A resident carries chairs he salvaged from his damaged shanty. CNS photo/Reuters

Flood calls forth aid

  • August 16, 2012

Half-a-million people stuck in evacuation centres while their Manila-area homes are underwater are getting a helping hand from Development and Peace.

The development arm of Canadian Catholics is sending $100,000 to help its Filipino partners – Caritas Philippines, Urban Poor Associates and the Centre for Environmental Concern – deal with Manila-area flooding. A month of unrelenting rain has displaced close to three million Filipinos. Caritas estimates 1.1 million flood refugees are staying with family or friends, but another 500,000 are in schools, government buildings and community centres.

Typhoon Saola began dumping heavy rain in the Philippines July 28. The typhoon was followed by seasonal monsoon rains. The government claims illegal settlements along creek beds have made the situation worse.

The flood crisis has sparked another round of debate about relocating slum dwellers in Manila. But for Caritas-Philippines and its National Secretariat for Social Action, the question is what to do right now.

As of Aug. 10 the Caritas emergency fund known as Alay Kapwa Fund stood at just 2.4 million pesos, or $56,000.

"Aside from launching local appeal to the dioceses, NASSA Caritas-Philippines is also tapping international partners to join us in conducting the emergency response," said a NASSA Caritas-Philippines report.

Toronto's sizable Filipino community is also coming together to help with a fundraiser Saturday, Aug. 17 at Our Lady of the Assumption, 2565 Bathurst St. 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The parish is using its patronal feast to collect non-perishable food, over-the-counter medicine and money. Contributions will go directly to Caritas Philippines.

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