Philippines

Philippines: Typhoons and floods; preliminary Emergency Appeal n° MDRPH012

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This preliminary emergency appeal seeks CHF 1,681,554 in cash, kind, or services to support the Philippine Red Cross to assist 15,000 families (75,000 people) for eight months. The operation will be completed by the end of April 2014 and a final report will be made available by 31 July 2014, three months after the end of the operation.

Appeal history: CHF 319,766 was allocated from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the National Society in needs assessments and initiate delivery assistance to people affected by Typhoon Utor. This DREF allocation is being included as start-up funding for this appeal and therefore unearmarked funds to replenish DREF are encouraged.

Summary: Starting Sunday, 18 August 2013, incessant monsoon rains fuelled by Tropical Storm Trami (local name: Maring) have fallen over the Philippine capital, Manila, and surrounding provinces, bringing widespread flooding that has had devastating effect. By 24 August, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Committee (NDRRMC) reported that 21 lives have been lost, 179,000 families or more than 800,000 people have been displaced. Overall, the flooding has had an impact on the lives and livelihood of 2.5 million people across five regions. The government’s weather agency monitors estimate that the heaviest rains occurred in Cavite, part of which recorded an amount that exceeded the average monthly for August in just 24 hours. Of the 800,000 persons displaced, 200,000 have sought refuge in evacuation centres while 600,000 are staying in alternative accommodation, often with friends and family.

This new wave of flooding started just a week after Typhoon Utor (local name: Labuyo) slammed into Luzon with a severe impact, mostly in the province of Aurora, killing 11 people, damaging more than 21,000 homes and destroying livelihoods worth more than 1 billion pesos (approximately CHF 20 million).

As of Saturday 24 August 2013, floodwater resulting from Tropical Storm Trami-fuelled monsoon rains had receded significantly in most parts of Metro Manila, although – based on past experience – it will take weeks for it to recede in provinces surrounding Laguna de Bay. Families in areas that will face prolonged flooding can be expected to stay in evacuation centres or with host families for extended periods, implying extended humanitarian needs.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has been on the ground responding to the immediate needs wrought by Typhoon Utor since mid-August. The National Society initially supported pre-evacuation efforts of the local authorities, conducted rescue operations, and provided relief to displaced people. Additional relief supplies, for 2,500 families, were released from contingency stocks maintained in Manila for areas hardest hit by Typhoon Utor, utilizing funds advanced by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). However, just as the response to Typhoon Utor began to take shape, the new wave of flooding has brought increased humanitarian needs, which the PRC seeks to respond to by scaling up its ongoing operation to cover the two events.

While assessments in areas affected by Typhoon Utor have been concluded and a definite plan of action is being developed in line with findings, PRC is deploying multi-sectoral teams to undertake rapid assessments in Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Valenzuela so as to get a clearer picture of the needs wrought by the new wave of flooding. A full emergency appeal will be issued in the coming weeks to align the overall response to the actual needs on the ground. However, considering that there are likely to be more severe weather events affecting Philippines into 2014, the IFRC and PRC are launching a broader emergency appeal to cover the entire 2013 typhoon season. The broader appeal will then be updated as the situation evolves to incorporate potential interventions that may result during the typhoon season.

The immediate focus of this preliminary appeal is to enable the PRC to provide immediate relief and early recovery support to people affected by Typhoon Utor and flooding brought by Tropical Storm Trami-generated monsoon rains. This operation supersedes and includes the Typhoon Utor DREF response and will focus on providing immediate relief;

· ready-to-eat meals for 25,000 people

· distributing basic food items for 10,000 families

· distributing non-food items to 9,500 families

· providing unconditional cash grants to 11,500 families

· water and sanitation interventions for the benefit of 2,000 families

· health and hygiene education for 15,000 families

· immediate shelter repair assistance for 500 families.

This operation will contribute to the overall plan that PRC has developed for responding to the two extreme weather events. The overall plan of PRC seeks CHF 2.9 million to undertake a range of relief and early recovery interventions. Besides the support from IFRC, the National Society expects to mobilize resources from its bilateral, corporate and individual partners.