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The numbers, truly comprehended, are more soul searing than merely tragic. Also, there are no official numbers released because no one oficially does or can keep track. Information that the First World takes for granted about itself simply has no counterpart in the Third World.

But well within the range of what's cited is that Typhoon Yolanda pretty much wiped out 600,000 homes, displacing some 2,000,000 filipinos residing in them. (Which, in itself, makes no sense, because I don't know where in the Philippines you'd find a house with only three people trying to call it home.) What and where and who and how, for how many are concepts that are too large for those affected to even possibly try to think about. Those surviving those endless scenes of almost unbelievable destruction have neither the luxury nor the inclination to think beyond their own here and now.

So what do they do, these "survivors"? And you see it even in those Tacloban (taCLOban) photos where once mighty ocean going vessels are now parked on top of what used to be entire neignborhoods. No houses, but still their homes, and if they ever give that up, only then do they become truly homeless. A fate, really, that is far worse than the horror we in our comfortable lives have convinced ourselves we're witnessing when we see the electronic images of how many people, how many people, crawling out from rubble to accept "food aid", only to return to that very exact piece of ground that has housed they and theirs (how ever many times divided ever smaller over the generations) for longer than Europeans have existed in the lands where we build our tract homes, and McMansions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  and there you are, alongside them, (8+ / 0-)

    in conditions incomprehensible to most of us.
    blessings on you for your posts.
    i am unable to form good enough words to say.

    Addington's perpwalk? TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes. @Hugh: There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.

    by greenbird on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 07:14:35 PM PST

  •  thank you ops...this story has faded from MSM. (8+ / 0-)


    We are not broke, we are being robbed...but we can fight back...#KosKatalogue

    by Glen The Plumber on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 07:17:49 PM PST

  •  On Sunday I participated in a fundraiser (7+ / 0-)

    Getting ready for some tinikling;

    4 the Phillippines photo photo24_zps8cfaf315.jpg

    We do what we can

    4 the Phillippines photo photo23_zps4886df9c.jpg

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 07:37:45 PM PST

  •  As for me... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, Oh Mary Oh, oldpotsmuggler

    ...this strikes me as being a good time to make another donation to

  •  Off the front pages, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the aid organizations like Oxfam and ShelterBox are hard at work and still need donations, either general or earmarked for the Philippines.

  •  Some good news (4+ / 0-)

    As of Tuesday, the UK's Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Philippines Typhoon Appeal had received £67 million (US$107 million), a new total is due to be released Friday.

    The DEC is a joint committee of several charities and has a high standing. In part this is because membership is restricted to those with proven track records of both delivery and low overheads. Because of that, the main TV stations give time for the appeals. Their joint resources are such that if they decide on a DEC appeal, they can predict some of the response and use their reserves before the money comes in.

    The tax structure is slightly different in the UK - the charities can claim 25% on top of the donation from the government as tax relief rather than it going to the donor under a scheme called Gift Aid. It depends if the donor is a UK taxpayer but potentially another $27 million is on hand.

    The UK government itself has pledged £50 million directly, sent Royal Navy ships and helicopters and promised more in long term recovery aid.

    Both sites have updates of what help is being delivered on the ground. TV has covered the story over the last week or  so. One included a report on areas where some aid is being stopped because the village did not vote for the local politician and how officials from UKaid are aware of it an put  in place measures to ensure the help is not being diverted.


    We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 05:07:04 AM PST

    •  The U.K.'s response to the disaster has been (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lib Dem FoP, oldpotsmuggler

      absolutely fantastic! By no means am I a fan of David Cameron, but he sure stepped up to the plate in this case.  And  the generosity of the people of the U.K. is absolutely heartwarming.  Military assets, like the British HMS Illustrious, are crucial in these early stages of the relief efforts.  Transport planes, helicopters, helicopter carriers, and amphibious ships can get to places that were unreachable and they also play a critical role in removing bottlenecks in the aid deliver line.

      In addition to the UK, I have also been really impressed with the response from the U.S., Japan, Australia, and South Korea.

      I'm still waiting for the German Govt. to step up to the plate in a manner that is as admirable as the manner in which the U.K. has stepped up to the plate....

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 09:46:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Much easier to respond (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, oldpotsmuggler

        if your government has already made its aid budget 0.7% of GDP to meet the UN target. Some Tories are doing the "charity begins at home" bit but generally it had the support of all the main parties.

        A lot of the effectiveness of the response is also down to an aid review in 2010/11 by Lord Ashdown who was previously Liberal Democrat Party leader and a UN High Representative in Bosnia.

        We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:22:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The sad thing is the reaction of the Acquino (0+ / 0-)

      government. They simply will not tax the rich (the only persons in that truly poverty stricken nation who can pay taxes), so they avoid the discussion by trying to ignore the magnitude of the disaster. (And his mother and father were such nice people, too.)

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 12:40:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think the number that had their homes (4+ / 0-)

    seriously damaged or destroyed is up to four and a half million.

    Today I finally was able to contact the last friends that I was worried about.  They are alive and well and I am very relieved.  The roof of their cement-wall cottage was blasted away, though, despite them living in Aklan Province on Panay Island, where the typhoon made its 4th landfall and was already weaker.  Their area also won't have electricity until late December.

    Today I also gathered some donations directly from friends and pooled it with my own donation to send to a very nice family I know in IloIlo Province.  They also lost their roof but now they will have enough money to buy the materials to rebuild the roof!  So, one family more with shelter thanks to the generosity of just a small group of friends.  And the added bonus is that the money they spend on repairing the roof goes directly into the local economy and indirectly helps others.

    I'm tapped out right now, but I am going to do the same thing for the family in Aklan Province next week.  In many cases the people there actually only need 100 to 150 dollars to buy the materials to repair/rebuild their damaged houses.  This is a case where one can do so much with so little.

    For those who would like to donate to a reputable, grassroots Filipino NGO where a little money goes a long way, I would like to suggest Gawad Kalinga.  They are doing great work and are able to do it efficiently because they have low administrative costs and have tons of Filipino volunteers participating in their efforts.  They accept credit card donations and Paypal donations and a mere 5 bucks buys a Filipino family of 4 to 5 enough food and water to survive 5 days:

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 05:22:46 AM PST

    •  Thank you for your advice (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, CroneWit, oldpotsmuggler

      In emergencies it is vital to get life supporting aid on the ground quickly, something that does not always happen with some charities. Local delivery with low overheads by those with local knowledge is invaluable.  (Because they are big and likely already working in the area, the DEC charities are effective in a similar way)

      We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 05:47:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Many folks even 50 miles south of our family (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      rode things out relatively well. Given the nature of these things, we and they look at those situations as a relative blessing.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 12:36:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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