AN aid relief charity from Helston has helped almost 6,500 families in the Philippines, one month after it was struck by the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.
A response team from ShelterBox, in Helston, mobilised quickly to help those affected rebuild their lives.
Haiyan left thousands without homes and killed an estimated 5,600 people when It hit on November 8.
ShelterBox is the only agency to have reached some of the more remote islands.
So far the agency has provided enough tents and vital equipment to help 6,432 families and have committed to remain in the Philippines until 2014 to get the job done.
ShelterBox Chief Executive, Alison Wallace, said: “This has been, and continues to be, a complex and challenging aid programme. Everywhere you look there is damage, wrecked buildings and broken infrastructure.
“But there is also a determination to rebuild homes and livelihoods, working with organisations like ShelterBox.
“I am so glad that we are able to help, and immensely proud of our response teams and other professionals who are giving people a new beginning.
“If you have helped us by donating or fundraising, a sincere thank you for your generosity.”
ShelterBox had a tactical advantage in already having teams and equipment in Bohol before the typhoon struck.
They had been responding to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred on October 15, a national holiday. The team were able to help those already made homeless by the earthquake to prepare for Typhoon Haiyan, and to provide shelter once it had passed over.
Rapidly ShelterBox was then able to deploy aid and more response teams.
Tents and ShelterBoxes were airlifted into Cebu City airport, or by air and sea via Manila, in partnership with global children’s charity Plan International. Stocks were brought in from Dubai and Kuala Lumpur, others from Melbourne. More supplies were packed by volunteers at ShelterBox’s Helston headquarters.
Cebu Island and Leyte Island were directly in the path of the 300-mile wide typhoon.
Heavily-populated Tacloban on Leyte was all but destroyed with huge loss of life, and ShelterBox is now working in and around then city.
As there was a concentration of international aid activity on Cebu, ShelterBox began to look towards the smaller outer islands where it felt its readily-transportable aid could make a real difference.
Much of its recent work has been focused on Bantayan Island, and it has since arranged tent delivery by inflatable RIB to tiny Malapascua Island.
ShelterBox has set up a Typhoon Haiyan Emergency Appeal, with a donation hotline on 0300 0300 500 or via www.shelterbox.org