2013 was an inspiring year. In this blog series, the 12 Days of Opportunity, we are celebrating the accomplishments made possible by our caring and generous community of partners and supporters. Because of you, our clients are working their way out of poverty, strengthening their families and building vibrant communities in 22 countries around the world.
In November, Typhoon Haiyan – one of the worst tropical storms on record – hit the Philippines. The typhoon devastated the island nation, destroying homes and businesses, and affecting more than 13 million people, including five million children, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. An estimated 4,000 lives were lost and nearly 4.5 million were displaced. The typhoon also took houses, businesses and loved ones away from thousands of Opportunity clients.
It’s an unimaginably difficult situation for survivors – but Opportunity International is there to help. Microfinance can play a significant role in rebuilding the island nation, by delivering financial support to the most vulnerable. Opportunity immediately created the Philippines Rebuilding Fund to ensure that the individuals and families affected have the financial assistance to recover.
While aid organizations must continue to provide lifesaving services now, we must also think about where survivors will be one year, two years, and five years from now. This fund will give survivors the support they need to reconstruct their homes, restart their businesses and restore their livelihoods. It will provide resources for long-term efforts, including emergency loans and assistance to local partners that help communities regain their economic health. Opportunity has worked in the Philippines since 1981, so we’ll be there assisting recovery every step of the way.
Learn more about the Opportunity Philippines Rebuilding Fund in this MSNBC article from December 24, 2013.