Bringing relief to Typhoon Haiyan survivors

Bringing relief to Typhoon Haiyan survivors

In partnership with Mercy Corps and Planet Water Foundation, Xylem recently announced it is providing safe water and sanitation solutions to support survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

“We are deeply saddened by the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan,” says Steve Loranger, chief executive officer and president of Xylem. “In the wake of such catastrophic damage, water and sanitation are often among the greatest needs, and so we are proud to partner with Mercy Corps and Planet Water Foundation to support critical efforts on the ground in the Philippines.”

This collaborative response is part of Xylem Watermark, the company’s corporate citizenship and social investment program which aims to provide and protect clean water sources around the world – for those impacted by water scarcity or are at risk due to water-related disasters such as hurricanes, floods and droughts. Since 2008, Xylem Watermark has worked specifically with Mercy Corps to provide lifesaving water before, during and after emergencies, and since 2012, has partnered with Planet Water Foundation to provide innovative, gravity-fed water filtration systems (AquaTowers) to communities in need.

In preparation for Typhoon Haiyan’s landfall in the Philippines, Xylem Watermark and Mercy Corps activated their joint 24-hour response protocol, designed to mobilize each partner’s global resources to quickly secure water for victims. Xylem Watermark immediately authorized US $100,000 from its emergency response fund to support Mercy Corps with on-the-ground efforts in and around Cebu.

The partners are now working rapidly to assess damages, mobilize response teams, source basic needs such as food and other essential items, and will work to provide water and sanitation to displaced individuals as quickly as possible. Xylem also announced the company will double match all employee donations to Mercy Corps, up to US $50,000, to support Philippines relief efforts.

In addition, Xylem Watermark and Planet Water Foundation will construct two AquaTowers in the affected Tacloban region to support survivors and their families in the weeks, months and years ahead. These AquaTowers can be constructed in one day, can provide clean water for more than 1,000 people daily, and can be maintained exclusively by local communities.

“With some of Planet Water’s existing installations providing safe water within evacuation centers, the additional AquaTowers funded by Xylem will further support the critical need for safe drinking water benefiting thousands of displaced residents,” says Nick Hill, executive chairman of Planet Water Foundation.

Mercy Corps, with a long and impactful history of critical emergency response in some of the world’s toughest places, immediately recognized the magnitude of devastation by Typhoon Haiyan. “It is an unfortunate truth that we continue to see events like Typhoon Haiyan in greater numbers, and with increasing intensity, all around the world,” says Neal Keny-Guyer, chief executive officer of Mercy Corps. “By leveraging our expertise in collaboration with support from organizations like Xylem, we are able to rapidly, holistically and meaningfully respond to the needs of survivors – making them and their communities even more resilient and more prepared for what is next.”

op Simon