Towards the Pacific - Philippines Disaster Relief

In the last months and since the Typhoon disaster which hit the Philippines last November, Brit Olam has been leading the process of the creation of a coalition of Israeli emergency assistance aid programs. The coalition’s aim is to be the leading and coordinating body for activities which take place in a time of emergency on the field. This is in order to combine knowledge and manpower and make more efficient use of public funds that are donated for this purpose at such a time. Today, the coalition consists of about 16 organizations, among them organizations which deal on a daily basis with humanitarian activities as well as organizations of infrastructure, the commitment of which to the involvement and to the assistance with the required infrastructure for events of this time is invaluable. In recent months, the coalition has been providing assistance in the fields of life-preserving medicine and in training in the social-psychological field for the treatment of trauma, among others for senior professionals from the local ministries of health and welfare. These days, the coalition volunteers are busy developing a community center in one of the poorest areas in the Philippines which has greatly suffered from the disaster. The center will be used by the local villages as a shelter in a time of disaster, for community organizing and as an infrastructure which will be used in developing the various local programs of the coalition in the fields of education, arts and labor.