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Super Typhoon Haiyan
I’m writing you from the Philippines where I’m managing CARE’s ongoing response to Super Typhoon Haiyan.
My team of seasoned veterans and I delivered life-saving aid after the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Haiti earthquake of 2010, and the drought-stricken Horn of Africa in 2011.
But none of those disastrous events were as challenging as this one. The remoteness, flooding and debris everywhere in the affected areas means that simple journeys can take days. The widespread magnitude of the damage means limited to no access by land or air and no lines of communication or electricity up and running.
There are pictures below, but they don’t truly capture the experience on the ground: the smell, the complete destruction in every direction you look, the heavy rain, the continuous exhaustion because there is nowhere for anyone to sleep, debris everywhere. And – worst of all – the desperate look in the eyes of survivors.
They’re hungry and they’ve been hungry for days. The food is just gone, picked clean.
Within the next 48 hours, we’ll be distributing food to thousands of families outside of Ormac City. Frankly, it’s frustrating that we can’t get supplies to more survivors more quickly. We plan to help an initial 150,000 storm survivors with the support of donors like you. Food and shelter are our current priorities.
Coordinating the response to Super Typhoon Haiyan has been so much more challenging than Haiti. It’s not even that the weather is horrible or that today’s office/sleeping space lost its roof and flooded out.
Communication during emergency response is critical, but here the electricity is down, the phone lines aren’t working, there is no internet. Thank goodness for our satellite phones.
In Haiti, communication was back up very quickly. And the earthquake was in a small area, so once the rubble was cleared, it was easy to drive and deliver aid. We could get everywhere affected in two or three hours. The airport was up and functioning quickly, so supplies could be brought by air, or road from the Dominican Republic.
Here in the Philippines, the disaster is spread over several islands. It takes days to get to places – not only for relief items, but for staff. You have to take a boat, and then a car, and the road hasn’t been cleared. The government and international community are working to clear the roads and open the airport, but it is taking time.
Once it does, we know what we need to do to help. I only hope you’ll be there during this critical time to support our response. Donate to CARE right away to help with disaster relief efforts in the Philippines and other places impacted by crisis and poverty.
CARE Emergency Team Leader
The Real Story About Syria
The politics around Syria’s civil war are complex, but the reason to care about Syria’s millions of refugees is simple – there is very real suffering happening with our fellow humans. Real people like you and me whose lives have been up-ended. Millions of people who have done nothing to bring this upon themselves, who are struggling to survive, and who may never be able to return home.
With or without military intervention, the flood of Syrians displaced by the conflict, both within Syria and as refugees in neighboring countries, will continue.
All the news about weapons, governmental bodies, and military actions ignores the truly massive humanitarian crisis that continues to dramatically unfold.
This is 12-year-old Amina and 7-year-old Sahed with their grandmother, 80-year-old Amina. “I miss my friends from my old school the most. I don’t know what has happened to them,” says young Amina. “My wish is to be able to see again properly,” says her grandmother, 80-year-old Amina, of her failing eyesight, “and see Syria again.”
CARE is helping refugees in Jordan and Lebanon and people affected by the crisis in Syria. As the crisis escalates, we are also starting to work in Egypt and Yemen. The more than 8 million people affected by this disaster are looking to us to help by providing basic life saving support, such as: food, shelter, clean water, medicine and medical care, and the means to stay warm when winter approaches.
I believe that – as human beings, confronted with the suffering and needs of others – you and I can and must do something to help. If you suddenly lost your home, wouldn’t you want to know that someone cared enough to reach out and support you to maintain your dignity while getting you through an unimaginably difficult time? I know I would.
As you listen to the radio and scan the headlines, keep the faces of the refugees above in your thoughts. They are the real story. And they need our support.
With greatest hope,
Director of Emergency and Humanitarian Assistance, CARE
Summer Of Hunger
Instead of saving seeds for this year’s harvest, farmers cooked and ate them last year. Selling the family’s only ox raised money to buy a little food then – but left them without a way to plow the fields and grow more food this year. In a vicious cycle, last year’s drought means fewer crops this year – and hunger spread like wildfire.
In communities reliant on their crops for food, this is the worst time of year for hunger. In a few weeks, the harvest will come in and there will be more food to go around – but 4.3 million people in Mali need humanitarian assistance right now. They can’t wait a few weeks.
Your gift today will help CARE send supplies where they are needed most and fight the root causes of hunger. And thanks to our limited-time match, anything you can give will be doubled to have twice the impact.
The food crisis is affecting some of the most vulnerable: Pregnant women. Breastfeeding mothers. Very young children too hungry to do anything but cry. Disease and hunger are rampant and the situation is desperate – but we know how to step in and make a difference.
CARE has already distributed 10,748 tons of food in Mali, including rice, sorghum, corn, and cowpea, as well as fertilizer to help farmers boost their crop yields. But since the beginning of the year, the number of people who need immediate assistance has doubled.
Things in Mali are bad – but you can help change all that, and it takes less than you might imagine. It only costs $7 to provide a week’s supply of food for someone in crisis – and with our match, every dollar you donate will stretch twice as far. Will you step up to help those who are suffering in this emergency?
Thank you for all that you do to improve the lives of those in need.
Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH
President and CEO, CARE
Families Need Food Now!
In some places, hunger isn’t just something that happens for a few hours, or even a few days. For some, hunger lasts a whole season – and we’re right in the middle of it.
Stores of food from last year’s harvest have run low in Mali, Guatemala, and Lesotho, but next year’s crops aren’t ready to eat or sell. There’s no money left to buy more food. Children are getting more and more hungry. Many parents are desperately trying to make what food they have stretch for just a few more days.
Because if they can’t – if the food won’t last until the crops come in – their children might not survive. These families need food now.
This is the worst time of year for hungry families. But right now, we have a special opportunity to fight back: from now until August 29, every single dollar you give will be matched, so you can fight back twice as hard against hunger.
To fight hunger right now, CARE is providing immediate nutritional assistance, including bags of corn, sorghum, millet, or rice, and emergency therapeutic foods to treat malnourished children. It costs just $7 to feed a person in crisis for an entire week.
But we don’t believe in temporary solutions to big problems, and I’m sure you feel the same way. That’s why CARE isn’t just fighting the hungry season this year – we’re also working to break the cycle, to prevent a hungry season next year. And every year.
The cycle of hunger is a vicious one: Families sell shares of their upcoming harvest at rock-bottom prices just to get food to eat today, leaving them less to sell at fair prices the following season and reducing the amount they will earn. Worse yet, in moments of desperation, they’ll even eat seeds meant to plant next year’s crop, leaving them with less to grow next year.
To fight hunger in the future, CARE is taking long-term steps. We’re working with communities to improve farming techniques to make fields more productive. We’re also setting up savings and loan groups so families can diversify their sources of income by taking out loans and investing the capital in ventures like sewing or animal husbandry.
We can’t accomplish any of that without the support of people like you.
Your support can feed a child right now, and can help a family stay nourished for all of next year.
Thank you for all that you do.
Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH
President and CEO, CARE
I am thrilled to tell you CARE was ranked #7 in the Global Journal’s Top 100 NGO list and #2 among NGOs that engage in humanitarian relief work. I am so proud of our field staffers and happy to see that their tireless work toward changing the world is getting the recognition it deserves.
As you may have read, we are grappling with a drop in charitable gifts coupled with high demands for our help in the field. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll consider making a tax-deductible gift to help ensure we can maintain our poverty fighting work at full strength.
It is your generosity that helps us address suffering in the fallout of crises – like violence in Syria and Mali. And it is your generosity that allows us to stay for the long-term, helping new mothers remain healthy, relieving hunger, empowering girls, and much more. Thank you, as always, for your support.
Helene D. Gayle MD, MPH