The humanitarian impact of the deadly Typhoon Haiyan has been massive since its landfall on 8 November 2013. The Philippines authorities have reported that as of 27 November, the death toll is about 5,500 people. Up to 10 -13 million people have been affected by the storm across 44 provinces with over 1.1 million houses damaged, about half of which have been completely destroyed.
Close to three weeks since Typhoon Haiyan made the landfall, national and international emergency relief assistance have been reaching many of the most affected communities. Access to the affected communicates is improving, although there remain huge logistical challenges due to congestion of airports in Tacloban and Cebu. Concerns remain for more remote communities in the small islands to the north of Cebu and Panay, which are much harder to reach.
Despite the scope and scale of the disaster, the Filipino people are demonstrating their resilience. It is clear that many communities are moving into the recovery phase, and the primary focus is shelter. Mid and longer-term recovery plans are now being developed to cover livelihood and more permanent shelter needs. The health need is also gradually shifting from emergency health to public health and primary health services.
Red Cross Actions
Philippine Red Cross
The following actions have been completed by 23 November 2013:
The PRC has provided more than 36,000 families with food and reached more than 19,000 people with hygiene kits as well as health/hygiene promotion activities; Two health stations have been set up, providing medical service and consultations to over 1,700 people. In addition, over 17,700 people living in overcrowded conditions at evacuation centers have been reached with health and hygiene promotion messages; PRC has established 29 Welfare Desks which provide one-stop services including restoring family links (RFL) and psychosocial support. So far about 28,600 people have been assisted with this programme; A blood bank in Leyte provincial hospital run by PRC is now functional; PRC has mobilized over 6,200 volunteers (over 60% of total PRC volunteers) to support the operation. A total of 29 PRC chapters in the affected areas have been operational since the start of the disaster, supported by an additional 14 chapters from across the country.
International Red Cross
Emergency Appeal was launched by International Red Cross on 12 November for a total of CHF 87 million (approximately HKD 730 million) to support 136,000 families (approximately 680,000 people) with food, clean water, shelter and other essential relief over a period of 18 months; At present, 11 Emergency Response Units (ERUs) and 2 Rapid Deployment Hospitals are deployed with the capacity in logistics, IT/telecom, relief, water and sanitation and health care to most affected areas;
The two basic health care ERUs are fully operational since 21 November and over the course of two days, have treated 173 patients; A Water and Sanitation Emergency Response Unit (ERU) is in Tolosa, filling a crucial gap in water supply. The team has been distributing 60 cubic meters of water per day. Hong Kong Red Cross Actions The Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) has launched an emergency appeal to the Hong Kong public since 12 November for donations to support its typhoon relief operations in the areas. HKRC also staged street fundraising activities in five spots across the territory on 17 November. As of 27 November, a total of approximately HKD 13.6 million has been received from the generosity of HK public.
A total of HK$3.5 million has been allocated by the HKRC for emergency relief in the Philippines, providing 3,250 family hygiene kits and supporting 6,750 families with food pack, blankets and sleeping mats. In total it will benefit about 50,000 people.
HKRC has deployed 4 medical volunteers to support International Red Cross to the Philippines to deliver emergency health care service to the affected people. All the four volunteers have arrived in the disaster-hit areas (Leyte, Cebu and Samar) and started providing the services.
HKRC has deployed one expert in restoring family link (RFL) to support the Philippine Red Cross on tracing activities aiming to help those who lost touch with their family members.
Psycho-social support has been provided to Hong Kong Public. By 18 November, a total of 68 times of Psychological Support Service were provided. Around 180 Filipino participants attended the psycho-education session conducted by the HKRC at the Philippine Consulate on 17 November. Another 80 Filipino domestic helpers were approached by the community outreach by volunteers. English and Tagalog version of the pamphlets about the post-disaster psychological well-being and self care were distributed.
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