Typhoon Haiyan Relief

A Crisis in the Philippines

One of the most powerful typhoons to hit land in recorded history has left thousands dead in the Philippines and many more homeless and desperate. Those who remain must now face the devastation the storm has wrought on their homes and entire towns. They are struggling just to find the drinking water and food they need to survive. 

American Jewish World Service is collecting funds to provide urgent aid, primarily through local groups that know their communities and are working on the ground to help survivors. As of November 18, we have raised nearly $500,000 for typhoon survivors. 

AJWS’s Unique Grassroots Response to Disasters

AJWS supports recovery efforts focused on protecting human rights, because they are at a greater risk of being violated in the wake of disasters. We aim to provide relief funds to local grassroots organizations, because they know their communities, the challenges they face and what they critically need to recover from a disaster. When an international aid organization is the most effective option, AJWS chooses organizations that emphasize a local response.  

AJWS focuses on supporting organizations that are rooted in the Philippines that will continue to respond to the needs of Filipino communities after many international relief organizations have come and gone. 

Emergency Grants

AJWS has made its first four emergency grants in the first phase of our response—$70,000 to three Filipino grassroots organizations and $45,000 to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), an organization that works closely with local groups in its aid response.  The three grassroots organizations have been in the country for years and are already on the ground providing critical services to the typhoon survivors, including distributing food and supplies, importing water and sanitation equipment and providing medical treatment. AJWS will make additional grants to organizations working in the Philippines in the coming days and weeks.

Center for Empowerment and Resource Development (CERD)
CERD, based in Quezon City, Philippines, was founded in 1979 as a human rights organization that works with local fishermen to effectively manage the marine and coastal resources on which they depend for livelihood. Immediately after Typhoon Haiyan subsided, CERD Staff in Northern Samar conducted a Damage and Needs Assessment in eight coastal villages of Biri and eight coastal villages of Mondragon, Northern Samar and have started food distribution to families in Mondragon.

Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR)
CTUHR, based in Quezon City, Philippines, is a human rights organization engaged in documentation and monitoring of human rights violations committed against workers. CTUHR has an extensive network of partners throughout the country and specifically in some of the hardest hit areas in Southern Leyte and Cebu. CTUHR is coordinating with local organizations to collect money and in-kind donations for survivors of the Typhoon who are not being reached by national relief efforts. Specifically, CTUHR colleagues in Southern Leyte are setting up drop off centers for relief goods in Ormoc City. Priority areas are Leyte towns of McArthur, Gulan, Hernani, Magdulong, Salcedo, Isabel, Guinapundan, Balangiga and Basey, Western Samar.

National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL)
NUPL, based in Quezon City, Philippines, is a nationwide voluntary association of human rights lawyers with a chapter in the Eastern Visayas, the epicenter of the Typhoon. As part of its initial response, NUPL has started to collect donations and bring food and water to affected areas. Its relief packs consist of ready-to-eat meals, rice, clothing, blankets, tarpaulins, and other simple shelter materials. It is also sending its members to coordinate the transport and distribution of items and to assess further needs.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
MSF is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF is rapidly scaling up its response to Typhoon Haiyan and will have more than 100 staff in the area in the coming days, including doctors, nurses, surgeons, logisticians, psychologists and water and sanitation experts. Nine planeloads of aid materials—including medical supplies, shelter materials, hygiene kits, and water and sanitation equipment—are being dispatched to the Philippines from MSF warehouses around the world. Three of the planes arrived in Cebu on November 13.

About AJWS

Inspired by the Jewish commitment to justice, AJWS works to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world. With more than 27 years of experience working with community-based organizations in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, AJWS has responded to numerous natural and man-made disasters, including the 2011 famine in East Africa, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia.

Last Updated: November 18, 2013