Typhoon Haiyan struck the eastern seaboard of the Philippines five days ago, levelling houses, setting off mudslides, cutting off power, closing roads and, of course, restricting the food supply to millions. The confirmed death toll associated with the disaster has now reached 2,344, and at least 600,000 people have been displaced. Eight people were crushed to death yesterday in a stampede at a rice warehouse near the city of Tacloban, and today, gunfire broke out around that city's San Juanico bridge between security forces and armed men (the circumstances are still not clear). The Canadian government has allocated $5 million for humanitarian organizations working to help those affected, and aid organizations recommend that individuals wishing to help out donate money instead of goods.
If you haven't donated yet, hit the gallery above for five reasons you might want to. Made up your mind? Here are some worthy organizations accepting donations:
- The Humanitarian Coalition: A joint initiative of Care Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada and Save the Children Canada, the coalition coordinates resources during international crises to keep the public informed and reduce administrative costs. Donate here.
- UNICEF: The UN children's organization has already sent an airlift with food, water kits and health kits to support 3,000 affected families, and more is on the way. Donate here.
- Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières): MSF had teams on the ground in the Philippines the day after the storm made landfall, and plans to have 122 doctors, nurses, sanitation experts and psychologists in the country soon. Donate here.
- Canadian Red Cross: The Canadian arm of the international society is working with its local affiliate, and has deployed a field hospital which can treat 300 people and provide 1,000 children with immunizations each day. Donate here.
- United Nations World Food Programme: For every $100 you donate, the WFP says it can provide 1,000 packs of biscuits to help feed the estimated 2.5 million people in need of food assistance. Donate here. (George is a WFP Ambassador Against Hunger.)
- Global Medic: This Canadian organization provides water purification systems and medical units in global emergencies. Their team is currently on the way to the Philippines with 1.4 million water purification tablets. Donate here.