World Challenge’s partners are working to bring relief to many of the people who have lost their homes and businesses in the recent natural disaster.
Days before December 16, 2021, torrential rain and swelling tides flooded streets and houses. Significant damage had already been done by the time Typhoon Rai — locally called Odette — swept across the Philippines. Trees snapped and flew like spears across fields. Cars and heavy railway containers were lifted off the ground and dropped into streets or onto buildings. Christmas was a grim affair as a staggered nation took stock of a mounting death toll and damages costing hundreds of millions of dollars.
In the West, Typhoon Rai would’ve been a category 5 hurricane to rival Hurricane Katrina. Over 400 people so far have been found dead, and over 1,100 people are injured, though those numbers are almost guaranteed to rise as Filipinos continue to go without electricity, clean water or shelter.
"It caused massive destruction, and it was like a bomb was dropped in northern Bohol," Anthony Damalerio, chief of Bohol province's disaster agency, told Reuters.
World Challenge’s partners in-country have begun mobilizing to bring relief to the beleaguered people who were just coming out of a punishing season with COVID-19. Many are unemployed thanks to the pandemic, and money as well as daily commodities were already scarce before this natural disaster struck. Initial surveys suggest that more than 40 million people have been impacted, and some 300,000 individuals have been displaced from their homes.
World Challenge donated $25,000 last week toward helping in our partners’ disaster response. In this most desperate period of recovery, our partners are providing food, clean water and gasoline for generators. The next step will be helping locals rebuild homes and churches, as well as replacing vehicles needed for visiting grocery markets and for work commutes.
In the future, they plan to help build better infrastructure that will be less impacted by future typhoons, in addition to disaster preparedness.
The needs there are pressing as people continue to go without food or electricity, but our partners are working to reach as many as they can with funds and supplies. Join us in praying for the Filipinos deeply affected by this tragedy, and consider giving to the ongoing disaster relief and development work in the Philippines!