The humanitarian impact of the deadly Typhoon Haiyan has been massive, due to the deadly combination of powerful winds, heavy rains and unexpected tsunami-like storm surge which wiped out a number of coastal towns and cities-most notably Tacloban and communities along the Leyte coast to the south. The Philippines authorities have reported that as of 5 December:
5,719 people are reported dead 1,779 people are reported missing 26,233 people have been injured 1.21 million houses are either damaged or destroyed, over 50% of them fully destroyed 2,200 health facilities are damaged across the affected areas 5.6 million people, including 2.2 million women, have their source of income destroyed, lost or disrupted Almost one month after, the overall situation is improving. However the progress is uneven, with slower improvement in more remote areas. About 100,000 people are still living in 433 evacuation centres, and 2.4 million people are still in needs for food relief. While in some areas relief activities continue, the overall recovery and rehabilitation planning is under way. The Government is estimating that total rehabilitation of Visayas will take three to five years.
Hong Kong Red Cross Actions
The Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) launched an emergency appeal to the Hong Kong public from 12 November for donations to support its typhoon relief operations in the affected areas. HKRC also staged street fundraising activities in five spots across the territory on 17 November. As of 6 December, a total of approximately HKD 17.37 million has been received from the generosity of HK public and a total of 74 corporations, organizations and schools have organized fundraising activities for HKRC, with some events lasting till end of December.
A total of HK$7 million has been allocated by the HKRC for deployment of personnel and procurement of relief materials in the Philippines, benefiting about 60,000 people.
The aid includes: 3,250 family hygiene kits over 12,000 families with food pack (including rice, noodles, palm oil, corned beef, canned fish, sugar, salt, soy sauce, coffee) up to one month 13,500 blankets and sleeping mats HKRC has deployed 5 medical volunteers to support International Red Cross to the Philippines to deliver emergency health care service to the affected people. All of them have arrived in the disaster-hit areas (Leyte, Cebu and Samar) and started providing the services. HKRC will continue to support the operation of medical services through the deployment of personnel. Another 3 medical volunteers are scheduled to arrive in the Philippines in mid-December.
A HKRC Restoring Family Link (RFL) Specialist also arrived in the Philippines on 24 November to support the PRC on tracing activities aiming to help those who lost touch with their family members.
After the typhoon, the HKRC provides Emergency Tracing Service for people in Hong Kong looking for missing family members in the Philippines, and Psychological Support Service to those in need, through hotline, psychological education sharing sessions and out-reach service. We also distribute pamphlets on self-care for psychological well-being, in Chinese, English and Tagalog.
Up to 6 December, the HKRC has received 138 emergency tracing enquiries, and provided 68 times of psychological support service via hotline. Earlier, about 180 Philippine domestic helpers participated in our sharing session.
Other Red Cross Actions
With a global appeal launched on 12 November, seeking 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, the following Red Cross actions have been completed in the Philippines by 5 December:
Over 440,000 people have received food aid from Red Cross in 9 provinces; More than 200,000 people have been given access to safe water; Over 27,000 households have received essential household items, including some much-needed tarpaulins; Over 24,000 hot meals have been provided to the displaced people at the evacuation centers; About 8,000 people received medical consultation or treatment in Red Cross field hospitals or clinics, with over 100 babies born in the Red Cross field hospitals; 29 Red Cross Welfare Desks which provide one-stop services including restoring family links (RFL) and psychosocial support. So far about 30,000 people have been assisted with this program.
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