Philippines: Tropical Storm Washi (MDRPH008) - Operations update no. 8 - one-year consolidated report

Period covered by this update: 21 December 2011 to 31 December 2012 Appeal target (current): CHF 5,705,280

Appeal coverage: 78 per cent, in hard pledges

Appeal history:

  • A revised emergency appeal was launched on 23 January 2012 for CHF 5.69 million to assist 20,000 families (100,000 persons) in 12 months

  • An emergency appeal was launched on a preliminary basis on 21 December 2011 for CHF 2.6 million to assist 5,000 families (25,000 people) in nine months

  • Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF): CHF 200,000 was allocated to support the initial response of the Philippine Red Cross.

Summary: Tropical Storm Washi struck the northern coast of Mindanao island on 16 December 2011, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. The deadliest storm to hit the Philippines in 2011, Washi killed more than 1,400 persons. Philippine Red Cross (PRC) responded immediately by mobilizing 600 staff and volunteers to provide immediate services, including supporting search and rescue efforts, providing first aid, participating in search and retrieval efforts, restoring family links, conducting health education, and providing psychosocial support. PRC staff gave psychosocial support to more than 4,000 persons and served hot meals to 5,750 persons in evacuation centres. Under this IFRC emergency appeal operation, the national society distributed 35,000 food packages to 20,000 families, non-food item kits – comprising blankets, sleeping mats and jerry cans – to 15,000 families, hygiene kits to 15,000 families, and mosquito nets to 5,000 families in Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City.

To complement relief distributions, PRC implemented a range of activities in the sector of water, sanitation and health and hygiene promotion. In this regard, the national society mobilized 495 community health volunteers (CHVs) who reached more than 25,600 families in Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City with information on preventing waterborne, water-related and flood-related infectious diseases. Also, the CHVs have conducted school-based hygiene promotions through classroom discussions and peer education in 10 schools in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities, reaching 11,000 students and 500 staff. Health activities in the communities were conducted from January to March 2012, while the school-based sessions followed and conducted from May to December. The national society also distributed more than nine million litres of safe drinking water to families in need in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City and installed 24 community tube wells with hand pumps in Iligan City and Bukidnon to help improve access to water. In addition, two schools were supported to rehabilitate water and sanitation facilities.

Early recovery assistance focused mainly on delivering shelter assistance. A total of 2,000 families received shelter repair kits, i.e. 1,000 in Cagayan de Oro City and 1,000 in Iligan City. Through this operation, some 900 families have so far been supported in rebuilding new typhoon-resilient homes with latrines. Construction of 304 more units is underway, and is expected to be completed during the remaining period of the operation’s timeframe. Each family supported in rebuilding has also been provided a PHP 5,000 (CHF 115) unconditional cash grant to meet multi-dimensional needs, including making improvements to their new homes, replacing lost assets and starting up income-generating activities.

As well as providing direct assistance to typhoon-affected families, IFRC is supporting the reinforcement of PRC’s disaster preparedness and response capacity. Through this operation, PRC has been supported in forming, training and equipping water search and rescue teams – i.e. one each for the Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro chapters. The Cagayan de Oro chapter was also supported with a vehicle geared for flooding and off-road conditions. In addition to providing technical support to the operation, IFRC delegates trained and mentored PRC staff and volunteers in the Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City chapters.

Red Cross Red Crescent partners who have contributed to this operation are American Red Cross, British Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross, Danish Red Cross, French Red Cross, Finnish Red Cross, Hong Kong branch of Red Cross Society of China, Irish Red Cross Society, Japanese Red Cross Society, Netherlands Red Cross, New Zealand Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross, Red Cross of Monaco, Swedish Red Cross, and Swiss Red Cross. Contributions to this operation have also been received from institutional partners, including the European Commission‘s Directorate General of Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (DG ECHO) and WHO staff Voluntary Emergency Relief Fund (VERF). Donations have also been made by the governments of Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, and The Netherlands.

On behalf of PRC, IFRC would like to thank all donors for their generous and invaluable contributions to this appeal.