Caritas in Philippines Launches Typhoon Odette Recovery

Effort to Help Families Rebuild Their Houses and Livelihoods

Typhoon Odette Recovery
Young volunteers of the Diocese of Tagbilaran help pack relief goods for Typhoon Odette victims in Bohol province on Dec. 29, 2021. COURTESY OF THE DIOCESE OF TAGBILARAN

Caritas in the Philippines is launching Typhoon Odette Recovery according to CBCP News.

The Philippine Catholic Church’s humanitarian arm said it will soon begin its recovery initiative, pledging to help families severely affected by Odette, especially those in the “peripheries”.

While Caritas Philippines will continue distributing relief aid, its head Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo said they are trying their best to support affected families rebuild their houses and livelihoods.

“In the coming weeks, we will start rebuilding houses, providing emergency livelihood assistance and other priority needs,” Bagaforo said.

He encouraged the faithful to continue the “alay kapwa” (offering of oneself to others) to help those in the fringes of society.

“This our Caritas promise,” the bishop assured.

As of Jan. 3, the national Caritas has received at least P39.9 million cash donations from private individuals, dioceses, companies, and its partners from the Caritas network.

The agency has served more than 41,900 families with food packs, water, and other emergency assistance as of Dec. 31 last year.

According to its initial assessment, the typhoon-affected around 1.1 million families and displaced more than 452,000 people.

The disaster, it added, also destroyed more than half a million houses in at least 38 provinces.

Archbishop Charles Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, spent his Christmas in Siargao Island with the survivors of the typhoon.

Pope Francis on December 19 expressed his closeness to the people of the Philippines, recovering from this week’s “super typhoon” Odette that left dozens dead, vast destruction, and more than 200 towns without electricity. More than 300,000 people were forced to flee their homes and beachfront resorts.

“I express my closeness to the people of the Philippines affected by a strong typhoon, which has destroyed many homes. May the Santo Niño bring consolation and hope to the families most in need; and may he inspire practical help in all of us! The first genuine help is prayer,” the Holy Father said.

Speaking after the Sunday Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope turned his thoughts to Filipinos struck by Typhoon Odette the strongest typhoon to batter the country this year. The death toll from the flooding, landslides, and collapsing trees caused by the typhoon, currently stands at 146, but scores of people are still missing.