The Philippine Red Cross together with the Movement partners, guided by a coordinated approach and the Movement-wide framework, has supported thousands of households across different provinces affected by the strongest typhoon to make landfall in country’s recorded history.
The emergency relief operation was launched immediately to provide assistance to the people affected across the Central Visayas region. Food, water, clothes and emergency shelter materials were dispatched and more than 8,000 volunteers were mobilized.
To support recovery efforts of the affected people, Movement partners contributed to the operational plan of the Philippine Red Cross. Coordination was maintained to ensure efficient and effective utilization of resources, and to reach the affected communities with quality service and appropriate assistance.
The recovery of households entailed support for shelter repair and reconstruction, recovery of livelihoods and income generation activities, construction of water and sanitation facilities, rehabilitation of health infrastructure and health promotion initiatives, and improved educational facilities. Awareness raising sessions were also carried out with the communities to improve their knowledge of disaster preparedness.
Shelters were built using the build back safer techniques. The government mandated no-build zone in areas that are susceptible to landslides, floods or storm surges was observed. Households were engaged to contribute in the construction of their homes, creating a sense of ownership. Some members of the communities were also employed in cash-for-work programmes to support the construction process.
Individuals and communities were provided livelihood assistance in the form of cash grants. Young people were provided with formal vocational trainings on welding, dressmaking, food and beverage handling, among others, to enhance their skills. Communities were also provided with the opportunity to manage livelihood projects that are economically and environmentally sustainable and beneficial to the members of the community.
Water and sanitation facilities were provided to households and schools to ensure access to safe water and improved sanitation to reduce risks of waterborne, water-related and other communicable diseases. These facilities were complemented with hygiene and sanitation transformation activities for community members and students to improve their knowledge on the importance of maintaining good personal hygiene and health.
Health facilities were constructed and re-equipped to provide quality service to the population. Through facilities and improved knowledge, communities have better access and opportunities to prevent and address health problems.
Classrooms and educational facilities were repaired to provide a safe learning space for school-going children. In the event of a disaster these facilities will be used as evacuation centres. Children also received psychosocial support to ease the trauma of their experience during the typhoon.
In a country that is highly susceptible to disasters, the communities’ ability to prepare for, cope with and respond to disasters is crucial in saving lives and property. Proper knowledge, training and sufficient support from Red Cross chapters empowers the community in identifying risks and implementing mitigation measures and response plans. Trained Philippine Red Cross volunteers are at the frontline to respond during emergencies and act as advocates of health and disaster risk reduction principles within the communities.
The Movement remains committed to being accountable to funding agencies, stakeholders and the communities. Monitoring and evaluation activities are being implemented to gauge the appropriateness and impact of the programmes.