Qatar gets involved in Philippines Haiyan typhoon aid effort

Typhoon

Qatar Red Crescent

Qatar’s government and residents have been working to help send money and aid to the people of the Philippines after certain parts of the country were stuck by a devastating typhoon last weekend.

This week, Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) sent around $70,000 to the Philippines in immediate aid and has launched an appeal to raise $2 million to help thousands of people made homeless by Typhoon Haiyan.

The appeal, which is being conducted in cooperation with the Philippines Red Cross, will send funds to provide food, water, shelter, and health care to 25,000 people in the Northern Mindanao region, the QRC said in a statement.

Haiyan – one of the most powerful storms ever recorded – hit the central islands of the Philippines last Friday, leaving massive destruction in its path.

The QRC says that local teams working in Northern Mindanao have identified food, shelter kits, hygiene kits, kitchen sets, jerry cans and tarpaulin sheets as key priorities for aid. More than 3,000 homes in the area have been damaged, many severely so, the QRC adds.

Aid flights

Meanwhile, Qatar sent two planeloads of aid to the affected areas yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced. The cargo, which included 80 tons of medication, food, tents, blankets and clothes, was sent due to “Qatar’s duty towards its friends in the Philippines, so as to relieve their suffering and devastating conditions,” the ministry said in a statement.

Aside from these official donations, many of the country’s schools, companies and community organizations have been organizing collections of aid and money.

Speaking to Doha News today, Philippines Ambassador to Qatar Crescente Relacion said that the embassy is currently storing donations, ready for sorting and dispatching to his home country:

“Tomorrow morning, a number of Filipino nationals will gather at the embassy to assist and help with the repacking of these donated goods. We have a number of ways to get these donations into the country. LBC – a Filipino freight company – is accepting boxes of donations, and they will cover the cost of sending them.

We are also now speaking to Qatar Airways, who have agreed to send through a shipment free of charge – we are now finalizing details of how much they will send. “

Elsewhere in the region, the UAE’s President Sheikh Khalifa has announced an aid donation of $10 million, stating his country’s “deep solidarity with those affected by this natural disaster in the Philippines.”

Donations have been pouring in from around the world, not only from governments, but also via ordinary citizens donating to aid charities. The UN has estimated that some $301m will be needed to help the affected region cover.

Ambassador Relacion emphasized that his country is grateful for all donations it receives towards the aid effort, however big or small:

“We have received tremendous responses from many countries, and whatever those counties will contribute, we are very thankful for.”

Those who wish to donate via the embassy can find details here, and those who want to contribute to the Red Crescent appeal in Qatar can do so via the following methods:

  • Call the mobile hotline number 55884707;
  • Transfer your donation to account number 100002649 (Qatar Islamic Bank);
  • Deliver your donation to a Red Crescent Office;
  • Give to Red Crescent’s representatives at malls across the country; or
  • Donate online (Arabic only.)

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