Mercy Corps is mobilizing a team of emergency responders, including experts in water, sanitation and logistics, into the areas devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan.
“Based on our initial conversations with the United Nations and other colleagues on the ground, we anticipate the most pressing needs to be clean water, sanitation, temporary shelter and food,” says Michael Bowers, Mercy Corps senior director of strategic response and global emergencies. “Mercy Corps has years of experience helping low-income communities in the Philippines. We know that the storm has devastated some of the country’s most vulnerable people.”
According to the government of the Philippines, an estimated 9.5 million people have been affected by the storm and as many as 10,000 people are feared dead.
“Our experience in these situations is that while we’re working to meet immediate humanitarian needs, it’s critical we look immediately for ways to start the recovery and reconstruction process,” says Bowers. “Coming out of the immediate crisis, our goal is to help people return to their homes, get businesses running again and kids back to school as quickly as possible.”
Mercy Corps delivers rapid, lifesaving aid to hard-hit communities, and has responded to almost every global emergency in the past 20 years.
The organization seeks to help communities get markets back up and running by boosting entrepreneurs and connecting local businesses with consumers. Here are some of the ways Mercy Corps has moved from relief to long-term recovery after devastating disasters:
Japan earthquake and tsunami (2011)
Handed out food and supply vouchers that support local surviving businesses; rebuilt the wakame seaweed industry by donating specialized equipment needed to jumpstart this critical source of jobs; provided start-up loans and grants to small business entrepreneurs like this daycare. Results: The 200 some local small businesses Mercy Corps reached are collectively the region’s largest employer.
Horn of Africa drought and hunger crisis (2010)
Worked with women to create milk cooperatives, and vaccinated livestock so they stay healthier despite being weakened from years of drought. By producing more milk and combining it, the women are negotiating a greater price and earning more for their families.
Haiti earthquake (2010)
The first NGO to use a mobile wallet for cash transfers to 8,700 families. Developed a hybrid microinsurance product that provided small business owners with an economic buffer against natural catastrophes. Promoting smarter land use to prevent landslides after future storms.
HOW TO HELP
Donations are needed to fund lifesaving aid and recovery efforts, and Mercy Corps is accepting donations online:
Mercy Corps – Super Typhoon Haiyan Fund
PO Box 2669
Portland, Oregon 97208
*Start your own fundraising page
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global humanitarian agency saving and improving lives in the world’s toughest places. With a network of experienced professionals in more than 40 countries, we partner with local communities to put bold ideas into action to help people recover, overcome hardship and build better lives.