Gordon leads Red Cross relief aid
Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon led Sunday relief distribution of food items in areas worst hit by typhoon Pablo in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley to personally witness and assess the situation on the ground and talk to affected families about their priority needs and how the Red Cross can help.
"It is important to talk to people to feel their sufferings and comfort them the best way we can," Gordon said.
Gordon added that more than the relief goods people receive, they need assurance that they can still recover and reclaim their lost hope and dignity.
In the latest development, President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared A State of National Calamity under Proclamation No. 522 the following provinces of Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte in Region XI; Surigao del Sur in CARAGA Region; Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro City in Region X; Siquijor in Region VII; and, Palawan in Region IV-B
According to Red Cross, the biggest challenge now is how the disaster-stricken families can rebuild their shattered lives after they have lost their loved ones and everything they owned.
To address the challenge, the Red Cross is taking the road from relief to recovery – providing rescue, water, food and other basic services for survival during the emergency phase; distributing non-food items and providing psycho-social support and welfare aid, as well as sanitation and heath care for mitigation during the early recovery phase; housing/shelter and livelihood support for rehabilitation; and disaster risk reduction training along with life-saving skills training for people's empowerment and capacity building against disaster.
"It takes time to recover," Gordon stressed. "We need to work together and coordinate our efforts with all humanitarian actors and everyone in the community to bring back people's lives to normalcy," Gordon added.
Gwendolyn Pang, PRC Secretary General, said, PRC has provided hot meals, food items, non-food items, drinking water, and hygiene kits to the affected families. Earlier, Red Cross has rescued persons trapped in landsides and floods.
The PRC has also deployed in Davao Oriental water bladder, ready to eat meals, boxes of medicines and Advanced Medical Post for emergency clinic. The Red Cross has also set up first aid/health stations and welfare desks in various evacuation centers.
Preparations are now well underway for the early recovery of the suffering families with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Australian Aid and other partner national societies and local corporate partners. The Red Cross coordinates closely with the government and other humanitarian agencies.