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Press Releases & Updates

11 NOV 2013

Oxfam to provide relief aids on water and sanitation to people hit by super typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

Oxfam dispatched four teams of experts on the ground to assess the water, public health and sanitation conditions in the worst-hit regions of Bohol and Eastern Visayas, after super typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda) hit the Philippines on 8 November, leaving over 10,000 dead and 4 million people affected, according to latest news reports.

Oxfam aid team witnessed scene of utter destruction in Daanbantayan, northern-most tip of Cebu mainland. They said nearly all the houses and buildings were damaged, power lines down and no electricity in the entire municipality. The people have immediate needs for water, food, medicines and emergency shelter.

After initial assessments, Oxfam will likely respond in the three provinces of Eastern Samar, Northern Samar and Samar. These provinces are amongst the poorest in the Philippines. Oxfam will partner with the Humanitarian Response Consortium as well as the local government to provide immediate relief to the vulnerable people in the most affected areas. Oxfam has been working in the area dealing with the earthquake happened earlier in October this year. We expect to reach around 250,000 people on access to clean water, sanitation, safe hygiene practices and cash to compensate for loss of income and for access to food and basic essentials. Oxfam Great Britain is leading the humanitarian relief work in the country and has allocated £550,000 (around HK$6.8 million). Oxfam Hong Kong will mobilise over HK$500,000 to support Oxfam Great Britain in the humanitarian response there.

“Making sure people have clean water, safe sanitation and a roof over people’s heads will be an immediate priority. These disasters compound the burden of Philippines’ poorest people. Small scale farmers and those relying on fishing to make a living will be hardest hit. Their fields and their boats and tackle will be badly damaged and they will need help not only today but in months to come,” said Marie Madamba-Nuñez, Advocacy Coordinator of Oxfam in the Philippines. 

Super typhoon Haiyan is the country’s strongest typhoon for the year, and the third in its history. According to latest news reports, up to 10,000 people are believed to have died in Tacloban City, and hundreds of thousands of people are displaced.  

Severe damages to properties and infrastructure have been reported. Electric posts and trees have
blocked roads, buildings have been wrecked, and houses, especially those of light materials, have been partially damaged or destroyed. The province of Samar remains inaccessible. This has made knowing more about and thus being able to respond to the impact and scale of the disaster more difficult.    

Haiyan is projected to cost the country billions of pesos in damages to properties, infrastructure and livelihoods. Haiyan comes on the heels of a devastating earthquake and a storm that wiped out rice harvests worth millions of pesos last October this year.  

Haiyan’s path crossed mostly agricultural communities in Eastern Visayas, where one in every three persons is considered poor. 

Ranked the “world’s third highest disaster risk country” according to the United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), the Philippines will continue to face multiple and possibly simultaneously occurring emergencies because of its high incidence of poverty and exposure to natural hazards.   
Oxfam has launched an emergency appeal in response to the disaster.

Donations methods are as follows:
Donations can be transferred to the various bank accounts of Oxfam Hong Kong:
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HSBC: 001-0-331858
Bank of China: 012-874-0-010515-7
Wing Hang Bank : 035-802-862123-001


Bank of China Macau account: 01-01-20-840951 (MOP)
Banco Weng Hang: 743342-001 (MOP)
Banco Tai Fung: 201-1-10056-9 (MOP)
Bank of China Macau cardholders can make donations via BOC Express or BOCNET

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About Oxfam
Oxfam is dedicated to fighting poverty and inequity worldwide. The international and independent development and humanitarian organisation tackles poverty in four main ways: sustainable development in poor communities, disaster relief, local, national and global advocacy, and education with Hong Kong youth. Established in Hong Kong in 1976, Oxfam Hong Kong is a founding member of Oxfam, an international confederation that has assisted poor people in 94 countries. Oxfam Hong Kong alone has supported poor people in over 70 countries/regions.

For media enquiries, please contact
Sarah Chu
Communications Officer
Telephone: + 852 3120-5280

Cindy Chan
Communications Officer
Telephone: + 852 3120-5201