Typhoon Haiyan Response: Keep Giving

Monday, November 18, 2013

Affected residents survey the damage in Tacloban City on November 14, 2013 in Tacloban, Philippines. (Dondi Tawatao/Getty)

There's an emerging narrative that relief efforts in the Philippines are being hampered. So what is working, and what can you do about it? Julien Schopp, Director of Humanitarian Policy and Practice at InterAction, offers his advice. Then, Rolando Lavarro, Jersey City Council President and Filipino-American, discusses the response from the local community and relief efforts in our area.

Resources and Links to Help Right Now


Rolando Lavarro and Julien Schopp

Comments [4]

RJ from prospect hts

There is a terrible irony connected with the US sending aid to the Philippines during this tragedy. For the last ~30 years, the US has had a desperate deficiency in nurses, approaching 130,000 in 2005 (, when Pres. GW Bush resumed a targeted hiring program. Our failure to improve nurses' working conditions in the US--low pay, long hours, understaffing (making the patient burden often overwhelming), disrespect, among others, has caused the deficiency to only grow. So medical facilities have recruited nurses from around the world, with the Philippines being one of the primary sources, since the US annexation of the Philippines between 1899 and 1946 (when it became an independent commonwealth) resulted in many if not most Filipinos becoming fluent in English. They have a highly literate and well-trained medical community. But the nurses are often paid significantly less in the Philippines than even the low wages in the US (which are good wages in Filipino currency), so many find it financially imperative to leave their families and communities behind and come to work in the US.

Wouldn't it be remarkable if both Filipino and American nurses were valued enough that the former could remain home and be close to where the need is now direst and the latter were valued enough that the need could be more readily filled by some of the millions of unemployed we have. Here, because of the length of the deficiency crisis, there are insufficient experienced nurses to both provide care and teach the massive numbers we need, and so even were the funds provided yesterday it would take years to fill the need.

How horribly, terribly sad for the people in both countries..

Nov. 18 2013 12:01 PM
Miguel from Brooklyn

I'd like to mention a fantastic disaster relief veteran service organization making great efforts in the Philippines called Team Rubicon. We had a team land in the Philippines on Monday to provide immediate help to those in need by bringing medical personnel and military veterans with the skills to do most help (surgeons, combat medics) . They are also coordinating with Philippine army, US state dept and US marine corps to send teams to help out and assess situations in the most remote regions. Last year in the aftermath of sandy, Team Rubicon supported efforts in the Rockaways, Staten Island and the Jersey Shore. Currently, in addition to the Philippines, there are teams addressing the Texas flooding and Midwest tornados. If you would like to donate or get involved directly as a volunteer please go on their website:

Nov. 18 2013 11:38 AM
Break some news, man

Al Quaida's presence

is fully established and in power in parts of Philippines, according to the US government along with other sources. How is their political power being flexed, challenged or otherwise effected? This is a great opportunity for them, presumably, to expand, since they can attract new recruits simply by giving food and money.

Nov. 18 2013 11:07 AM
Amy from Manhattan

1. How do you check an NGO's track record? What resources are there to find out how well they carry out their purposes & how they spend their donated funds?

2. NYC recently lost a lawsuit about their failure to give adequate help to people w/disabilities during Hurricane Irene. How well are people w/disabilities being helped in the Philippines?

Nov. 18 2013 11:02 AM

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