By Elisabeth Anderson Rapport
The world’s most famous pop singer believes in the power of social impact, and he’s just shown it with a surprise visit to meet Typhoon Haiyan survivors in Tacloban, the Philippines. Bieber met with children and families at San Jose Elementary School in Tacloban last Tuesday, listening intently to their stories of strength and resilience in the face of catastrophe.
Bieber also saw humanitarian programs run by Action Against Hunger. He visited our water and sanitation programs, engaged with local community members, played basketball with our employees and beneficiaries, and performed an acoustic music show.
A Million Dollar Fundraiser
The visit came on the heels of an announcement last week that Bieber was launching a special campaign on celebrity fundraising platform Prizeo.com to raise $1 million for Typhoon Haiyan relief, supporting on-the-ground efforts by Action Against Hunger, UNICEF, and the Philam Foundation. Donors of $10 or more are eligible for exclusive rewards, such as signed lyric sheets, as well as as one grand prize winner who will win a trip for two to meet Bieber in his recording studio in early 2014. Learn more about the campaign at www.prizeo.com/justin.
“The work that Action Against Hunger, UNICEF, and the Philam Foundation are involved with in the Philippines is incredible, and I’m really excited to be working alongside them, and I know my fans will be too when they see what amazing things we will be doing together to help all the families that have been so badly affected by the recent situation.”
A Pop Star Philanthropist
Bieber is proud to use his stature and visibility to affect positive change. “When I saw what happened in the Philippines, I was shocked—the destruction was devastating and I wanted to do whatever I could to help,” he said. “I always can count on my fans, so I started planning a way for us to make a big impact to help our friends in the Philippines together.”
“The work that Action Against Hunger, UNICEF, and the Philam Foundation are involved with in the Philippines is incredible,” he continued, “and I’m really excited to be working alongside them, and I know my fans will be too when they see what amazing things we will be doing together to help all the families that have been so badly affected by the recent situation.”
Helping a Country Rebuild
An estimated 13.2 million people have been affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan, and 3.5 million are now displaced from their homes. This category-five typhoon struck on the morning of November 8 and is possibly the strongest storm ever recorded in the region.
As of December 5th, Action Against Hunger has provided over 650,000 Typhoon Haiyan survivors with more than 175 tons of emergency support across the Philippines. To date, our teams have:
- Distributed 9,300 gallons of water;
- Built 150 latrines;
- Constructed 3 water treatment stations;
- Provided hygiene kits for 600 households;
- Provided water treatment kits for 900 households;
- Distributed food rations for 9,500 households;
- Provided 1,650 non-food emergency material kits (e.g. blankets, cooking supplies); and
- Provided supplemental nutritional rations for 1,800 households