For many in the Philippines, Christmas celebrations were put on hold as they dealt with the aftermath of Typhoon Kai-tak, which hit the easternmost provinces of the country on December 16, 2017.
The Category 2 storm brought heavy rains and winds gusting up to 110 km/h. At least 47 people were killed and almost 2 million were affected. In Biliran, the worst hit province, the storm affected more than 65 per cent of the population, killing 42 people.
Flooding and landslides destroyed many homes and crops and cut off many villages. In addition, water systems were damaged and assessments revealed that 80 per cent of the total water sources were contaminated. As such, waterborne diseases are expected to rise. Poor and displaced families living in evacuation centers or with host families are dealing with a scarcity of clean water, poor sanitation and a lack of shelter.
However, thanks to the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund, Oxfam Canada will be able to assist approximately 10,000 of the most vulnerable people in Biliran with livelihood support, clean water and the replacement of household items lost in the storm.
Oxfam will also distribute cash grants to enable families to access basic needs, targeting especially vulnerable households, pregnant women, lactating mothers and the elderly. The cash grants of $25 and $50 mean the most vulnerable do not resort to negative coping mechanisms and can meet their basic life-saving needs.
The Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund is a joint mechanism financed by Global Affairs Canada, the Humanitarian Coalition and its member agencies.