SOURCE: Lutheran World Relief, Inc.

Lutheran World Relief, Inc.

November 11, 2013 16:44 ET

Lutheran World Relief Prepares Shipment of Quilts and Kits, Addresses Urgent Needs for Thousands Affected by Typhoon Haiyan

Devastation "Comparable to 2004 Tsunami," Staff Say

BALTIMORE, MD--(Marketwired - November 11, 2013) - As the extent of the massive damage from Typhoon Haiyan becomes clear, Lutheran World Relief today mobilized an immediate shipment of relief items to the Philippines and began making preparations to address immediate needs of shelter repair and debris removal.

LWR staff in the Philippines are currently in northern Cebu, and have visited some of the storm-affected areas to begin assessing needs. The hardest hit areas remain difficult to reach, cut off by landsides, flooding, fallen trees, downed power lines and damaged roads. Communication is limited and power is down through the affected areas. Due to these challenges, the full extent of the damage may not be known for some time.

Officials estimate that the death toll will exceed 10,000 in the city of Tacloban alone. Officials have yet to reach four other affected islands to assess damage and casualties, said Joanne Fairley, LWR's director for Asia and Middle East programs.

"The devastation is similar to what we saw in 2004 with the tsunami," Fairley said. "As more information becomes available, it's becoming clear that the full impact of this storm is much worse than anything the Philippines has seen before."

LWR is making immediate plans to assist at least 100,000 families in northern Cebu and western Leyte with shelter repair kits. LWR will also administer a cash-for-work program in northern Cebu and western Leyte, providing more than 20,000 people with the opportunity to earn money through short-term work assignments clearing debris from public spaces. LWR successfully implemented similar programs in the Philippines after 2012's Typhoon Bopha.

LWR also began making preparations to immediately send four shipping containers filled with more than $800,000 worth of LWR Quilts, Personal Care Kits, Baby Care Kits and School Kits from its warehouses in the U.S. to meet urgent needs.

In addition to these programs, LWR will support government agencies and other relief agencies by offering training on international humanitarian standards.

LWR is accepting donations for this emergency and seeks to raise an initial $2.5 million to respond to urgent needs. Please give online, call 800.597.5972, or mail a check to Lutheran World Relief, P.O. Box 17061, Baltimore, MD 21297-1061. Indicate "Philippines Typhoon" on your check. To learn more about donating Quilts and Kits, please visit our website.

WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief, an international nonprofit organization, works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world's most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners in 35 countries, LWR seeks to promote sustainable development with justice and dignity by helping communities bring about change for healthy, safe and secure lives; engage in Fair Trade; promote peace and reconciliation; and respond to emergencies. LWR is headquartered in Baltimore, Md. and has worked in international development and relief since 1945. LWR is highly rated for efficiency and effectiveness, with a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, an "A" rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance.

Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.

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