Desperate typhoon survivors plead for help

Paul Keenan and Cathal Barry

Parishes across Ireland are mounting massive fundraising efforts for the Philippines as Irish missionaries there say more aid is urgently needed.

In the wake of super-typhoon Haiyan, some 10 million people are directly affected and more than 5 million people left homeless. The death toll is expected to be in the thousands.

Irish missionaries are at the forefront of relief efforts, with thousands of people now sheltering in parishes in some of the worst-hit areas.

The Irish Church’s development agency Trócaire has announced that a planned collection at all Masses this weekend to support those affected by the civil war in Syria will now be divided between the two countries. Church leaders have urged priests to make parishioners aware of the collection and for Massgoers to dig deep this weekend.

Speaking from the Philippines, Trócaire’s Eoghan Rice told The Irish Catholic that “people here are in dire need of assistance and many are relying entirely on aid at the moment”.

Meanwhile, GOAL has warned that those who were fortunate to survive the initial disaster,  “are entering a critical period”.

“The lack of clean water and access to emergency services could lead to even greater loss of life. We need to get aid to these people as quickly as possible,” GOAL CEO Barry Andrews warned.