Typhoon Haiyan: 5 weeks in, rescue team and Philippine partner response efforts continue
It’s been now more than five weeks since Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines.
While the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) team has been working almost non-stop to help animals and their families who were affected by the storm, it is incredibly inspiring to see how many other groups are working so hard to provide basic needs, both humanitarian groups and animal welfare organizations, in the Philippines.
Also on IFAW.org: Typhoon Haiyan rescue update: here are some of the animals you’ve helped
On IFAW’s most recent deployment to Eastern Samar, the Philippines Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), World Vets, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Veterinary Corps all worked together to provide medical care and food relief.
The team travelled to smaller towns along the coast that were equally devastated as Tacloban City. These communities have no access to stores, and with limited agricultural foods available, they are reliant on humanitarian aid at this time.
They are logistically more challenging because they are far from the main ports, and they consist of many remote towns, so it will take a long time for supplies to reach them and for normalcy to be restored.
Just as we saw on our previous relief operations, families lined up with their animals to have them seen by the veterinarians and receive food supplies. As the team was breaking down their station after finishing the clinic in Diporlos, a small boy carrying a puppy and two young girls remained nearby. The kids were animated as they were asking questions and talking to the team, almost like they were putting on a theater production of an interview program.
While joking with the kids, everyone was smiling and having a good time, and for a moment, they all forgot about the horrible event that caused so much pain throughout their community.
The kids then pointed to the remains of their house - their parents were working on rebuilding as only the frame had endured the storm.
It was a reminder how not only bringing basic necessities to these communities, but also a little joy can be just as important.
We can only hope that the children’s positive attitude doesn’t fade as there will be many difficult months ahead of them.
The IFAW team returns to Eastern Samar this week, this time joined by the Philippine Animal Hospital Association (PAHA), to continue to provide medical and food relief to the animals and their families, which is especially meaningful as the holiday season approaches.