Apple is now accepting donations of $5 to $200 on behalf of the American Red Cross via the iTunes Store. Proceeds will go toward rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts in typhoon-stricken regions in the Philippines.

 Apple launches iTunes donation drive for Haiyan typhoon victims in the Philippines

Typhon Haiyan is the biggest storm on record to make landfall, so far, and it has left thousands dead and homeless in its wake, especially in several regions in the Philippines. Certain regions in Vietnam and China were also affected, although to a lesser extent.

At least 2,500 are feared to have died from the storm surges, and charitable organizations, corporations and individuals have expressed solidarity in their own ways. Apple is one of the latest international names that has lent a hand. The company has launched a donation drive through its iTunes Store that will enable users from within the US to donate to the American Red Cross.

Valid amounts are $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 and $200. Apple says 100% of the proceeds will be remitted to the American Red Cross.

131112 typhoon haiyan relief Apple launches iTunes donation drive for Haiyan typhoon victims in the Philippines

Apple has previously enabled similar campaigns in the wake of previous natural disasters, such as 2012′s Superstorm Sandy, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima, Japan and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Why money is the best way to help

Jessica Alexander, writing for Slate, has expressed the importance of sending money instead of goods when helping out during disasters. “Give money to organizations that have worked in the affected areas before the storm—they will be more likely to know and be able to navigate the local context and may be able to respond faster, as it won’t take them time to set up,” she says. With this in view, campaigns like Apple’s iTunes donation drive are a good avenue for donors to pitch in to relief efforts.

But other than monetary donations, other technology companies are also pitching in. Viber, for example, has launched a free calling “Viber Out” service, through which users from the Philippines can call mobile and landline numbers abroad. This is said to help affected persons reach their family members and relatives abroad. Google has also launched an online and mobile person finder, likewise aimed at re-unification efforts, especially important during times when communication and power facilities are offline.

Source: iTunes StoreImage credit: Aaron Favila, AP