By Eoghan Rice
Aid is arriving into the worst affected regions of the Philippines, bringing much needed supplies to people who lost everything in last weekend’s typhoon.
The Caritas Manila office has been transformed into loading centre as 250 volunteers work in shifts to pack aid destined for people in the most affected regions of the country.
Volunteers have been packing goods into family packs since Sunday and tomorrow (Wednesday) will see the first batch flown to the Leyte province, which bore the brunt of the disaster.
Each family pack contains 5 kilos of rice, 9 canned goods, 6 packets of noodles and 5 packets of protein rich manna rice. The packs are designed to last a family of five people three days and tomorrow 2,000 such packs will be sent to Leyte
May Tiangco of Caritas Manila said: “The volunteers are mostly from local youth groups. They work here in shifts. They started packing on Sunday and tomorrow (Wednesday) we will send the first 2,000 food packs to nine affected areas. We plan on sending 20,000 packs over the next few weeks.”
In the southern province of Cebu, one of the worst affected regions, Irish nun Sr. Anne Healy is helping to deliver food to 3,000 people, many of them children.
“It’s a desperate situation”, said Sr. Healy. “Local people are donating clothes to people who lost everything, so that allows us to focus on getting food. [Because of shortages] the price of food has gone up so many people can’t afford to buy it. We have been able to buy rice and other products at local markets and distribute it to people.”