Canadian forces deliver food to 2,000 isolated children in Philippines

"Action Against Hunger" delivers food aid to 2,000 isolated children in Panay Island, Philippines, with help from Canadian Armed Forces, on Thursday November 28, 2013. CNW Group/Action Against Hunger

TORONTO – Nearly 2,000 children and more than 200 pregnant or lactating women isolated in the centre of Panay Island in the Philippines received food aid relief Thursday.

Through the use of the Canadian Armed Forces’ helicopter, the humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger (ACF) delivered 5.8 tonnes of high-protein biscuits to six areas in the centre of the island, where no NGO had been able to reach since Typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippines earlier this month.

“I thought that with a little luck, there would be something for us,” said Panay Island resident Elisabeth Bardero, who walked for more than two hours with her six-month old daughter Aisa to attend the food distribution.

“We eat mostly rice, because we have nothing else,” said Bardero, whose home was destroyed by the typhoon. “Two of my children are sick at the moment: they have the flu because of the conditions we live in.”

Story continues below advertisement
“An Action Against Hunger” nutrition expert measures children for malnutrition in disaster-struck Panay Island, Philippines on Thursday November 28, 2013. (Photo credit: CNW Group/Action Against Hunger). CNW Group/Action Against Hunger

Panay Island has become a focal point of Canada’s relief efforts after a powerful tropical storm killed more than 5,000 people, left millions homeless and destroyed hundreds of towns and cities in early November.

Roxas City, one of the hardest-hit areas in the country, is located on Panay.

“These extremely isolated communities were struggling even before the typhoon hit,” said  ACF logistician Charlotte Schneider in a press release. “We could never have reached these desperate people without the use of the Canadian Armed Forces’ helicopter.”

Children wave goodbye to the Canadian Armed Forces helicopter that delivered food aid as part of Action Against Hunger’s Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts Thursday November 28, 2013 in Panay Island, Philippines. (Photo credit: CNW Group/Action Against Hunger). CNW Group/Action Against Hunger (AAH)

On Wednesday, the federal government announced it would extend the deadline for matching donations for Philippine typhoon relief by two weeks to December 23.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Philippine relief donation deadline extended

Canada’s military’s Disaster Assistant Response Team (DART) is continuing to provide clean drinking water and clear roads on the island of Panay.

VIDEO: Victims of Typhoon Haiyan get clean water. Stuart Greer reports.

On Nov. 19, a much-anticipated water purification unit from Canada arrived to the village of Cabugcabug in the Philippines. The ROWPU – or Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit – can turn even the filthiest and most contaminated water into a safe and clean drinking source.

READ MORE: Water-purification unit from Canada arrives in typhoon ravaged village

Canadian helicopters are scouting isolated, outlying islands to assess the relief effort needed.

– with files from The Canadian Press

Story continues below advertisement

Sponsored content