Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz has announced that Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND) would donate $100,000 in relief to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the central Philippines.
The donation is the first from the Gulf to one of the world’s worst catastrophes, which has killed more than 10,000 people.
In a statement, Prince Talal, AGFUND president, said the donation was in support of relief efforts and humanitarian aid in the Philippines. He said the donation comes as an extension of AGFUND’s humanitarian activities in alleviating the suffering of disaster victims, especially children, women and the elderly.
The donation will be channeled to the Philippine government, the statement said.
Haiyan, codenamed Yolanda by Philippine meteorologists, has left thousands of victims dead and injured and has rendered tens of thousands homeless, in addition to causing extensive damage to property in islands along its path.
Various NGOs and OFWs groups urged Filipino communities abroad to raise support for the victims.
In a statement, Datu Camad Ali, founding chairman of SPMUDA International, appealed to individuals, groups and organizations in the country and abroad to extend assistance and cooperation to the UN team that was dispatched to the Philippines.
“As ambassador general of UN volunteers to the PHL, I ask all organizations to combine their efforts in order to deliver more effective services to our Filipino victims,” he said.
Migrante and other OFW organizations and individuals made similar calls.
“We extend our sympathy to the millions affected by ST Yolanda. We need not only prayers for all the victims of ST Yolanda but concrete action to support relief efforts by various mass organizations, and non-government organizations including our very own Migrante chapters in Eastern and Central Visayas, in Panay and in Negros,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante coordinator for Middle East and North Africa.
“We call on our fellow expatriate workers to donate; we also announced that we are reactivating our SAGIP Migrante relief operations to be spearheaded by our Migrante colleagues in the home front in close coordination with our chapters in Eastern and Central Visayas, Panay and Negros,” he added.
Tacloban City and nearby municipalities in Leyte and Samar, were among the places that were heavily devastated. Monterona specifically called on fellow OFWs from Eastern Visayas to be actively involved in providing support.
“There are formations of OFW organizations from Leyte and Samar. Organizations such as Leyteño and Samareño are quite active in the Middle East specifically in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar. We appeal to them for their support,” he said.
Migrante chapters in the Middle East will designate a ‘Sagip Migrante at Pamilya’ drop-off centers where fellow OFWs and their organizations can send their donations.
“Our fellow OFWs and their organizations may get in touch with our Migrante coordinators and leaders in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Israel or they can directly contact me,” he added.