On November 20, 2013, the Graduate Geography and Planning Student Society (GGAPSS) voted to allocate $200 in donations to the Humanitarian Coalition in support of relief efforts in response to typhoon Haiyan’s devastating impacts in the Philippines.
More than ten million people have been affected by the typhoon – known locally as Yolanda. In the worst hit Visayas region of the Philippines, some estimates suggest that some 5,000 people have died, with thousands more injured. Eyewitnesses say hardly a single house remains standing. The authorities in the Philippines pre-emptively evacuated nearly 790,000 people and had pre-positioned food packages for nearly 500,000 people. But with millions of people living in the path of the typhoon, many now need immediate assistance with drinking water, food, emergency shelters, and medicines. The devastation is especially widespread in Metro Cebu, the country’s second largest city with a population of 2.5 million people.
The five member agencies of the Humanitarian Coalition – Oxfam Quebec, Oxfam Canada, Plan, Save the Children and CARE – are on the ground in the Philippines, working with local partner organizations, to provide emergency life saving assistance. GGAPSS selected the Humanitarian Coalition as the recipient of the donation because of the Coalition’s role as an organization that brings together Canada’s leading aid agencies to finance relief efforts in times of international humanitarian crises. As a joint Canadian approach to humanitarian response, the five member agencies of the Humanitarian Coalition work together to reduce unnecessary competition, inform the public on humanitarian needs, increase the impact of Canadian humanitarian responses and reduce administrative costs so that more funds can arrive directly to the people in need.
The Humanitarian Coalition and its member agencies are all eligible for the Canadian government’s matching program, meaning that the government will meet and match every dollar donated by Canadians for the typhoon response prior to December 9, 2013. GGAPSS therefore encourages partner organizations on campus, as well as others, to make their own generous contributions to relief efforts.
The Humanitarian Coalition’s appeal, and more information about the matching program and the effects of Typhoon Haiyan can be found here: http://humanitariancoalition.ca/our-appeals/typhoon-haiyan-2013.