Many residents of the Philippines still desperately need aid following the destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record. It has been a week since the storm struck the Philippines’ eastern coast, devastating the Eastern Visayas region of the country which contains the highly-populated and hard-hit city of Tacloban.
As NPR‘s Mark Memmott reports, many people find themselves without food, water, or shelter a week into the storm’s aftermath. People lined up Friday in Tacloban waiting for assistance from the Philippine Navy. However, aid from the Navy never came. 16-year-old Tacloban resident Harvey Albino was one of the people lined up for assistance.
“We have nothing to eat, and that’s why we came here,” Albino said. “And nothing. Nothing happened.”
Voice of America, the U.S. broadcast institution, said aid can never come fast enough. It reports that destroyed roadways and a lack of fuel has hampered organized efforts to provide relief for those who most need it.
Despite the desperate situation, international efforts appear to have gained some traction. John Grafilo of the Sydney Morning Herald said the U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington arrived in the Philippines on Thursday. It carried 21 helicopters and 5000 sailors, according to Grafilo.
After seeing the destruction in Tacloban on Thursday, he said, Valerie Ann Amos, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator said that she felt the UN had let people down.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino said his country’s government is doing everything it can to gather supplies and reach residents with aid.
According to the Philippines’ National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Memmott continued, the official death toll rose to 3,621 as of Friday morning at approximately 7 a.m. EST.
For anyone looking to contribute aid to the Typhoon Haiyan relief effort, CNN has compiled a list of several charities and nongovernmental organizations.
Photo courtesy of European Commission DG ECHO via Flickr