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The relief effort in the Philippines is still going strong

22 Oct 2009

Since typhoon Ketsana struck the Philippines on 26 September, our partner in Manila, the Coalition of Services of the Elderly (COSE) has worked tirelessly to provide relief for the older people affected.

They have done an incredible job, having given assistance to 1,815 older people from 35 urban and poor areas around Manila since the programme began on 13 October.

Let's not forget that Ketsana has affected over 4 million people, damaged 42,000 houses and caused around 700 casualties. The need for relief is huge, yet COSE responded immediately and has helped countless older people.

The relief programme, partly funded by HelpAge and headed by the Task Force Ondoy (Ketsana) Relief Operations team, set up a focal point in COSE's office from which to distribute relief packages.

COSE staff, older volunteers from different older people's organisations and student volunteers then sorted and repacked the donated goods which included rice, canned goods, used clothes and essential toiletries. They all gave their time willingly, showing great solidarity and spirit.

Older people are rebuilding their lives

Leaders and representatives of older people's organisations helped to identify the older people most affected in their respective areas.

They then distributed relief and even donated goods and used clothes themselves.

Despite the devastation caused by the typhoon, older people have shown great strength and have started the slow process of rebuilding their lives.

These photos highlight how resilient and determined our partner and older people in the Philippines have been in the face of adversity.

At time of writing, the Philippines is preparing for another typhoon, Lupit, to hit the North of the country, wreaking more havoc and putting more people's lives at risk.

Our support goes out to one and all in the Philippines, particularly our partner COSE.

Find out more about how we help older people in emergencies.

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Sarah Marzouk
Country: UK
Job title: Digital Communications

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These blogs are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelpAge International.