ASIA/PHILIPPINES - The "Jesuit Refugee Service" to the rescue of the Filipino people hit by Haiyan

Friday, 22 November 2013

Manila (Agenzia Fides) – To assess the needs, develop projects and action plans, provide reports to donors, to ensure that resources are used as efficiently as possible: with these criteria and these operating lines the "Jesuit Refugee Service" (JRS) intervened in the rescue of the people affected by Typhoon Haiyan, locally called "Yolanda". As a note sent to Fides informs, the intervention of the JRS is done in close liaison and coordination with the local Catholic NGO "Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan" (SLB), which was created by a group of Filipino Jesuits, very active in the field of justice and peace, and now at the forefront in the emergency post-typhoon with numerous volunteers. In particular, the organization is bringing humanitarian aid to the islands of Culion and Palawan. Other Jesuit volunteers are present in the towns of Isabel, Ormoc, Guiuan, and on a mission in Hernani. A huge load of goods is destined also to the towns of Catbalogan and Samar, through the parish of St. Bartholomew. The Jesuits are also present in Tacloban, the city hardest hit. A transit of goods to Capiz is expected.
In the note sent to Fides, Fr. Antonio Moreno , SJ, Jesuit Provincial of the Philippines, explains: "The country was still in shock because of the siege of Zamboanga City and the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu a few weeks ago. The displaced people in those regions are still homeless. Now the new disaster has devastated millions of people". Fearing disastrous consequences for the local economy in the long term, Fr. Moreno urged the Jesuits around the world to mobilize resources to help people in the most affected areas. He asks the confreres and all Christians to "simplify the needs during the Christmas celebrations to make more space for solidarity".
The JRS intervention comes as the organization celebrates its 33rd birthday. It was founded by the former Superior General of the Society, Fr. Pedro Arrupe SJ, during a visit to Burmese refugees in Thailand. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 22/11/2013)