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Ships Battle Clogged Sea Routes To Bring Aid

Ships Battle Clogged Sea Routes To Bring Aid

To contribute to Philippine aid effort Phone World Vision: 0800 80 2000 or visit the website www.worldvision.org.nz

Ships battle clogged sea routes to bring aid

World Vision New Zealand today (6 Dec) committed NZ$41,000 from funds donated for general emergency relief, to assist victims of severe flooding in the Philippines

Yesterday the agency began shipments of relief supplies through waterways clogged with logs and debris to reach typhoon-hit towns.

The shipments began after the agency secured a transport agreement with the Philippine navy.

World Vision relief co-ordinator David Liban, who helped supervise the first major shipment of relief to the town of Infanta, said getting supplies to the needy was proving a logistical nightmare.

Goods bound for Infanta had to be transferred to a smaller vessel on the ocean because it is currently impossible to dock larger ships at the town's port.

"It took us five hours just to do the transfer," Mr Liban said.

But Mr Liban said it was imperative Infanta received more attention precisely because access was difficult and so far had received little in the way of relief.

"The people in Infanta are edgy, agitated and impatient – many have not eaten for five or six days," he said.

Mr Liban said the entire town had been covered in mud, people were relying on rain water for drinking, and a terrible stench of decaying bodies pervaded the air.

He said World Vision planned to set up a soup kitchen in Infanta while continuing a shipment of 1,000 relief packs per day to both Infanta and neighbouring Real. The agency is also supplying packs to Aurora province in conjunction with the airforce.

The packs are designed to sustain a family for one week and contain rice, water, noodles, sardines, bedding and a flashlight. Each pack costs NZ$40.

More than 1,000 people are dead or missing following a series of deadly tropical storms that have lashed the Philippine coastline.

World Vision is accepting donations for the flood relief effort. Ph: 0800 80 2000 or visit the website: www.worldvision.org.nz

ENDS


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