A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Update on Oxfam Typhoon Haiyan response, 13 November 2013
We are esponding to Typhoon Haiyan currently with four teams in the affected areas (Northern Cebu, Leyte and Samar) providing water and hygiene kits. Overall, we aim to reach 500.000 people affected by the crisis.
Justin Morgan, Country Director for Oxfam in the Philippines:
"Despite the massive challenges, roads are finally opening up, so we will be able to start getting aid to the worst affected areas on Friday. Our priority will be to get to the most vulnerable people affected with safe water and basic essentials like soap and blankets."
Listen: Oxfam Australia's CEO Helen Szoke reports on the difficulties of getting aid into affected areas:
There is a significant improvement in access to disaster affected areas as roads, seaports and air strips have opened and some telecommunications have been restored. Tacloban continues to be the focus of attention and is the place where most lives were lost. Some 39 provinces have been equally devastated and aid is urgently needed in these areas too.
Even though access is now improving health concerns continue to increase, with urgent need for safe drinking water and medical assistance, especially in Leyte and Samar.
Oxfam aid delivery
With roads opening up, the Oxfam teams are moving into Northern Cebu to get much needed aid to affected areas. They will also be trying to reach areas that remain isolated.
Water and hygiene kits have arrived at Oxfam's warehouse in Cebu city and will be distributed to communities in need in Daan Bayatan tomorrow (Friday). These kits include basic essentials like soap, toothbrushes, underwear and blankets. Oxfam will also be providing 1,000 communal temporary latrines, cleaning kits and handwashing stations.
With local partners, Oxfam will also will be providing mobile water treatment units (that can generate 4-6 cubic meters per hour) to at least 5 different sites, complete with generators and fuel to run them. We will also be installing mass water storage (either steel tanks that can accommodate up to 45,000 liters, or a 'bladder' which holds 10,000 liters) complete with tap stands. Oxfam staff will treat and/or repair existing hand pumps and water points.
Oxfam is delivering sanitation kits to 10,000 people this week. Water and sanitation equipment is arriving into the country, which will be immediately taken to affected areas.
Oxfam will also be providing 1,000 households with assistance, so they can buy essentials like fuel, medicines and transport.
In Southeast Samar coastal towns were devastated by a 10 meter storm surge. The area has not yet been reached by relief efforts so food, water and fuel supplies are running out fast.
In the Philippines:
Glenn Maboloc + 63 916 212 8567 twitter: @vinecutter
Sophie Bowell (OGB) - en route to Cebu + 63 928 904 6830 twitter: @sophbow
Abbi Luz (aid worker not media officer) on the islands of Bohol (Central Visayas) twitter: @absterabsss +63 917 317 7783
In the US
Louis Belanger, +1 917 224 0834 skype: louisoxfam Twitter: https://twitter.com/louis_press
In the UK
Ian Bray, email@example.com, +44 (0)1865 472289, +44 (0)7721 461339
See also our Twitter list of Oxfam staffers reporting on Haiyan: https://twitter.com/Oxfam/lists/oxfam-typhoon-haiyan