Philippines Caritas has launched an appeal for over $115,000 in assistance after Typhoon Vinta hit the island nation just before Christmas.
The storm, also called Typhoon Tembin, hit the southern Mindanao region of the country, and is responsible for at least 257 deaths.
Father Edwin A. Gariguez, the executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, said the initial appeal will help at least 3,000 families affected by the storm.
“We enjoin everyone to support the Church’s online solidarity campaign to gather additional funds for the relief and early recovery efforts,” Gariguez said.
“This is very unfortunate especially that we are still rising from the heavy damage brought about by the Marawi siege. But Filipinos are resilient and generous … We will be able to stand strong against these challenges,” said Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona, the agency’s national director.
The five-month conflict in Marawi, located on the island of Mindanao, began when militants associated with the Islamic State attacked parts of the city in May.
The battle finally ended in late October, although the region remains under martial law.
The typhoon has impacted recovery efforts in the area, which was already affected when Tropical Storm Urduja – also known as Tropical Storm Kai-tak – hit just north of the region two weeks earlier.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila, has urged the people of the country to come to the aid of their fellow citizens.
“It is only right that we become channels of goodness for our brothers who lost their loved ones, homes and livelihood,” the cardinal said on Radio Caritas.
Caritas Manila has already given over $30,000 to help local parishes in the regions of the country affected by the storm.
Pope Francis offered his prayers for the victims of the typhoon during his Sunday Angelus on Dec. 24.
“I want to assure the population of the island of Mindanao, in the Philippines, of my prayer,” Francis said. “It’s been hit by a storm that’s caused numerous victims and destruction.”
“May the merciful God welcome the souls of the dead, and comfort all those suffering because of this calamity,” he said.
The pontiff also asked for silent prayer for the Filipino victims.