Friday, November 15, 2013

In the news from YSA America and WFP

How To Help Phillipines Super Typhoon Haiyan Survivors

As with any natural disaster, the fastest and most effective way for young people (or anyone) to help is through philanthropy projects to provide support to organizations working in affected areas. You can find information about how to help at YSA especially recommends our Global Youth Service Network partners, GlobalGiving's Super Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund and ShelterBox.  

Philippines: Food is arriving

Casady YAC,

As you know, Super Typhoon Haiyan rocked the infrastructure of the Philippines and left millions in need of food assistance. I want you to know that food is arriving. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has already begun distributing food to people whose lives were swept away by the strongest storm ever to make landfall, less than a month after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit the same region.

WFP is among the first on the ground when disasters strike and serves as the logistics arm of the United Nations, responsible for coordinating efforts between humanitarian organizations. Never is this role more important than after a disaster like this. While the scale of this disaster is still emerging, early estimates suggest the storm has affected more than 11 million people in the Philippines. WFP raced into action and is actively working to supply food to those in need.
So what is WFP doing to help?

Feeding Families
In the early stages of an emergency, when people have lost everything and have no access to food, clean water or electricity, WFP distributes High-Energy Biscuits as one of the first sources of food. WFP prepares for potential disasters by pre-positioning relief materials around the world in what are called “Humanitarian Response Depots,” allowing for a fast response in an emergency. WFP has already flown in 44 metric tons of High-Energy Biscuits and more food arrives daily.
n Wednesday alone, WFP distributed family packs to 49,000 people affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan. Each family pack contains rice, purchased locally by WFP, and canned goods.  In addition, WFP has delivered 44 metric tons of High-Energy Biscuits, packed with 450 calories of nutrients to prevent starvation. Because they are light, compact and pre-packaged, they are sanitary, easy to transport, and don’t require cooking.

WFP has a difficult job ahead; movement throughout the Philippines is impaired by closed roads and security concerns. To get food into the hands of as many hungry people as possible as quickly as possible, roads must be cleared of the massive debris and infrastructure must be restored so relief can reach the hardest-hit communities.
With a catastrophe of this scope, only combined and coordinated efforts will bring the needed relief. Right now, WFP is working around the clock with the national government, local authorities and NGO partners.

Overcoming Logistical Challenges
To that end, in addition to distributing food, WFP coordinates both the logistics and emergency telecommunications efforts of the humanitarian community.
WFP logistics and communications equipment has already begun arriving in the Philippines from WFP’s stores in Malaysia. WFP has deployed IT experts who are now on the ground in Cebu and Tacloban, working to establish connectivity to aid workers. WFP is also transporting in infrastructure including prefabricated offices, mobile storage units, generators and radio equipment, vital to emergency relief because it allows the government and humanitarian community to coordinate and organize response efforts.

Going Forward
Based on an assessment of needs and the capability of all partners involved, WFP plans to implement general food distribution, emergency food-for-assets, and emergency cash-for-assets activities for 2.5 million people over the next six months. Activities like these are not possible without the support of people like you.
We will not relent in our efforts to provide food to hungry people and greatly appreciate your support and commitment. I will keep you apprised of the evolving circumstances in the Philippines.
For more on the situation in the Philippines, please visit  If you’d like to learn how you can help, please visit
Thank you for everything you do,

Richard Leach

President and CEO
World Food Program USA

Donations for the United Nations World Food Program at;jsessionid=B43ADBC3978722CC926AD6F83F892082.app262a?df_id=2141&2141.donation=form1&utm_source=Philippines%20Situation%20Update&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Situation%20Update%20Email 


MLK Day of Service - January 20

It's time to start planning for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service!  View the video of the first 2014 MLK Day webinar - "Public/Private Partnerships that Increase Economic Opportunities for Communities" - and register for upcoming webinars on topics including "Communications and Marketing" and "Volunteer Recruitment & Retention (with a focus on veterans and military families)" at   On the website, you'll also find toolkits to help you plan, the opportunity to register or find projects, promotional resources, and information about how to order MLK Drum Majors for Service awards to recognize your volunteers.