Samaritan’s Purse is airlifting emergency food to families in desperate need after Super Typhoon Rai.
Over 490,000 families are still displaced and suffering after Super Typhoon Rai tore through the southern islands of the Philippines two weeks ago.
Among the most critical, urgent needs are emergency food supplies for the countless communities struggling to restore infrastructure and provide for basic daily necessities.
Many families lost everything in the storm, including their loved ones. Over 400 people died in the typhoon and more than 1,100 were injured.
Samaritan’s Purse is airlifting food into Surigao Del Norte, which is among the hardest-hit areas. We’ve already chartered more than half a dozen in-country flights and distributed more than seven metric tons of relief supplies, including emergency food.
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These chartered flights are incoming from both Cagayan De Oro and Manila, the nation’s capital.
Food scarcity is a looming threat with major transportation channels disrupted, blocking the passage of cargo ships from ports. The violent winds and storm surge also caused significant damage to agricultural production.
The Surigao province, like many other areas throughout the country, was already reporting high incidences of hunger due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis and economic recession.
“Super Typhoon Odette (as known locally) is one of the most devastating storms many of our staff have ever seen. The need is so great,” said Lisa Wallace, our response manager.
“We are grateful to have already had an incredible team of local staff working in the region, and as such, Samaritan’s Purse was among the first to respond in the devastated areas. Please pray for their endurance and wisdom as they work tirelessly to continue to serve the people of the Philippines.”
Shelter, Water, and Medical Care
Samaritan’s Purse now has nearly 50 staff on the ground working in Surigao Del Norte, Southern Leyte, and Bohol. In addition to distributing food, we’re also providing water kits, shelter materials, and beginning medical assessments.
Samaritan’s Purse Canada has partnered with Clean Water International, and with the help of our team on the ground, has installed a living water treatment system and distributed 100 ceramic biosand filters to help beneficiaries access clean water.
Nerissa Garrido is among the many beneficiaries who expressed gratitude for the assistance Samaritan’s Purse is providing during their time of desperate need.
“Thank you so much for your help. We were so affected here because most of us are farmers and fishermen. Even my father’s boat got destroyed,” she said. “The coconut trees were destroyed and also our root crop.”
Dorcas Ballon, a local pastor who ministers among an indigenous people group, shared that she was overwhelmed by the timely arrival of our team to distribute emergency relief.
“They had their very last meal that day. They had nothing left to eat after that. We are so thankful,” she said. “It was indeed an answer to our prayers.”
Please continue to pray for the people who are hurting in the Philippines. Pray for our staff as they demonstrate God’s love and bring both physical relief and spiritual hope.
Note: This article was originally published on Dec. 29 and has been updated as of Jan 7.