The Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) is today launching radio and TV appeals for public funds to help those affected by the earthquakes and typhoons that struck last week.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed or injured but millions also live in the areas immediately affected. Homes have been destroyed, crops swept away and vital services wiped out.
Launching the Appeal, Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said:
"The nature of these disasters vividly recalls the horrors of the 2004 Tsunami. Millions have seen the world they know ripped apart around them.
"DEC member agencies are already responding despite the appalling conditions on the ground but we urgently need the public's help to fund their work.
"We recognise that these are difficult and uncertain times for many people in the UK too but we have no doubt that there will still be a strong desire to help."
"We didn't eat for two days"
73-year-old community gerontologist Nanay says she has never witnessed anything like the tropical storm and subsequent floods that battered The Philippines.
She says: "We didn't eat for almost two days because we hadn't saved any food."
Any amount you can spare will help.
- £20 could buy vital medicines for 5 older people in areas where clinics and hospitals are destroyed and disease is spreading.
- £50 could provide a family with food and essentials for one month including rice, cooking pots and soap.
- £100 could supply sleeping mats and blankets to 12 older people whose belongings are destroyed or swept away.
HelpAge International's response
HelpAge International is working with partners to deliver aid to older people in Vietnam, Indonesia and The Philippines, with support from sister organisations Age Concern and Help the Aged.
In the Philippines, HelpAge is already distributing food and basic medical and household supplies to older people via a network of older people's associations run by our partner, COSE.
We are making plans for four to six months of emergency relief assistance in the capital, Manila. Further down the line, we will supply cash grants to households headed by older people so they can replace some of their household goods which were swept away by the floods.
Speaking from Manila, Godfrey Paul, HelpAge's Asia Emergency Manager says: "The situation in some of the areas we visited is heartbreaking...everything inside people's houses has gone. They will have to start all over again."
In Vietnam, the devastation is much more widespread than originally thought. An estimated three million people have been affected by the flooding.
We are delivering cash grants to 3,500 families headed by older people, through our local partner, the Vietnam Women's Union, so they can purchase rice, noodles, tinned fish, water containers, cooking utensils, blankets, mosquito nets, clothing and a torch.
Meanwhile, in Indonesia, we are carrying out an assessment in Padang Pariaman and Parak Buruk, in West Sumatra, to ensure that we meet the needs of older people in that region.