ON THE 16TH OF DECEMBER 2011, HEAVY RAINSBROUGHT BY TROPICAL STORM WASHI, KNOWN LOCALLY AS SENDONG, SWEPT THROUGH 13 PROVINCES OF NORTHERN MINDANAO IN THE PHILIPPINES, TRIGGERING LANDSLIDES AND FLASH FLOODS, THE LATTER HITTING HARDEST THE CITIES OF CAGAYAN DE ORO AND ILIGAN.

OVER 6,000 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INJURED, MORE THAN 1,200 HAVE DIED, AND NEARLY 200 ARE STILL MISSING.

OVER 50,000 HOUSES AND OTHER INFRASTRUCTURES WERE DAMAGED, DISPLACING MORE THAN 500,000 PEOPLE, AND AFFECTING OVER A MILLION. THOSE FORCED TO FLEE THEIR HOMES HAVE TAKEN REFUGE IN EVACUATION CENTERS, TRANSITORY SITES AND
MAKESHIFT SHELTERS OR WITH HOST FAMILIES.

AMONG THE ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE RESPONDED TO THE DISASTER IS ACF.

POOR FAMILIES, WHOSE PRIMARY LIVELIHOODS ARE SKILLED AND UNSKILLED LABOR, NEED IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO SUFFICIENT FOOD, SAFE WATER AND ADEQUATE SHELTER. THEY HAVE LOST THEIR HOMES, THEIR BELONGINGS AND THEIR SOURCES OF INCOME.

PREGNANT AND LACTATING WOMEN NEED ACCESS TO ESSENTIAL FOOD ITEMS, SUCH AS RICE, MEAT,
VEGETABLES AND FRUITS. INSUFFICIENT SUPPLY AND VARIETY OF FOOD PUT THEM AND THEIR CHILDREN AT RISK OF MALNUTRITION.THEY LIKEWISE NEED PSYCHO-SOCIAL SUPPORT NOT JUST TO REBUILD THEIR LIVES BUT ALSO TO KEEP THE LIVES OF THEIR CHILDREN FROM FALLING APART.

Photo credits to the world renowned photojournalist Alfons Rodriguez geaphotowords.com/ |

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