(NECN) - One of the local groups helping in the relief effort in the Philippines is Oxfam.
We were joined by Michael Delaney, director of Oxfam's humanitarian response, from our downtown Suffolk studio.
Delaney has led all of Oxfam's humanitarian responses over past 13 years, including hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes. Typhoon Haiyan has been described as the most powerful storm ever. What is the level of destruction like?
“Boston-based Oxfam has been established in the Philippines for over 40 years so we’ve seen a lot of typhoons coming into the year and this by far was the strongest and the most devastation that we’ve seen in any of these storms. Our teams have reported mass destruction, where towns they’ve visited have over 95-percent of homes utterly flattened. There’s no electricity.”
Oxfam focuses on the water situation. At a time like this, water is essential, Delaney says, and they are focusing on that in the Philippines.
“People of the Philippines have shown great resilience and we owe them a speedy response at this point. The key is we can use any water source basically and filter it out and get it to people. We started to get materials in yesterday. The airports were clogged. And we’re finally getting materials in. and now the struggle is getting from the airport out to the most desperate areas.”
Delaney says it’s very tough, and they’re relying on military equipment to clear the roads as they remain focused on purifying the water.
How can people help?
He says the best thing people can do is give money in this case because many groups like Oxfam have established programs and people on the ground.
If you’d like to donate, you can visit Oxfam’s website: oxfamamerica.org