An emergency fundraising drive to help flood-ravaged communities in the crisis-hit Philippines has been launched in Dubai, according to an article published in Dubai daily 7Days today.
Chairman of the Filipino Community Organisation in Dubai, Robert Ramos, is urging people to dig deep and send financial support to the aid mission in Manila.
He said: "The victims, really need help. People have lost everything. Two days ago the priority was to rescue people from the water. Now it is to supply food, shelter and medical supplies. There is almost no infrastructure left. We never expected anything like this."
The death toll in the country's worst flooding for 40 years rose to 140 yesterday with an estimated 450,000 people displaced. Capital Manila and
25 neighbouring provinces have been the worst hit by Tropical Storm Ketsana, which also battered the island of Luzon at the weekend.
There are 70 Filipino groups across the UAE who Ramos hopes will back the campaign but his group welcomes anyone who can help to come forward.
"We are not just appealing to the Filipino community, we would urge anyone to help us," he said, adding that his organisation is collating the
UAE cash and will send it to accredited government aid agencies in the Philippines.
An estimated 300,000 Filipino expatriates live in the UAE.
Nerry Toledo, who lives in Dubai, has nine siblings and 19 nieces and nephews living in Manila. She has managed to contact her brother Junior and says many of her relatives have lost everything.
"They are all okay thankfully," she said.
"But the ground floor of my brother's house is full of water waist deep and we have lost many things. "It's going to take a lot of time for people to recover. And now we are worried about disease.
"Even the hospitals are under water. There some people still living on the roofs and there is no electricity."
If you want to donate to the appeal in the UAE please call 800 227 226 for more information