Many schools and a number of teachers were affected by Typhoon Haiyan on 8 November, according to EI affiliates in the Philippines. Amongst the devastating and deadly consequences of the typhoon is the loss of contact with two National Council members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), an EI affiliate. EI member organisations across the country are collecting data on the terrible impact of the typhoon on schools and education personnel.
Ten per cent of Philippines’ population affected
Philippines’ President Benigno Aquino said the death toll may be lower than first thought. The widely reported figure of 10,000 killed may have come from officials facing “emotional trauma”, he said, and the real figure is more likely up to 2,500.
The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that more than 11 million people, i.e. 10 per cent of the total Filipino population, are in need of vital goods and services, because of a lack of food, healthcare and access to education and livelihoods. Some 673,000 people have been displaced by this natural catastrophe, it said.
International solidarity needed
On 12 November, the UN launched an appeal for $301 million to help survivors. It has already released $25 million to meet immediate needs.
“On 13 November, a member of ACT’s national secretariat will go to Eastern Samar, one of the hardest hit areas, as part of the ACT team preparing our relief efforts,” said ACT General Secretary France Castro. “We have recently launched a campaign to support victims of calamities.”
She also called on EI members to provide their Filipino colleagues with support.
“It is with regret that we learnt about the human tragedy and loss of life and damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines,” said EI General secretary Fred van Leeuwen. “Education International extends its sincere sympathy to the people of the Philippines and hope that the calamity has not caused excessive damage to the teachers, students and schools.”