Last week we promised you an update from our Philippines Country Coordinator Shiri Rae Lim on the situation there following the typhoon. Here’s an extract from an email she sent us with information about what has been happening. It includes an important message from Shiri about donations to disaster relief and a reminder about some of the terrible human and financial cost of natural disasters:
Hi everyone,Just want to give a quick shoutout here from the Philippines. I know most of you are worried about me and my fellow countrymen but we’re holding up. I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch but things have just gone crazy starting October for me and it’s just slowly dying down right now.Please let everyone know we are ok. After the earthquake, the Congressional Library in Bohol suffered damage but is still standing and is being assessed for repairs. The library hub in Palo (which is just a 30minute drive outside Tacloban City) is also still structurally fit but is missing a few items because of the flood.If I could drop a few important lines:1. Please tell everyone that I am fine, especially my ILN partner [and the other country coordinators]- I have not been able to email since October and that has been really sad for me.2. I know that some of you have been trying to reach out to us by donations, I would just like to remind you to please have them through LEGAL channels or through organizations that you know can send them directly to those that can help (eg. Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, etc.). Please avoid sending them personally to anyone who claims to be from the Philippines and is willing to have your donations delivered to victims!Sad as it might be, there are now a few scammers that have caught on this tragedy and is using it for their benefit.3. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of some international news. There is only one real story to tell, i’m afraid. Tacloban has suffered a great loss and is having a difficult time getting back on track.The damage has been done and other issues aside, we need your prayers and your support in this ordeal.