Mercy Corps has dispatched a disaster response team to the Philippines. The Portland-based aid agency says it already has two workers there to help with typhoon relief, and more on the way.
Mercy Corps’ Michael Bowers says the team is focused on quickly figuring out where gaps in aid are, and filling them.
Bowers is senior director for global emergencies and is headed to the Philippines now. He says access to clean water is a primary concern, followed closely by food and shelter. It’s estimated that the typhoon left more than 650,000 homeless.
“And if you think about that, that’s the entire population of the city of Portland. So, essentially we have the entire city of Portland now without shelter and any means to feed themselves or access clean water," says Bowers.
Bowers say Mercy Corps will work with corporate partners to provide water filtration systems, hygiene kits and any non-food items they can quickly get to provide relief for victims.
Copyright 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting.