23 October, 2016 - Kuala Lumpur/Geneva: The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is appealing for 3 million Swiss Francs (3 million US dollars) to support the Philippine Red Cross in delivering assistance to 20,000 people affected by Typhoon Haima over a period of 10 months.
Typhoon Haima made landfall over the municipality of Peñablanca in Cagayan Province on the evening of 19 October 2016, with strong winds of up to 225kph near its centre and gusts of up to 315kph.
Initial reports from Red Cross assessment teams on the ground indicate that thousands of families have been left without a roof over their heads. Rice crops with just a few weeks left for harvesting have been inundated by floods or damaged by the winds. Thousands of people need assistance to repair or rebuild homes and to recoup livelihoods.
Local authorities pre-emptively evacuated more than 143,500 people to safer areas. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reports that 92,000 people remain in 640 evacuation centres. Some of these evacuation centres are schools which also took a hit and are now exposed to the elements, after strong winds blew the roofing sheets away.
The IFRC appeal focuses on meeting people’s most urgent needs including food, access to safe drinking water, essential household items, shelter and cash grants to help people restart their livelihoods. The appeal will also support health awareness and disease prevention activities as well as provision of psychosocial support.
“Lives and livelihoods have been devastated by Haima,” said Richard Gordon, Chairman of the Philippine Red Cross. “In the hardest-hit areas, around 70 per cent of homes have been so badly damaged that families no longer have a roof over their heads.” Typhoon Haima is the third major weather disturbance to affect North Luzon within a span of weeks.
“Three typhoons, one after the other, is almost too much to bear, and a lot of people in Luzon are suffering,” Gordon added. “We are committed to providing a humanitarian response and recovery operation that will ease their pain.”
Red Cross volunteers and staff prepositioned in the affected areas are providing relief to communities, including psychosocial support in evacuation centres and distributing hot cooked meals.
Earlier in the week, the IFRC released 48,600 Swiss francs (49,000 US dollars) from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to support the Philippine Red Cross’ emergency operation.
For interviews and media inquiries, contact:
· Richard Gordon, Chairman, Philippine Red Cross Phone: +63 (0) 917 899 7898; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Oscar Palabyab; Secretary General, Philippine Red Cross Phone: +63 (0) 917 819 2995; Email: email@example.com
· Kari Isomaa, Head of Country Office, IFRC Philippine Country Office Phone: +63 (0) 928 559 7170; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Ramsey Rayyis, Acting Operations Manager, IFRC Philippine Country Office Phone: +63 (0) 998 960 6289; Email: email@example.com
· Mary Joy Evalarosa, Communications Officer, IFRC Philippine Country Office Phone: +63 (0) 998 960 6291; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org