Through its Humanitarian Aid Fund, CHARIS has received and committed more than $1 million in grant aid to eight Catholic organisations for reconstruction work in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.
The largest amount of $400,000 (including an earlier grant of $200,000) went to Caritas Philippines to build 230 new houses in Kalibo, Aklan Province.
Fr Edwin Gariguez, Secretary General of Caritas Philippines said, “The scale of the disaster is enormous. The construction costs of these transitional houses we plan to build will be more than two million US dollars alone. We are grateful for the substantial sums coming from the Singapore Catholic community.
“CHARIS and Caritas Philippines have collaborated in past transitional housing projects for Typhoon Pablo in Mindanao, Philippines where you sent money and volunteers for the house builds. We hope to continue this.”
CHARIS is also providing funding of $112,200 to the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul in Cebu and in Samar for a housing programme for 50 families in Barangay La Paz, Bogi City and in Barangay Cambayan in Basey City.
Another half million dollars will go to five local CHARIS affiliates who are working with their various Philippines counterparts to provide help for typhoon victims:
- Jesuit Mission Singapore (JMS) is working to provide basic shelters for 100 families on Bantayan Island, as well as community facilities.
- Couples for Christ is building 80 transitional houses in East Samar and North Cebu, and 30 permanent houses in Leyte.
- ICPE Mission Singapore is working on a housing programme for 100 families in Bohol.
- A Call To Share (ACTS) is providing housing for 500 families, as well as the purchase of 20 fishing boats and a fish packing facility in Samar.
- acts29 will provide 40 fishing boats to revive the fishing community in eastern Samar.
Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in November 2013, affecting over 10 million people in the Visayas region. Over 6,000 people have died, 27,000 injured, and 1,700 remained listed as missing.
Solidarity Masses were held by a few parishes, while various other groups had fundraisers. CHARIS, the umbrella body for overseas humanitarian aid, had also started its annual fundraiser for the Humanitarian Aid Fund a few weeks before the disaster.
For more information on the response to the disaster, visit the CHARIS website at www.charis-singapore.org.