der Hor.
“Even before the typhoon made landfall we had positioned our teams on the fringes so after it made landfall they could go into the worst hit areas.”
More than 300,000 survivors are sheltering in evacuation centres – and many will return home to find the storm took everything.
Crops have been washed away, homes flattened and schools and health centres destroyed.
Plan’s Emergency Response Teams are providing clean drinking water, food and medical supplies to those living in the typhoon aftermath.
Young people are being encouraged to help hand out aid, as a way of helping them to begin to come to terms with the disaster.
Plan is recognised for its expertise in protecting emergency-hit children from abuse, violence and neglect.
“When disasters hit, they always hit the most vulnerable the hardest,” says Ms Van der Hor.
“Many children have lost their lives and many have lost their parents, siblings and extended families. They have lost their homes and seen things that no child should have to see.”
Plan is lobbying for more focused child protection response efforts in the aftermath of the disaster.
For more information visit www.plan-uk.org