Philippines: Typhoon Bopha (MDRPH011) - Operations update no. 4

Period covered by this operation update: 9 February to 20 March 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.

Appeal history:

• 21 December 2012: An emergency appeal launched for CHF 16,267,217 to assist 40,000 families (some 200,000 people) for 18 months.

• 5 December 2012: A preliminary emergency appeal issued for CHF 4,523,369 to cover 10,000 families (some 50,000 people) for 11 months.

• Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF): CHF 393,198 was allocated to support the national society in its initial response to this disaster.

Summary: More than three months after Typhoon Bopha, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) continues to intervene in affected areas having transitioned from relief to early recovery. PRC is supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), as well as other Movement partners including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and partner national societies including Australian Red Cross, Finnish Red Cross, German Red Cross, The Netherlands Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross.

This update reports on continuous progress made by PRC within the context of the IFRC-supported emergency operation. Relief distributions have since been completed and interventions are now focusing on early recovery activities including provision of shelter repair kits in the most affected areas of Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon and Compostela Valley. All the targeted 17,000 families in Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, Palawan and Siquijor have been provided with food packages and essential non-food items including blankets, jerry cans and sleeping mats as well as hygiene kits. Some 580 community health volunteers have been mobilized and conducted basic health and hygiene promotion sessions alongside relief distributions as well as detailed health and hygiene promotion using the participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation in emergencies (PHASTER) approach to the benefit of 25,000 families.

While relief distributions are closed and health and hygiene promotion continues, PRC is also providing safe drinking water to typhoon-affected families and implementing activities to ensure that those living in ‘tent cities’ have access to proper sanitation. As of mid-March, PRC had distributed 951,200 litres of water to some 18,000 affected families in Compostela Valley. As regards sanitation, PRC has set up kitchen areas, drainages and latrines through cash-for-work approach. In total, the 2,000 workers mobilized in these communities have also dug drainages and poured gravel on the ground to lessen mud. Water and sanitation activities have been carried out through a joint partnership with German Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross.

With the early recovery phase fully underway, PRC has undertaken distribution of shelter repair kits (SRKs) to 3,544 families in Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon and Compostela Valley. Distributions are ongoing. Meanwhile, preparations have advanced for delivery of typhoon-resilient shelter assistance where a joint assessment was conducted by PRC, IFRC, ICRC, German Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross during the first and second week of March in the hardest hit areas of Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental and Surigao del Sur. Shelter has been identified as the top priority, not only because of the large numbers damaged or destroyed, but also because of the limited funding that has been obtained for shelter interventions.

Results of the joint assessment conducted in March show that livelihoods are intricately connected to shelter as those who are unable to repair or rebuild their homes cited lack of sustainable income as the reason, hence making it the second top need. As such, livelihood activities under this intervention are expected to commence in April. During this reporting period, to some extent, livelihood activities relate to the cash-for-work approach being applied for water and sanitation activities.

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 (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 the Philippine Red Cross, IFRC would like to thank partners and donors for their immediate response to this present appeal. It is worth noting that with the donations received to date, IFRC can only deliver shelter repair materials to 6,000 of the targeted 15,000 families and typhoon-resilient shelter to 600 of the targeted 4,000 families. As such, funds are urgently needed to enable the PRC to meet shelter needs of the most vulnerable typhoon-affected families.