x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

In their hour of need

We should all consider doing our part to help victims of the Philippines' latest natural disaster.

The Philippines is still suffering its worst weather-related catastrophe of this year. Typhoon Bopha, which made landfall in the south of the country a week ago, has mostly abated, but the tragedy continues as storm-affected residents try to return to their lives.

Many families have been left without food or shelter, and the death toll has risen to at least 600, with hundreds of others still missing. On Monday, the United Nations launched a $65 million (Dh238.7 million) global appeal for aid to help survivors - as in past disasters, the UAE's strong Filipino community has turned out in support of its compatriots.

As is always the case with natural disasters on this scale, the crisis can worsen in the aftermath. With nearly 400,000 people having lost their homes, there are urgent public-health issues that need to be dealt with, not to mention the necessity of short-term aid in the form of funds, food and shelter.

The UAE is the second-largest labour destination for Filipino workers, and more than 600,000 Filipinos live here. There are close ties between the two countries, which mean that South-east Asia natural disasters can have a special relevance here. For family and friends who have been affected, we all should consider doing our part.