Oxfam: race against time to reach communities devastated by Typhoon Haiyan

Published: 11th November 2013

Oxfam is gearing up its aid efforts after one of the worst natural disasters to hit the Philippines in years. The international agency is looking to raise $16 million to reach half a million people affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

Oxfam’s Deputy Humanitarian Director, Graham Mackay, said: “This is one of the worst natural disasters in years to hit the region and it will be a race against time to get help to the communities that have been devastated.”

Oxfam’s rapid assessment teams have been deployed to Samar, Leyte and Northern Cabu to provide emergency supplies of water, sanitation and shelter. An aid shipment from the UK is expected to be dispatched within the next 48 hours.

Graham Mackay said: “Our main concern is getting relief to the worst affected areas. Because communications are down the real extent of this horrific disaster is still not known.”

Current estimates are that 4.46 million people – nearly one million families – from 36 provinces have been affected and over 10,000 people are thought to have lost their lives.

The most urgent needs are for food, water and shelter. Communities also need to have power and communications restored and roads need to be cleared so that aid can get through.

It will be a race against time to get help to the communities that have been devastated.
Graham Mackay
Oxfam’s Deputy Humanitarian Director

Notes to editors

Oxfam is appealing for $16 million to help 500,000 people affected. To donate please go to: www.oxfam.org/haiyan

Contact information

Oxfam has spokespeople in the Philippines and the UK, to arrange an interview please contact:

Ian Bray on 01865 472289 / 07721 461339 / ibray@oxfam.org.uk
Sarah Dransfield on 01865 472269 / 07767 085636 / sdransfield@oxfam.org.uk