On November 7th 2013, Typhoon Haiyan made its first landfall at Guiuan, Samar in the Philippines. Two weeks later, the extent of the typhoon’s catastrophic effects are still being revealed, with UN officials declaring approximately 13 million people affected, many of whom have lost their homes in the disaster. The magnitude of the damage caused to infrastructure has resulted in limited access to relief, with aid being flown into local airports and forced to remain there, faced with roads that are completely impassable. As a result, the UN is expressing concern about the potentially high rate at which disease may spread among the affected areas due to the lack of water, food, shelter and medication.
Among the 4 million people who have been displaced from their homes are the animals that they struggled to bring with them. The Guardian relates the story of a family, whose cat woke them up as the water in their home began to rise, allowing the entire household to swim to safety. “Animal issues are people issues”, explained Inga Gibson, Hawaii State Director of the Human Society of the United States; it is with this in mind that organisations such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare [IFAW] and the Humane Society International [HSI] are travelling to affected areas, providing much needed food supplies and veterinary care.
Rapid assessment has shown that the matter of most urgency is that of medical treatment; IFAW is working with local partner agency, the Philippines Animal Welfare Society [PAWS], to distribute antibiotics, injectable vitamins and anti-rabies vaccines. Rabies is responsible for the deaths of 200-300 Filipinos annually; the measures being taken by IFAW and PAWS will help to save the lives, not only of countless animals affected by the typhoon, but also humans.
HSI has dispatched an expert team of veterinarians to the affected areas; the team’s mobile veterinary clinic and animal shelter will provide direct care for animals, including vaccines, food supplies and wound care. HSI is also in the process of locating strategic food and watering points for animals who have become displaced in the storm and are roaming around, separated from their families. In addition, a rescue and transport service to the HSI’s temporary shelter on the island of Cebu is being offered to the vast quantities of people who were forced by circumstance to evacuate their homes and leave their animals behind.
These organisations are doing incredible work to provide much needed aid to the animals and families affected by Typhoon Haiyan; however, they cannot do it alone!! Medical and food supplies for animals are in high demand and even the smallest donation from you can help to bring relief to the animals left displaced by the storm.
If you would like to donate to IFAW and help them with their rescue efforts, please CLICK HERE
If you would like to donate to HSI and support their work in the Philippines, please CLICK HERE
Comments will be approved before showing up.