Tag Archives: Typhoon Haiyan

Plumpy’Doz and high-energy biscuits stop malnutrition in the Philippines

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said yesterday that it’s feeding Plumpy’Doz and high-energy biscuits to children in order to prevent malnutrition. Plumpy’Doz is an enriched peanut paste and the biscuits are fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Read the full article at Examiner.com

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Filipinos and Syrians Desperately Need Food and Shelter

Imagine, for a moment, losing your home and having to flee to another state or country. When natural disasters or war strike, these worst fears become reality.

As this holiday season approaches, there are millions of people in the Philippines and the Middle East who just want the basics of food, water and shelter.

Last week heavy fighting in Syria sent at least 8,000 people running for their lives into neighboring Lebanon.

“The majority of them are women and children and some of them reported shelling and clashes along displacement routes on the way to Arsal,” UN World Food Programme spokesperson Laure Chadraoui told me.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is bringing them aid packages. Some of these refugees had already been displaced once within Syria before now finally being forced out of their home country.

Once in Lebanon, Syrian refugees are not completely safe. Cold and hunger threaten them. The UN Refugee Agency says many “live in poor accommodation in informal settlements, unfinished buildings, garages, worksites and warehouses that are not properly insulated against the cold climate.”

Francine Uenuma of Save the Children, says, “when I was in Lebanon last February, when it was extremely cold, and many of the kids were outside in sandals. Many also had coughs — the sub-zero temperatures mean many face chest infections, not to mention other health problems like hypothermia and frostbite.”

Syrians have also fled to Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey. Throughout the Middle East there are over two million Syrian refugees. Aid groups and host governments are facing a huge task to help these war victims, many who have lost everything.

In Iraq, WFP is providing Plumpy’Doz to small Syrian children who are at risk of severe malnutrition. This special peanut paste can save their lives. The WFP is also providing extra food to children at schools to bolster class attendance and performance.

While this massive relief operation is ongoing in the Middle East, a world away is an emergency in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. More than 11 million Filipinos were impacted by the high winds, flooding and destruction caused by the storm.

The World Food Programme, UNICEF and other aid groups are rushing to bring them food, water, and medicine. The storm victims need shelter quickly. More rain and storms may be on the way. Aid is needed fast to save lives and to prevent the situation from getting worse.

Consider this: If children, especially, do not get enough nutrients it can cause lasting physical and mental damage. The lack of food or clean water can cause the spread of disease.

As the holidays come before us there is a great tradition called Black Friday, which marks the start of the holiday shopping season. Stores and individuals could donate at least a portion of their sales or purchasing funds toward relief of the suffering people in the Philippines and the Middle East.

Here are lists of some aid agencies with relief funds for the Philippines and for Syria. Some individuals have donated already. It is deeply appreciated too as Jen Hardy of Catholic Relief Services tells us from the Philippines.

Originally published at The Huffington Post.

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You Can Help Save the Philippines

Nearly half a million people have been left homeless by the typhoon, like this family from the storm-battered city of Tacloban.  (WFP/Praveen Agrawal)

Nearly half a million people have been left homeless by the typhoon, like this family from the storm-battered city of Tacloban. (WFP/Praveen Agrawal)

It’s critical to build the pipeline of aid to the Philippines, to prevent the situation from deteriorating even further after last week’s massive typhoon. Save the Children’s Cat Carter says, “The lack of shelter, lack of food and bottled water is only making things worse as children suffer under such brutal conditions.”

That is where you come in. Even though reading those details can make you feel helpless, there is something you can do. Whether it’s a fundraiser, a letter, or doing Charity Miles you can help speed relief.

Recently, I caught up with Elizabeth Tromans of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) , who is coordinating relief from Manila. Back in 2010, Tromans was a humanitarian hero feature in my global hunger column.

Tromans says it’s essential “to secure funds and make sure our goods are arriving and getting into the hands of those who need it.”

For CRS and other charities to make this happen they need a chain of events from a donor thousands of miles away, to logistics and IT staff, to the aid workers themselves. The end result is help for storm victims. So everyone has a part to play to make that happen. If you are reading this you can spread the word and start the life-saving pipeline.

The United Nations says 11.5 million people are affected by the Typhoon and 544,606 people are displaced. Food, clean water, medicine and shelter are desperately needed.

Hunger, malnutrition and disease will escalate among the population unless aid arrives in time. The storm’s impact can last long past the event itself.

CRS is helping with two of these vital needs, emergency shelter and water purification. Many people lost their homes from the high winds of the storm. The UN says that, “ground water supplies are contaminated in many affected areas. Need for immediate and on-site water testing and treatment to establish water quality.”

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) says it will be feeding 2.5 million people. Although these estimates can quickly change. WFP has brought high-energy-biscuits and rice to storm victims but so much more needs to be done. The U.S. Food for Peace program has sent more biscuits and rice on the way for WFP to distribute.

UNICEF is setting up child feeding centers where they will be providing Plumpy’Nut, which a doctor called “The Magic Food.” This special peanut paste saves children from potentially deadly malnutrition. So it’s vital that UNICEF have enough funding for a supply of Plumpy’Nut.

What’s important to remember is that aid groups are already stretched thin by prior disasters in the Philippines as well as the war in Syria. They need the support as the Philippines emergency response kicks in.

Amid all the devastation is hope. Tromans says,”The Filipino people are so strong and resourceful.”

You can donate to Catholic Relief Services, UNICEF, the World Food Programme, Save the Children and many other great organizations.

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Feed a “Silent Guest” from the Philippines

The UN World Food Programme and other aid groups are rushing aid to those displace by the typhoon. World Food Programme. (WFP/Praveen Agrawal)

The UN World Food Programme and other aid groups are rushing aid to those displace by the typhoon. (WFP/Praveen Agrawal)

Right now there are millions of people suffering from hunger in the Philippines after the super typhoon. There is no food, water or electricity in storm hit areas. Humanitarian agencies are rushing to get aid to the suffering.

What can you do to help? You can follow the great American tradition of feeding a “silent guest” at your next meal.

Set an extra plate or just use your imagination. Figure out how much it would cost to feed a “silent guest” at your next meal and send that amount to a charity. You could send it to Save the Children or Catholic Relief Services, two charities that were providing aid when the “Silent guest” program was first active after World War II.

You could donate to UNICEF or the World Food Programme, Or any charity of your choice.

There is another way you can feed a “silent guest” from the Philippines. This comes by way of a free app called Charity Miles and Lifeway Foods. You download the Charity Miles app, select World Food Programme as your charity. Then you just run, walk or bike and funds are raised for WFP, paid for out of a corporate sponsorship pool.

Lifeway Foods, in response to the Philippines disaster, is increasing its sponsorship of Charity Miles and offering an incentive. Whenever you use the app Lifeway will donate an additional 25 cents per mile (up to $20,000) to the World Food Programme.

Charity Miles is a free an easy way you can feed a “silent guest.” Just bring your smartphone and your heart.

The “silent guest” tradition got its start in 1947 when the fate of war-devastated Europe rested upon food for the hungry. A one-time aspiring actress, Iris Gabriel, proposed the plan to Governor Robert Bradford of Massachusetts. It took off around Thanksgiving time and it led to people buying “CARE packages” to feed the hungry in Europe.

Governors around the country mobilized their respective states. Today, we are seeing a similar development. Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia issued a statement today encouraging citizens to donate what they can.

You can help build the pipeline of food that WFP is going to need for some time. A shipment from the U.S. Food for Peace program just left Miami with high energy biscuits to be distributed by WFP. We also need to make sure the Congress increases Food for Peace funding in the upcoming Farm Bill legislation.

Let’s all take in a “silent guest” and help feed the storm victims in the Philippines.

originally published at the Huffington Post.

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