World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


SurfAid launches Philippines appeal in wake of typhoon

SurfAid launches Philippines appeal in wake of Typhoon Haiyan

Humanitarian organisation SurfAid today launched an appeal to assist the Filipino people in the wake of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda.

Billabong and the Quiksilver Foundation have already pledged $5,000 each. Both were lead donors in the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, which was SurfAid’s first emergency response after being established in 2000.

The Philippines Government estimates that the super typhoon has affected more than 13 million people (including 5.4 million children), and 4.4 million people have been displaced from their homes by one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that over one million houses are damaged or destroyed, and an initial rapid assessment estimates that 80 to 90 per cent of schools in Aklan, Capiz and Iloilo provinces in the Western Visayas are damaged or destroyed.

With the scale of the disaster and the logistical challenges, SurfAid CEO Andrew Judge said the organisation has been establishing key local partnerships before appealing to donors.

“Local networks and on-the-ground capacity will ensure that we can be a channel for the surf community to make a valuable contribution to an effective response,” Judge said.

After the typhoon struck on Friday 8 November, Indonesian staff of Johanniter, a German organisation closely linked to the St John network, approached SurfAid Country Director Anne Wuijts about a possible collaboration in the Philippines. Johanniter works on health promotion in Sumatra in parallel with SurfAid's work in the Mentawai and Nias islands.

“Initially we are planning to support Filipino partners through Johanniter,” Wuijts said. “They have an excellent emergency response reputation, are on the ground, and are already providing medical assistance and supplies through established local networks.”

Jutta Meissner, Head of Desk Southeast Asia for Johanniter International Assistance, said: "We are already distributing food and shelter packages through our local partner on the islands Leyte and Panay. The need is huge. So we are very happy to get more support through SurfAid."

SurfAid has previously worked with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF Belgium) in a similar emergency response partnership.

Andrew Judge said that after SurfAid had supported the initial response the organisation plans to bring experienced staff from Indonesia to deliver assistance to surfing areas and will address key health issues at the community level, including disease prevention and hygiene and sanitation.

“The need on the ground will determine the exact locations.” Judge said. “Our experience indicates that in a disaster of this scale, smaller coastal communities will likely miss out on assistance that flows to the larger population centres.”

You can donate to the SurfAid Philippines Appeal at

In the US, you can also text SURFAID to 85944 to donate $10 to the SurfAid Philippines Appeal.

About SurfAid
The mission of SurfAid, a non-profit humanitarian organisation, is to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing.

SurfAid’s health programs involve education in nutrition, hygiene, healthy environments and disease prevention - including mosquito net distribution.

SurfAid has built an award-winning capacity in emergency preparedness and has delivered five emergency response programs following major disasters, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the October 2010 Mentawai tsunami.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results
Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

WHO: Vaccination No Guarantee Of Virus Eradication

In the final World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 press conference of the year, on Monday, senior officials warned that the virus is 'not necessarily the big one', and that there is a real chance of another, more serious pandemic spreading ... More>>

Covid: Two Billion COVID Vaccine Doses Secured, WHO Says End Of Pandemic Is In Sight

The end of the pandemic is in sight but we must not let our guard down, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as he welcomed the news that the global vaccine partnership COVAX has lined up almost two billion doses of existing ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>

UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>

UN News: Fighting Displaces Over 500,000 In Northern Mozambique, Reports UN Refuge Agency

Attacks by armed groups in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa provinces have displaced more than 530,000 people, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. According to ... More>>