· On January 12, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) provided an additional $299,694 through Plan International for emergency shelter; water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities; and other relief supplies to benefit approximately 15,000 people affected by Tropical Storm Washi, known locally as Sendong. In addition, USAID/OFDA, through Plan International, will provide temporary employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the tropical storm.
· The number of people residing in temporary evacuation centers continues to decrease as families return to their areas of origin or seek shelter with relatives, according to the Government of the Philippines (GPH) National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). As of January 13, the number of people residing in evacuation centers had decreased by 63 percent to approximately 25,400 from a peak of nearly 69,300 people on December 25. Local authorities and relief agencies continue to provide all individuals in evacuation centers in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities with food, health, and WASH assistance, as well as other emergency relief supplies, according to the U.N.
· As the situation in areas affected by Tropical Storm Washi continues to improve, GPH officials have shifted focus from emergency relief assistance to early recovery. GPH officials are identifying durable shelter solutions for displaced people who previously resided in hazard-prone locations in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities that the GPH has deemed unfit for returns. To enable schools to restart, GPH officials are relocating people remaining in school-based evacuation centers to school yards or alternate locations.
· In response to reports of increased cases of suspected leptospirosis—a bacterial infection caused by exposure to contaminated water—in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities, the GPH has launched a large-scale information campaign and provided medicines and training on treatment of the disease to hospitals and health care personnel. Between January 1 and 7, GPH and the humanitarian community had provided leptospirosis vaccinations to more than 20,000 people and distributed informational materials about the disease, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
· To date, USAID/OFDA has provided nearly $2 million in assistance for storm-affected populations in the Philippines, including nearly $1.3 million in shelter assistance, more than $309,000 for WASH activities, and $330,000 for logistics support to aid the delivery of relief to flooded communities. USAID/OFDA’s Principal Regional Advisor for East Asia and the Pacific also deployed to the Philippines to conduct damage and needs assessments in affected areas, in coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Manila, USAID/Philippines, the NDRRMC, and relief agencies. In addition, USAID/Philippines has provided $769,000 in assistance, including $250,000 for small-scale infrastructure projects to help restart economic activity in affected areas, $200,000 for emergency education assistance, and $319,000 to rehabilitate school facilities. In collaboration with the GPH Department of Health, USAID/Philippines has also provided health awareness materials to ensure the well-being of flood-affected people residing in evacuation centers.