Homes damaged by Typhoon Rai in Surigao del Norte in the southern Philippines, Dec. 22, 2021. (AP/Alren Beronio) Homes damaged by Typhoon Rai in Surigao del Norte in the southern Philippines, Dec. 22, 2021. (AP/Alren Beronio)

Emergency response team is delivering safe water and hygiene kits to Southern Leyte and Cebu provinces.

By Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel21c

IsraAID, an Israeli non-governmental humanitarian aid organization, has deployed an emergency response team in the Philippines following Super Typhoon Rai, known locally as Odette.

The team is delivering safe water and hygiene kits to communities affected by Odette in Southern Leyte and Cebu provinces.

The super typhoon exited the country on December 18, having made nine landfalls over two days and leaving an estimated 2.4 million Filipinos in need of assistance due to severe flooding, landslides and large-scale destruction.

With many affected areas still without power and telecommunications, the full scale of the damage is not yet known. As many as 375 people are reported to have died, with hundreds more injured and rescue operations ongoing. More than 630,000 people have been displaced from their homes.

IsraAID CEO Yotam Polizer said the team also is providing psychological first aid and assessing the typhoon’s impact to determine what additional support is needed.

IsraAID first launched its mission in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, known locally as Typhoon Haiyan, in 2013, concluding its programming in 2019. That mission was based in Leyte. Now the organization was able to mobilize former staff and partners from the past projects to work with team members arriving from Israel.

IsraAID has a long history in the Philippines, with deep connections to many local partners, friends, team members, and communities,” said Polizer.

“As the scale of the typhoon’s damage became clear, we felt compelled to act and bring urgent support. We are proud to be able to call on experienced humanitarian professionals based in-country to bring immediate relief where it’s needed most. This emergency response is an expression of our long-term commitment to the wellbeing of affected communities in the Philippines.”

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