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.
Aid agency working closely with local partners and community leaders in unprecedented operation
Manila, Philippines (November 15, 2013) --- International agency Oxfam plans to provide vital assistance in the next few weeks to some 20,000 families affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The aid agency is working very closely with a multitude of partners to deliver water, basic sanitation, tents and tarpaulins for emergency shelter. Oxfam will also be supporting households to rebuild their farming and fishing livelihoods, at the same time as getting markets up and running so that food is available in local shops.
“This is a massive disaster that requires a joint and swift response. We are working with local municipalities, communities, organizers and local partners to bring the assistance as fast and widely as possible,” said Pauline Ballaman, Oxfam Regional Humanitarian Coordinator in Asia.
Oxfam has 4 teams in the affected areas (Leyte and Samar) providing household level water purification. It has also sent emergency water supplies to Tacloban to bring the assistance quickly despite logistical challenges.
Oxfam aid delivery
Oxfam is delivering sanitation kits to 10,000 people this week alone. The agency works with local leaders in communities to ensure orderly distributions of goods, particularly to women, the elderly and disabled individuals.
Each of Oxfam's hygiene kits contains 3.5 kilos of soap, a soap dish, two towels and two family size packages of dentonic powder, a substitute for toothpaste. The hygiene kit is completed with some oral rehydration sachets (ORS) to avoid dehydration and separate detergents to wash clothes and dishes.
In its first phase, Oxfam aims to support 20,000 families - with safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. A cargo from the United Kingdom carrying 16 tons of aid worth US$200,000, including water and sanitation equipment, is arriving into the country on Saturday and will be immediately taken to affected areas.
The UN has put in place an aid pipeline and airlifted supplies have arrived in Tacloban. Oxfam, with over 60 years of humanitarian aid experience, will begin trucking water from southern Cebu to northern communities. The aid agency also plans along to use ships to deliver hygiene kits, water filtration supplies, water holding tanks and thousands of feet of pipes to provide clean water systems that can last for months.
“We have learned from the past mistakes and the coordination has never been better. There is a real desire to work together to do things better and faster. Each agency has an expertise to offer and we use everyone’s strengths. Our goal, however, is one: to rapidly bring relief to a maximum of Filipinos,” said Ballaman.
With local supply centers emptied, and smallholder farm crops destroyed, families will be dependent on food aid for at least three months. Oxfam will also be cleaning and rehabilitating water and sanitation infrastructures within households and in public places where displaced people have taken shelter.
Notes to editors
For further inquiry, please contact:
Contact: Glenn Maboloc
Mobile: + 63 916 212 8567
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