Heifer International Awaits Word from Employees in Phillippines after Typhoon

Heifer International Awaits Word from Employees in Phillippines after Typhoon

The Little Rock-based company works with about 1,250 families in the central region of the Phillippines.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Officials at Heifer International are still waiting to hear from project participants in the Phillippines following Typhoon Haiyan.

The category-five super typhoon made landfall in the Leyte Province Friday morning, and has reportedly killed at least four people.

Heifer International released the following information about the situation:

The central region of the Philippines was the hardest hit by the recent typhoon. Heifer International's projects, in this region, are in the provinces of Northern Samar, Leyte and Southern Leyte. At present time, we have not been able to communicate with staff or project participants in these provinces due to downed electricity and communications lines.
 
Heifer's currently works with about 1,250 families in the central region. We do not know the extent of the damage to life or property.
 
Heifer has been in contact with staff the northern and southern region and they have reported the damage from the typhoon has been less than forecasted.
 
Heifer's projects in the Philippines are among the best prepared to handle natural disasters, primarily because of the Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction training that was pioneered there about four years ago.
 
The Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction training addresses disaster preparedness, and participants are taught how to secure livestock and feed, to harvest crops for food, to secure water and firewood, and to safeguard important papers, education materials and cash. Project members also work to identify primary hazards to their communities. They then map their area to determine which households are the most vulnerable and work to establish evacuation centers.

Though Heifer International is not a relief organization, as soon as we know the extent of the damage to our projects, we will work to supplement the work of relief organizations to help our farmers recover.  For those interested in helping Heifer participants, Heifer has a Disaster Rehabilitation Fund, which is set up for precisely these kinds of situations. Information can be found on our website,
http://www.heifer.org/campaign/disaster-rehabilitation-fund
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