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Portland’s Mercy Corps is sending a team of emergency responders to the Philippines to help in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

The team includes experts in water, sanitation and logistics. It will go into areas of the country devastated by Haiyan.

“Based on our initial conversations with the United Nations and other colleagues on the ground, we anticipate the most pressing needs to be clean water, sanitation, temporary shelter and food,” says Michael Bowers, Mercy Corps senior director of strategic response and global emergencies. “Mercy Corps has years of experience helping low-income communities in the Philippines. We know that the storm has devastated some of the country’s most vulnerable people.”

According to the UN, an estimated 9.5 million people have been affected by the storm, with the death toll that could reach an estimated 10,000 people.

“Our experience in these situations is that while we’re working to meet immediate humanitarian needs, it’s critical we look immediately for ways to start the recovery and reconstruction process,” says Bowers.

Mercy Corps has responded to almost every global emergency in the past 20 years, including the Japan earthquake and tsunami (2011), Horn of Africa drought and hunger crisis (2010) and Kashmir earthquake (2005). Mercy Corps was also one of the first responders to the Indian Ocean tsunami (2004) and Haiti earthquake (2010).

To donate to the relief effort, go to www.mercycorps.org/typhoon.

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