Philippines: Typhoon Bopha (MDRPH011) - Operations update no. 3

Period covered by this Operation Update: 5 January to 8 February 2013
Appeal target (current): CHF 16,267,217
Appeal coverage: The appeal is 32 per cent covered. Donations are urgently needed to enable Philippine Red Cross to meet the immediate needs of the most vulnerable typhoon-affected families.

Summary: Two months after Typhoon Bopha lashed the Philippine archipelago, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has intensified its relief operations as early recovery interventions also take shape. As of 8 February 2013, the national society had assisted some 72,500 families with food packages, with some 66,600 also receiving essential non-food items including blankets, sleeping mats and water containers. Distributions are ongoing.

Of the total number distributed so far, food packages for 12,700 families, non-food packages for 16,400 families, hygiene kits for 14,350 families and tarpaulins for 1,400 families have been covered by this IFRC emergency appeal operation. The support provided under this operation has mainly covered the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, Palawan and Siquijor. PRC has also organized basic health and hygiene promotion sessions, linked to distribution of hygiene kits, for 14,350 families. Some 350 community health volunteers have been mobilized and they are facilitating detailed health and hygiene education sessions starting early February.

In addition to relief distributions, and health and hygiene promotion, PRC is also putting equal attention on providing safe drinking water and ensuring that typhoon-affected families in “tent cities” have improved access to sanitation. Under this operation, as of 8 February, PRC had distributed 136,000 litres of safe drinking water to displaced families in three tent cities established and operated by the national society in New Bataan Municipality, Compostela Valley Province. The national society also set up kitchen areas, constructed 14 emergency latrines and bathing areas, dug/constructed drainage systems, and poured gravel to minimize muddy areas around the three tent cities. The water and sanitation assistance provided under this IFRC emergency appeal operation thus far is being delivered through a joint partnership with German Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross. The activities have been implemented using the cash-for-work approach, with evacuees providing the labour and the Red Cross paying daily rates for the people to get some income to meet daily needs. The setting up of water bladders, installation of water tanks, digging or construction of drainage systems, construction of emergency latrines and kitchen areas, and clearing debris have all been done using this modality. In total, some 300 persons were engaged for these tasks. Those involved in clearing debris have been equipped with appropriate equipment such as shovels, mattocks, wheel barrows and machetes, as well as chainsaws.

With regard to early recovery, during the reporting period, focus was on revalidation of beneficiaries to receive shelter repair kits. A total of 3,500 were identified in Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon and Compostela Valley. Orientation of the selected beneficiaries is underway and distribution of shelter repair kits to these families is set to be undertaken in mid-February. Meanwhile revalidation continues in Compostela Valley and Palawan with the view of reaching an overall of 5,000 families– which is the maximum number that can be provided with shelter repair kits in line with the donations received to date.

To date, contributions towards the IFRC emergency appeal have been received from Red Cross Red Crescent partners, government partners and institutional partners – including the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO). Red Cross Red Crescent partners who have contributed are American Red Cross, British Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross/Canadian government, Danish Red Cross/Danish government, Japanese Red Cross Society, Red Cross of Monaco, New Zealand Red Cross/New Zealand government, Swedish Red Cross, and Taiwan Red Cross Organization. The governments of Italy and Japan have also given donations. Swiss Red Cross has provided bilateral contribution directly to PRC.

On behalf of PRC, IFRC would like to thank partners and donors for their immediate response to this present appeal. It is worth noting that shelter inputs form more than half of the emergency appeal budget. However, with the donations received to date, IFRC can only deliver shelter repair materials to 5,000 of the targeted 15,000 families and typhoon-resilient shelter to 600 of the targeted 4,000 families. These are very small numbers compared to the needs on the ground. As such, funds are urgently needed to enable PRC to meet shelter needs of the most vulnerable typhoon-affected families.