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CONNECT THE WORLD
Special Coverage Of Super Typhoon Haiyan; How Can You Be Sure Your Donation Is Going To The Right Places?; U.S. Congress Debates New Round Of Sanctions For Iran
Aired November 12, 2013 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MAX FOSTER, HOST: Tonight, survival after the deluge: as the Philippines struggles to get back on its feet days after the deadly assault by Super Typhoon Haiyan, we explore the challenges ahead for recovery efforts in the hardest hit areas.
Also ahead, I'll speak to the Philippine delegate whose emotional plea for action became the focus of a global conference on climate change.
And find out what sort of aid typhoon survivors need the most now and why.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World.
FOSTER: Four days on and the extent of the Typhoon Haiyan's destruction is beginning to show itself.
The once vibrant coastal city of Tacloban in the country's east bore the brunt of the storm and has now been flattened to rubble as have many other parts of the country.
But Haiyan made landfall on six Philippine islands last Friday. And the extensive damage overall remains to be scene.
The overall death toll currently stands at 1,774. And Philippine president has told CNN that estimates of 10,000 dead aren't accurate. But the government is still awaiting contact with 29 other provinces.
Meanwhile, thousands are injured, nearly a million displaced, all of them in desperate need of aid.
CNN has reporters across the Philippines: Anderson Cooper, Nick Paton Walsh, Andrew Stevens and Paula Hancocks are all in Tacloban, the city at the heart of the storm. Kristie Lu Stout is following developments from Manila where the government is coordinating aid efforts. And Ivan Watson and Anna Coren are in Cebu where the drive is on to get help to where it's needed.
We'll speak to Ivan in just a moment on the enormous aid effort getting underway, but first I want to take you to the city of Tacloban where bodies lie in the streets. And as our Andrew Stevens reports, the scenes there can only be described as tragic.
STEVENS (voice-over): More misery on the ground, as some relief efforts are halted overnight when yet another storm hit the devastated city of Tacloban. The strongest typhoon on record struck days ago, leaving behind a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented scope.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am the only survivor of the family. I want to know if they are still alive.
STEVENS: From the sky, miles of destruction as far as the eye can see while on the ground rows of lifeless bodies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Only ones missing is my eldest daughter. I hope she's alive.
STEVENS: Pews of a church chapel now filled with the dead. Inside a mother weeps over the lost of her son.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've experienced a lot of typhoon but this is the worst.
STEVENS: The living covered their noses and mouths because the stench is unbearable. As they search for their loved ones, a young student cries for her mother. I'm still here in Tacloban, she says, and I'm still alive. Hundreds of thousands are now fighting for survival.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I must go out of this city.
STEVENS: The few hospitals still functioning are overwhelmed, leaving the injured with nowhere to go.
JOSE L. CUASIA JR., PHILIPPINE AMBASSADOR: The president of the Philippines has declared a state of national calamity.
STEVENS: In need of food and water, residents write signs of inspiration in hope that someone will see.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't have enough water, even though we are not sure it is clean and safe, we still drink it because we need to survive.
STEVENS: The warden of this local city jail says they ran out of food. The inmates threatened a mass breakout as one stands on the roof of the prison ready to jump. Haiyan victims dangerously take gas as transportation out of the destruction is vital for their survival. Thousands uncertain of when aid will reach them.
FOSTER: Andrew Stevens there in the devastated city of Tacloban.
Let's cross to Ivan Watson now who is on the ground in Cebu, the logistical hub of the aid operations. Ivan, this is the big question of course there are huge logistical challenges, but why is it taking so long for the aid to get through.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I don't have an easy answer for that. I can show you what we're looking at right now. It's shortly after 4:00 am as you can see the sun has not risen yet. And here we can see that the airbase that we're at is slowly coming to life with air force personnel staging pallets of assistance food aid for the waiting C-130 transport plane that during daylight hours, one of three that's been ferrying assistance to that broken city of Tacloban.
But very strangely, two hours ago, around 2:00 am local time, we saw about 20 young men and women show up here with their own truckload of food, donations that they had scraped together themselves that they were hoping the air force would ship to their towns in eastern Samar Island next to Guiuan.
And we learned from these young men and women that most of them have not been able to speak with their families, with their parents, even, since the super typhoon struck last Friday. One was fortunate enough to be reunited with his parents. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Luckily today the airport was opened for the military C-130 planes. And fortunately my parents were one of the lucky people who were able to board the plane and when I first saw them late this afternoon it was just so -- I was just so happy that I -- we just all broke down in tears.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: That young man had a beautiful moment reuniting with his family. But again most of the young men and women had not had any communication, Max, if you can imagine that, after these scenes of destruction with any of their loved ones in eastern Samar. And all they could think to do was to try to gather food to send to that stricken part of the country -- Max.
FOSTER: Is it your sense that all of the aid efforts coming in from around the world -- and from what I can see there seems to be a great response -- they are being coordinated effectively once they reach the Philippines?
WATSON: Very hard to tell from my vantage point. There's a Belgian aid organization here with some supplies, water purification sets that they want to send, have a difficult time doing that. But that's part of the problem with these national -- natural disasters as everybody wants to help. And somebody needs to be in charge of distributing the assistance out to the places. You can just send piecemeal these various supplies, somebody has to be in charge and that is currently in the hands of the Philippines government.
But it's very clear from this vantage point, Max, that there's very little lift power. The Philippines air force only has three -- three of these transport planes operating, ferrying only during daylight hours, between dawn and dusk because there are no lights at the main airstrip in Tacloban.
That is really limiting the amount of assistance that can go, though the Philippines navy is reportedly also trying to ship assistance to that area. And that can certainly be more efficient at bringing vast amounts of cargo.
But it does still seem like this is the very beginning of a logistical operation to try to feed and give water and some kind of shelter and medical care to hundreds of thousands of homeless people.
And on this base in a waiting room right nearby, civilians streaming in. I spoke with one man, he wants to be reunited in Tacloban, that stricken city Andrew Stevens reported from, with his wife and child who survived thankfully the typhoon, but now he wants to get them and bring them back here to safer intact city of Cebu. And he's waiting for a flight on one of these planes -- Max.
FOSTER: Ivan, thank you very much indeed.
Now the Philippines president spoke to CNN earlier today and explained why aid is only beginning to trickle through. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENIGNO AQUINO, PHILIPPINES PRESIDENT: Our system says that the local government unit has to take care for the initial response. Unfortunately - - for instance in the case of Tacloban, policemen there are signed, there are about 290 and only 20 of them were available when the disaster struck.
Employees of the city government have been also affected, have been tending to their own families and there have been very few who have been reporting for work.
Hence the national government had to not just augment what the local government could do, but actually replace a lot of the personnel with person from other regions to take care of government's vital functions.
What hampers the effort is that the typhoon wrecked havoc on the power lines and also the communications facilities, giving us immense difficulty in identifying needs and thereby dispatching the necessary relief supplies and various equipment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: The Philippine president. And you can see the extent of the devastation by going to CNN.com where we're compiling all the latest information as well as image galleries like this one showcasing Haiyan's destructive power.
And our correspondent goes on board a military relief plane in the Philippines to a town no one has been able to communicate with since the typhoon.
Plus, can you know where the money you donate to the relief aid to actually goes? That and much more when Connect the World continues.
FOSTER: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Max Foster. Welcome back to you.
Now it's been four days since that -- since what could be the strongest storm ever blazed through the Philippines, a township of Guiuan was the first place to be hit. CNN was the first on the ground to witness the devastation there.
Well, Anna Coren was on board a military aid flight into the town. The outside world hadn't heard from since the typhoon struck. She filed this exclusive report.
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the disaster relief operation shifts into overdrive, the roar of engines from C-130 Hercules fills the air.
We've been given permission to board this military cargo plane, carrying vital aid and dozens of soldiers and police to one of the worst- hit areas in the Philippines. As we fly over the township of Guiuan in Samar Province, all we can see is utter devastation. This community was the first to be hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan. Since then, there has been no communication.
Well, the plan is to conduct a search and rescue mission, these men know all too well they're likely facing a recovery operation.
(on camera): The police and military on this flight have enormous job ahead. We have just landed at the air field. And as you can see, all around us, these enormous palm trees have been snapped like twigs. Everything has been flattened.
You can see that the local people over here, standing under a shelter that its roof has been completely ripped off. They have been without supplies now for days. This typhoon hit this point first. This was the first town, really, that was devastated. And these soldiers, they have no idea what they're about to face.
(voice-over): As the troops unload bags of rice and boxes of bottled water, the locals desperately watch on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Food to eat, we want.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shortage of food, tents, everything. Everything's gone. So we need help.
COREN: Of the 50,000 people in this town, almost everyone is homeless. Dozens of people have lost their lives and many more are still missing.
CHRISTOPHER GONZALES, GUIUAN MAYOR: I don't know where to start. If you take a look at our municipality, it was totally hit, total damage, 100 percent damage.
COREN: With the aid off, the sick and injured are carried on board, some suffering spinal cord injuries. In less than 20 minutes, the engines start up again, ferrying these traumatized survivors to safety.
Anna Coren, CNN, Guiuan, the Philippines.
FOSTER: Governments and aid groups from around the world are giving assistance and monetary donations to the Philippines, but is there enough transparency to where relief funds actually go? Well, a paper by the Center for Global Development focuses on relief efforts in Haiti. Since the 2010 earthquake there, almost $6 billion has been given in aid.
The authors estimate that in 2013 between 200,000 and 400,000 people are still living in relief tents.
They say NGOs and private contractors were the immediate recipients of most of the funds and called for greater accountability for where money was raised and where it goes.
Vijaya Ramachandran is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and she joins us now live from our Washington bureau. Thank you so much for joining us.
I gather you've already got concerns about what's happening in the Philippines so early on.
VIJAYA RAMACHANDRAN, SENIOR FELLOW, CENTER FOR GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT: That's right. I mean, you know, we're concerned about the lack of coordination across the various donors. I mean, there's no doubt that at this time there's a great urgency to deliver food and water and health supplies and so on, but it's also very important that we know what each NGO and what each player is doing so that there isn't overlap and duplication and that we need to make sure everybody is served.
FOSTER: There's no time for that, though, is there. We've heard from people on the ground that actually it is a bit chaotic, but when you're talking about a lack of water you actually just do need to pile in to a certain extent without all the paperwork being cleared.
RAMACHANDRAN: I mean, it's not a question of paperwork. I think the issue really is, you know, can we know what each player is doing so we make sure that everybody gets clean water and food and health care.
What has happened in the past in Haiti and other places is that some populations have been served while others have been neglected. There is a case in Aceh, for example, where a girl was vaccinated for measles by three different NGOs, because each did not know what the other one was doing.
I think this is the issue that we want to avoid.
You know, we want to make sure that everybody knows in real-time what everybody else is doing. And there's some very simple online technologies by which NGOs can let each other know what they're doing, who they're serving, what provinces they're in, what towns they're in and we make sure that everybody has access to these emergency supplies.
FOSTER: Well, the Red Cross yesterday were telling us that actually there is a coordination effort. So all the aid organizations interested in water are liaising on that. But aren't you at risk of creating committees and meetings about the sort of technology that's even going to be used to coordinate things whilst, you know, the supplies are stuck at airports and not going out to people that need them.
I mean, this is desperate sort of balance of getting it right, isn't it? I mean, how do you balance it?
RAMACHANDRAN: It's a very good question. You know, there are very simple technologies already available that many NGOs are using. It's not as if they are not coordinating at all, some are in fact using these technologies -- for example, the UN's office of coordination of humanitarian affairs OCHA has something called a financial tracking system, the FTS, and it has issues an appeal this morning asking all players to, you know, use this system -- use this tracking system to enter information so we know what each other is doing, we know what's happening on the ground, the UN is able to track what's happening to make sure -- you know particularly people in smaller towns outside the main area of Tacloban are served.
So there are technologies already available. It doesn't actually require meetings, or committees or paper work or anything like that. All it requires is a -- you know, is going to a computer, using a very simple interface to enter some very basic information about what you're doing and where services are going.
From your past experience from other disaster, can you give our viewers some advice, because there are people who desperately want to sort of give some money. They want to make sure it's not going to be wasted. Who should they be giving their money to to make sure that it's put to best use?
RAMACHANDRAN: You know, I think there are different sources of information that one can go to, perhaps starting with the Red Cross where you can see what organizations are on the ground, you know, what kinds of services they're delivering, what their overheads are and so on, number of places where you can do that. I know in the UK you have some centralized sites where you can go and get this information. The same is true in the U.S. and some other countries.
I think there's no doubt that many of the non-governmental organizations that are on the ground are trying to do the best job that they can. The issue really is for them to step up and do some of the simple tracking so that we know, you know, how the money is spent and then we can make sure that it's spent well.
It's not so much a case of deliberate mismanagement or waste as it is a case of misplaced good intentions in many cases. You know, there's just such an urgency to this problem that it's perhaps simple to just avoid even going to a computer and entering what you're doing.
But if they can do that, it would help everybody in this relief effort. It would help the Philippine government, it would certainly help the victims of this terrible disaster. And in the long-term, it would make everything more efficient. So I ask, you know, all of your viewers, too, to think about these questions about transparency and accountability even as they are generously making contributions.
FOSTER: Vijaya Ramachandran, thank you very much indeed for joining us from Washington.
And do have a look at our webpage, CNN.com/impact. We have some links there for reputable aid organizations on the ground in the Philippines.
Live from London, this is Connect the World. Coming up...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIIFED MALE: The (inaudible) I care. We can fix this. We can stop this madness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: A Philippine delegate makes an emotional appeal for climate change. He'll be on the show to tell us more about his cause.
Plus, did the captain of the Costa Concordia jump ship? Our reporter in Rome asks that question.
FOSTER: You're watching Connect the World live from London. Welcome back. I'm Max Foster.
We'll return to our top story and the devastation left behind by Super Typhoon Haiyan in a moment, but first here's a look at some other stories we're following.
The watchdog group who now says Israel has authorized the building of more than 20,000 planning units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But an anonymous Israeli official says the decision by the housing ministry is bureaucratic and no tenders for housing have been issued.
A controversial move in Egypt to keep the peace and to prevent protesters from boiling over has been lifted now. The country is no longer under a state of emergency, that decree was put in place in July after the military ouster of President Mohamed Morsy.
Staying with Egypt, it has been ranked as the worst Arab state for women's rights. A new poll by Thomson Reuters Foundation found that genital mutilation in Egypt is endemic. And there's been a surge in sexual violence since the 2011 revolution.
Iraq was right behind Egypt. The survey found it's more dangerous for women now than it was under Saddam Hussein's rule.
And the third worst country on the list was Saudi Arabia.
And three Arab countries considered best for women's rights are Comoros, an island off the east coast of Africa followed by the Saltanage of Oman and Kuwait came in third place.
Monique Villa is the CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the group that conducted the poll. She says it's difficult for societies to change ingrained cultural issues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MONIQUE VILLAE, THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION CEO: Harassment, according to the UN now reaches 99 percent of women in Egypt. So this is very grim. In Iraq, you have 1.6 million widows, which can't find a job. And so in these countries when you cannot find a job it is very difficult to survive and to have your children surviving.
So when -- so all of these facts show how difficult a revolution is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: There's new testimony in the trial of the captain of the ill- fated Costa Concordia. A crew member testified that Francesco Schettino did not slip or fall into a life boat the night the ship capsized as he has claimed, rather he told the court that Schettino jumped into the lifeboat whilst passengers and crew remained on the sinking ship, declaring what have I done? Passengers are expected to testify next week.
China's ruling Communist Party has unveiled economic reform plans for the next decade. It comes after a key congress meeting known as the third plenum (ph) wrapped up in Beijing.
The Communist Party pledged to overhaul China's economy for better stability. Plans include allowing markets to play a decisive role in resource allocation. And the government also said markets will be more transparent and trade barriers will be removed.
A protest by garment workers in Bangladesh lead to clashes with police. The unrest prompted at least 100 garment factories to shut down near Dhaka today. The workers were demanding a wage hike to $100 per month instead of the rise to $67 proposed by government appointed panel.
After some initial optimism, the talks over Iran's nuclear program failed at the weekend. Now the blame game is firmly underway and the White House is warning U.S. lawmakers against imposing more sanctions.
So where will the negotiations pick up next time? Jim Sciutto reports.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORREPSONDENT: Secretary Kerry says an interim deal on Iran's nuclear program was extremely close. But in the end, the Iranians walked away.
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: There was unity. But Iran couldn't take it at that particular moment, they weren't able to accept that particular agreement.
SCIUTTO: That didn't sit well with his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Zarif who fired back a different version of events via Twitter, where he pointed the finger firmly at the West.
"Mr. Secretary, was it Iran that gutted over half of the U.S. draft Thursday night," he tweeted , "and publicly commented against it Friday morning?"
The missives came after signs this weekend of a split between the French and everyone else. The French insisting on more concessions from Iran. This is the latest attempt by Iran in the west to forge an agreement to get Iran to abandon its effort to build a nuclear bomb, something the Iranians have never admitted they're doing, while allowing Tehran, a peaceful nuclear program. For their part, the Iranians are motivated by desire to get out from economic sanctions that have crippled their economy. If there's no agreement, Iran in the west may be facing the prospect of war.
AARON DAVID MILLER, WOODROW WILSON CENTER: If you drift with sanctions and effort to diplomatically over the next several months, you'll lead to one basic conclusion, which is some sort of military strike.
SCIUTTO: Talks resume later this month, but this latest delay gives opponents such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu time to mobilize against any deal with Iran.
Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.
FOSTER: More on our top story and the devastation left by Haiyan ahead, including see how one aid company is thinking inside the box and getting help to thousands.
And an emotional appeal from the Philippines that the UN conference on climate change. We'll be live in Warsaw for more on what brought the country's delegates tears.
And as foreign aid floods into the devastated Philippines, we investigate the politics at play.
FOSTER: Almost five days after Typhoon Haiyan hit, the situation in the Philippines remains desperate. The coastal city of Tacloban remains in ruins, desperate for supplies of food and water, as bad weather and blocked roads of hampered efforts to deliver aid.
The United Nations says around 800,000 people have been displaced by the storm, and people are literally picking through the rubble for anything to help them survive, using debris as shelter.
The official death toll stands at 1,800, and while survivors wait for aid to reach them, they live among the pile of dead bodies scattered on the streets. Ivan Watson joins us now from Cebu, the logistical hub of the aid operations. Ivan?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Max. It's 4:30 AM and we're seeing now preparations for the first transport plane of the day to carry what appear to be troops and, perhaps, reinforcement police officers as well as some aid to the storm-stricken area.
Of course, the planes are not flying except from dawn to dusk because there are no lights at the main airport, what's left of the main airport, particularly in that broken city of Tacloban.
A very strange scene unfolded here at around 2:00 AM. A group of civilians, 20s -- in their -- 22, 23 years old, young men and women showed up here bringing some donated food for their hometowns on the island of Samar, and we spoke to them earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're representing the people of Eastern Samar, in particular, Guiuan, Eastern Samar. We're the first town where the typhoon land -- first struck. And after three days, it was isolated, no communication, no relief goods. It was only after three days that we saw pictures from area footage, and only then we realized how -- the severity of the damage our town acquired during the typhoon.
WATSON: And where did you get the food that you brought tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We asked friends.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We asked friends, families of our -- who are also from Eastern Samar. We created a Facebook page. We started it almost two days, just two days ago. And amazingly, we come up with a lot of food and we hope that we can deliver it to the province as soon as we can, because we know our families and friends there are probably -- doesn't have anything to eat up to now.
WATSON: And let me ask about your families. Have any of you been able to talk to your families in Eastern Samar?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think so. I have not spoken to any of them.
WATSON: Christian, it's been since Friday. It's five days later.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
WATSON: You have no idea about --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I have no -- I've heard news. Unclear news. Many different kinds of news, but then I have not spoken to them, I have not heard personally from then. That's why even up to now I'm very worried. I don't know what to do. I don't know how they are there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: The majority of these young men and women I talked to, more than 20 of them, have not had any communication, Max, with their families in a town that they believe -- they don't know for sure -- was destroyed by the typhoon.
And all that they could do is gather some food and hope that the Philippine air force would ship this to their destroyed towns. I don't know whether that is a scene that is heartwarming or a scene of desperation. Max?
FOSTER: Ivan, thank you very much, indeed, for bringing us that from Cebu. Now, governments around the world are offering to help the Philippines.
The United States has pledged $20 million. Thousands of sailors who are part of the USS George Washington strike group are on their way to the Philippines from Hong Kong. They're accompanied by cruisers, including the USS Antietam, seen here, and troops are already on the ground in hard-hit Tacloban.
Japanese medical experts have also started arriving in Tacloban. Japan's giving $10 million in aid, and dozens of other nations are sending help. The UK says it's donating around $16 million, and it's deployed a navy ship. The European Union has increased support to $17 million. Several EU nations are also sending search and rescue teams.
The United Nations has launched an urgent appeal for $300 million to help the victims of Haiyan. And China says it will give $100,000 towards relief efforts, along with another $100,000 through the Chinese Red Cross.
A pro-government English language newspaper says Beijing should donate more. The opinion piece in the "Global Times" says a twisted relationship between the two countries caused by maritime disputes is not the reason to block joint efforts to combat natural disaster.
Let's get more on the geopolitics at play in this relief effort. CNN's World Affairs reporter Elise Labott joins us from the US State Department. Certainly a lot of eyebrows raised about the Chinese donation, but do you think there is politics at play there?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN WORLD AFFAIRS REPORTER: Well, Max, it's never a good thing to talk about geopolitics at a time like this, but there are a lot of questions as to whether the worsening relationship between the Philippines and China is to blame for this.
Obviously, in 2004, when the tsunami happened, China gave a million dollars to those nations affected. And since then, their relationship with the Philippines has definitely worsened over the South China Sea incident, whereas you see the US and the Philippines have been growing in ties.
So, a lot of people think this is a missed opportunity for the Chinese. In all other areas of the region, they act like they want to be a global power, they want to be a regional power. And so some are questioning whether this is geopolitics at play.
Now, if you remember, again, during the tsunami, it was the US, it was Australia, India, Japan, who led the nations in aid, and that really helped relations in Southeast Asia over the last several years. So, there is -- when nations consider how much aid to give, certainly there is a geopolitical consideration there.
FOSTER: And you mention the US. And obviously, bearing a huge effort at helping the Philippines. But there's a long history between these two countries that people may not be aware of.
LABOTT: There is. There were definitely difficult relationships over the years. But you know that as President Obama came to power, he talked about this so-called pivot to Asia. There have been some questions about whether the president was serious in his actions towards that.
But earlier this year, the president was expected to take a trip there. He had to put that on hold several times. Secretary Kerry ended up going recently in his stead. There's been talk about a treaty between the US and the Philippines, more advanced military cooperation.
So, I think what the US is -- although the US is a very generous nation and does give to all -- in all issues of humanitarian crisis, even to countries that it has its foes, like Iran and Cuba. But right now, I think when it looks at such a robust commitment, it certainly is thinking about its stance in the region and how its growing relationship with the Philippines can be benefited by this.
FOSTER: Nothing's straightforward, is it? Elise, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. And it's not only countries giving aid. Many international companies are helping with the relief efforts.
The retailer Ikea has donated over $2.6 million to the children's charity UNICEF. The global banking giant HSBC and the telecoms giant Samsung have both offered $1 million in immediate assistance. And the NBA and NBA Players' Association have made $500,000 worth of donations, half to UNICEF, half to World Vision.
Companies are not only offering their money, either. FedEx is donating its transportation services to help move equipment and supplies to impacted areas. Air Asia is offering free flights to aid workers, and United Airlines is giving bonus miles to members who donate to Philippines relief efforts.
Live from London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. After this, after his country was devastated by a typhoon, a delegate from the Philippines says the world must take action on climate change.
And if good things come in small packages, then great things come in big, green ones. We'll unpack a box that's got the tools to save lives.
FOSTER: The devastation in the Philippines is a big talking point at the UN climate change talks, which are underway in Poland. A delegate from the Philippines says the typhoon's impact on his country has been colossal. Ralitsa Vassileva has more on his emotional plea.
NADEREV "YEB" SANO, PHILIPPINES DELEGATE TO THE UNITED NATIONS CLIMATE CONFERENCE: We can fix this. We can stop this madness. Right now, my delegation calls on you, most respectfully, to lead us and let Poland and Warsaw be remembered forever as the place where we truly cared to stop this madness.
RALITSA VASSILEVA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The passionate call for action from the Philippine delegate at the UN climate conference gets a standing ovation, causing Yeb Sano to break down in tears.
His country's disaster weighed heavily on the minds of delegates from more than 190 nations gathered in Warsaw to address climate change beyond 2020.
Though it's too early to know for sure if there was a direct link between Haiyan's destructive force and global warming, we know that typhoons feed off warm waters. And as the planet heats up, more powerful storms could result. Climate experts have warned urgent action is needed to stop such weather extremes from getting even worse.
But the deal on the table in Warsaw will not stop the rise in temperatures. These talks are about compensating countries that suffer the effects of climate change and can't afford to help themselves. Some of them, like the Philippines, that contribute relatively little to it.
VASSILEVA: Sano told protesters delegates must come to an agreement. But will they? Listen to Sano's call for action one year ago.
SANO: And let 2012 be remembered as the year the world found the courage to do so, to find the courage to take responsibility for the future we want. I ask -- of all of us here, if not us, then who?
VASSILEVA: No one heard him then. Will they do so now?
Ralitsa Vassileva, CNN, Atlanta.
FOSTER: Naderev Sano also says he's fasting as an act of solidarity with Filipinos who have little access to food and water right now. To tell us more, Mr. Sano joins us this evening from Warsaw. Thank you very much, indeed, for your time. And first of all, I know your family's from Tacloban. I hope they're OK. Have you had any news?
SANO: Yes, we have heard directly from my brother and that he is safe and has survived the ordeal, but is running very low on food if at all. We haven't heard from many of our relatives.
As you see, Tacloban City is just one of many towns on the eastern coastline of the province of Leyte. We have other highly-populated areas. Down south -- going south, the stretch of that beach. And we haven't heard from them. And that is agonizing for the family.
FOSTER: Our thoughts are with you. I know that you have indicated that you think this storm was because of global warming, because of the human impact on global warming. Do you think that's absolutely true?
SANO: It's very hard to attribute single weather events to directly to global warming. And that is not -- science has no way of doing that. But Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has probably been the strongest tropical storm in recorded history, especially ones that made landfall.
Now, Stephan Rahmstorf, the chair of the research done and systems analysis of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said that such storms have increased in the last few decades, and climate models suggest a further increase for the future.
And global warming aggravates the impacts of storms like Haiyan. Extreme rainfall, for instance, that comes along with tropical storms causes floods, landslides, and storm surges as we saw in Leyte, because evaporation rates and moisture content of the air increases in the warmer climate.
In addition to that, there are storm surges at the coast because the sea level has risen and data shows that at least about six inches of increases happened in the last 17 years. The highest sea level rise has happened in the waters just east of the Philippines. So, that might have been a contributor to this disaster.
FOSTER: There are those that suggest that you shouldn't be using a disaster like this to illustrate your argument, which isn't fully complete yet. But are you also saying that actually even if this wasn't caused by global warming, if it continues, we'll see more of this type of thing?
SANO: Yes. Haiyan has given us a picture that has become much more in focus. The IPCC report on extreme events and climate change highlighted the risks associated with changes in the patterns as well as frequency of extreme weather events. And it tells us simply that climate change will bring more intense tropical storms.
While the IPCC report tells us that the likelihood is only about 50 percent chance, I wouldn't bet my life on a more than 50 percent chance, and the precautionary principle tells us that you should not wait for full scientific certainty before doing something or taking action. How many lives do we want to lose, not just in the Philippines, but in communities that confront other climate impact.
Now, I fully understand where people are coming from when they say that a disaster like this should not be used to bolster our arguments in the climate change negotiations, but I would stress that disasters have become -- we have reached a point where disasters cannot be merely considered natural.
There are an intersection of factors other than physical, and I would say that the accumulation of data and also the accumulation of the constant reach of social, economic, and environmental thresholds, and unfortunately,
I'm afraid to say, that most of the time, disasters are a result of inequity, and the poorest people of the world are at greater risk because of higher vulnerability and decades of maldevelopment, which I also must assert is connected to the kind of pursuit of economic growth that has led to an outer climate system.
FOSTER: OK, Naderev Sano, we appreciate your time. Our thoughts are with your family, and we do hope you manage to get in touch with all of them very soon. Thank you for joining us.
Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, sending aid to the Philippines one box at a time. We'll take a look inside the containers that are making a real difference.
(BEGIN VIDEIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I'm just letting you know. Josie is gone. Please forgive me. I couldn't save her because we all got separated from each other when the strong waves hit. We got separated. I couldn't even hold on to my child. My wife's over there -- Josie is on the corner. Her body has been there three days.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I haven't found my father until now. There are six of them that couldn't be found. My child has been buried in that island. To the mother of my kids, who's currently living in Virginia, I know that you'll watch this. Justin and Ella are gone. They're both dead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Don't worry, Yong. All of your siblings and your mother and father are alive, except for three of -- one of my siblings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Brother, you know, Jonalyn last Saturday had a baby, by the grace of God. We haven't had much to eat. Father, if you are watching this, if you can, please, I'm begging you, I haven't had any to eat. There isn't any food, just all water.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Our house got demolished. My father died after being hit by falling wooden debris. We are calling for your help. If possible, please bring us food. We don't have anything to eat.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): There aren't any medicinal supplies coming for us over here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): There's no more food, even, and all of our kids are now getting sick. My son is asking for milk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Truly heart-wrenching scenes there. For charities on the ground, it's an uphill battle as they battle blocked roads and devastating damage done to the areas around all of the survivors that are there.
A UK organization, ShelterBox, is aiming to get essential supplies to 4,000 families, and it all starts in these green, sturdy boxes. Unlock the box and it's full of equipment. You name it, it's got it: tents, blankets, water, food, tools, all fitted neatly into one box. Everything's designed to provide some form of shelter, warmth, or safety, and it's adaptable to different disasters.
We're going to show you the ins and outs of these boxes now. Joining me is David Hatcher, a ShelterBox response team member who knows just how effective they can be in emergencies. And a lot of research has gone into what goes in, because every bit of space is pretty valuable.
DAVID HATCHER, SHELTERBOX RESPONSE TEAM MEMBER: Absolutely. And weight is a very key issue as well because of the transport costs of getting this to where it needs to be.
FOSTER: So, a family can survive on this for how long?
HATCHER: Until they need to. I was in the Philippines for another super typhoon --
HATCHER: -- back in 2010. People were still living in these tents and using this equipment 15 months on from the previous disaster.
FOSTER: So the first thing that goes in is the tents.
HATCHER: Yes, down at the bottom, we've got a big, family-sized tent.
HATCHER: It will cater for an extended family. Measures about five meters by six when it's fully up on the ground. There are ground sheets in here that we put in.
HATCHER: Well, there is a waterproof bottom to the tent to withstand water, flooding up about eight inches.
FOSTER: A bag with --
HATCHER: This is stuff that we put in for children.
HATCHER: One of the key elements in our focus on the vulnerable is to try and get children --
FOSTER: It seems like a luxury, but it's not.
HATCHER: No, it has a tremendous therapy value for the children involved.
HATCHER: You can just imagine the trauma that they've been put through. This gives them a means of expressing themselves.
HATCHER: And of course, very often, schools are one of the places that are utilized to house families. So the normal operation of schools and the normality of life is completely disrupted.
FOSTER: To get that routine --
FOSTER: -- for their psychological --
FOSTER: -- well-being.
FOSTER: A toy obviously playing into that as well.
HATCHER: Yes. This is something that's knitted by ladies down in Devon and Cornwall and sent --
FOSTER: In southwest England.
FOSTER: This is particularly important to the current disaster, isn't it? What have we got here?
HATCHER: Absolutely. This thing is called a family life straw. It does what it says on the tin. It actually is a straw for life for a family. You put dirty water in the top here, the large bits of dirt are filtered out.
FOSTER: Is that literally just a filter then?
HATCHER: It is, just a --
FOSTER: A particular --
HATCHER: -- crude filter.
FOSTER: And that's enough?
HATCHER: No. It goes -- gravity sends the water down through the tube and the real guts of this thing is in here.
HATCHER: In here are micro-fine tubes. The bugs that will hurt us are bigger than molecules of water. So, this tube allows the molecules of water through, but the bugs are stopped. And so what comes out of here is clean water, 99.9 percent --
FOSTER: And that would last for how long?
HATCHER: It'll last a family for two years. It'll process 18,000 liters of water.
FOSTER: Unbelievable, isn't it?
HATCHER: No moving parts, no electricity, no chemicals.
FOSTER: And you've got a blanket here. Various other sheets. A light, very clever. Simply --
HATCHER: Yes, this is a --
FOSTER: -- solar panel.
HATCHER: -- a solar-powered light. You put it out in the sun in the daylight. Don't need bright sunlight.
HATCHER: At night, flip it over, hang it up, it will give you six hours of light.
FOSTER: And some tools as well. A water container and the sort of -- the kitchen stuff to get food cooking --
HATCHER: Yes, there's the stove over here.
FOSTER: -- once there's -- a stove, even?
HATCHER: Yes. This all folds down inside itself. Unbelievably, this stuff all goes in the box. The boxes are sponsored --
HATCHER: -- by groups, by individuals. And what we do is we send the boxes and the boxes are allocated to a family. That's why volunteers like myself go out with the boxes and we make sure the beneficiaries are the most vulnerable within the community.
FOSTER: But as good as this is, it's no use if it doesn't get there very, very quickly. Because this is what they need right now.
HATCHER: That's right.
FOSTER: So what -- have you go the system in place to get it there?
HATCHER: We've actually had a team in Bohol because there was an earthquake there in the middle of October.
FOSTER: In India?
HATCHER: No, in the Philippines.
HATCHER: In Bohol. And they've actually allocated 600 of these already to earthquake victims. We've sent all the stocks that we had in Clark, which is Luzon, in the northern island of the Philippines, down --
FOSTER: And so you're fortunate, in a way.
HATCHER: We've got two more teams who've already arrived there as well.
HATCHER: And we're on the ground now doing a reconnaissance --
FOSTER: It's fantastic.
HATCHER: -- to moving more stuff in by ship.
FOSTER: Let's hope it gets to them as soon as possible. Thank you very much, indeed --
HATCHER: My pleasure.
FOSTER: -- for joining us, and good luck with your work.
We know many of you have already been inspired to help survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. Aid groups are now in the Philippines, as you've been hearing, working to provide food, clean water, and medicine. They include the Philippine Red Cross, Habit for Humanity, and Save the Children.
CNN has links to those groups and many more at our website, cnn.com/impact. We've vetted them, so you can be sure your donations are well-spent.
I'm Max Foster. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching.