Obama Calls on Americans to Help Relief Efforts in Philippines, Highlights InterAction List

President Barack Obama is encouraging Americans to support relief efforts to help families and communities in the Philippines, underscoring that  “our support is rooted in the American people who, time and again, have stepped up and helped those in need around the world.”

InterAction’s list of members who are responding to the crisis is a featured link on a newly-created White House site to make it easier for Americans to select effective organizations for their charitable gift. 

“Today, I encourage Americans who want to help our Filipino friends to visit whitehouse.gov/typhoon, which offers links to organizations working in the Philippines and ways to support their efforts,” Obama said November 13 in a written statement. “With so many families and communities in the Philippines in urgent need of food, water, shelter and medicine, even small contributions can make a big difference and help save lives.”

 According to the latest reports, nearly 12 million people across nine regions have been affected by the devastating tsunami-like typhoon. Nearly one million people have been displaced; homes and livelihoods destroyed. The death toll continues to rise, with reported deaths at 4,460. Children have been separated from family members.

“We are proud that President Obama has put his faith in InterAction and its members. Our members responding to this massive relief effort have decades of on-the-ground experience, and are working with local partners and each other to reach the families and communities in need,” said Samuel A. Worthington, InterAction president and CEO. “Aid is getting in, as humanitarian workers continue to battle the enormous logistical challenge of debris and destruction making access difficult. The scale of the storm and geography of the island nation further complicate relief efforts.” 

Worthington said monetary donations are best because they are the most adaptable in this first relief phase. Rebuilding from a storm like this will take years, he added.

Read Obama’s full written statement, and listen to his November 14 address below.