Barnabas Fund is today launching an emergency appeal to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which has left the Philippines in a state of "national calamity".
Up to 10,000 people are feared to have been killed as one of the most powerful storms on record to make landfall raged across the central Philippines on Friday (8 November), leaving a trail of almost total devastation in its wake as entire villages were swept away. The area is inhabited mostly by Christians who are extremely poor.
According to the UN, more than 11 million people are believed to have been affected by the disaster and 673,000 displaced. Survivors are in desperate need of water, food and emergency shelter.
People sought refuge in schools, churches and government buildings, but many of these were unable to withstand the winds, which reached 170mph (275km/h), and waves of up to 15m (45ft). Around 70-80% of the houses and structures along the typhoon's path were destroyed in scenes reminiscent of the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004.
Barnabas Fund is working through churches and Christian organisations in the Philippines to help people whose lives have been ravaged by this disaster.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said:
"It has been absolutely heart-rending seeing the scenes of devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have lost loved ones and homes and find themselves in a desperate plight. Most of those affected are Christians, so please give if you are able to help our brothers and sisters at this most desperate of times."
Note: The mission of the Barnabas Fund is to support Christians where they are in a minority and suffer discrimination, oppression and persecution as a consequence of their faith. Their goal is to strengthen Christian individuals, churches and their communities by providing material and spiritual support in response to needs identified by local Christian leaders.