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NGO helps towns ignored on Leyte

Chunichi Shimbun

International Children’s Action Network, a nonprofit organization based in Nagoya, is providing aid to Leyte Island after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the central Philippines on Nov. 8.

ICAN staff there told the NPO’s headquarters in Naka Ward via email that there are heavily damaged towns that haven’t received any relief aid yet that are being ignored by the Japanese media.

The NPO has provided educational support in the Philippines for almost 20 years. In the wake of the typhoon, it sent three staff members to Leyte. They have not been able to reach the island’s largest city, Tacloban, because the streets have been closed to crack down on looting and shooting incidents.

According to ICAN, while the death toll is relatively small, most of the houses in the towns between southern Leyte and Tacloban, such as Dulag and Tolosa, have been destroyed, along with their communications systems.

The situation has worsened in these areas because NGOs and media outlets aren’t reporting on them and the world at large remains unaware of their plight.

ICAN has been distributing enough relief aid to help 3,000 people in these neglected areas, including water, canned food, soap and mosquito coils to prevent the spread of dengue fever. They also set up a base in a town on northern Mindanao Island, which is to the south of Leyte, and visit Dulag once every few days to deliver aid.

“There are many areas that have not received any aid and I want to lend a hand in those places as much as possible,” said Aya Yoshida, 29, who deployed from ICAN’s headquarters.

The NPO is collecting donations to help typhoon victims. For details, call 052-253-7299.

This section, appearing Saturdays, features topics and issues from the Chubu region covered by the Chunichi Shimbun. The original article was published Nov. 15.