The humanitarian needs of the population affected by the super typhoon Haiyan remain high. The devastation caused on the coastal areas of Leyte, Samar and several other provinces is significant. According to the Philippines authorities, as of 23 December over 6,100 people are reported dead. More than 16 million people from 44 provinces were affected with nearly 4 million people are displaced. About 1.2 million houses are either damaged or destroyed, over 50% of them fully destroyed.
Livelihoods, homes and essential infrastructure have been heavily affected. The income of over 5 million people have been disrupted or lost. An estimated 90% of the rural population in typhoon affected areas are small scale farmers that will require support before the planting season ends in January 2014. The Government released its strategic plan on 16 December 2013 to guide the recovery and reconstruction of the economy, lives and livelihoods in the affected areas.
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. As of 23 December, a total of approximately HKD 23 million has been received from the generosity of HK public and a total of 79 corporations, organizations and schools have organized fundraising activities for HKRC, with some events lasting till January 2014.
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:Distribution of 3,250 family hygiene kits and 13,500 blankets and sleeping mats;
Offering 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. A total of 9 medical volunteers have been confirmed for deployment in support of the International Red Cross’s emergency health care service to the affected people in Leyte, Cebu and Samar. Four of them have completed their mission and returned to Hong Kong. HKRC will continue to support the operation of medical services through the deployment of personnel.
A HKRC Restoring Family Link (RFL) Specialist also completed her one-month mission on 23 December 2013 in the Philippines. During her stay in Leyte, she and her team had handled over 300 emergency tracing cases.
After the typhoon, the HKRC also provided 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. Up to 23 December, the HKRC has received 139 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:
Over 860,000 people have received food aid from Red Cross; More than 710,000 people have been given access to safe water through roving trucks and water stations; Over 41,000 tarpaulins have been distributed; Over 100,000 people have received hygiene kits while 32,000 people have received health promotion; Over 48,000 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; About 340 households have received cash grants and 600 households have participated in Cash for Work program; 848 missing persons have been registered on the Family Links website. 402 cases have been solved positively while 446 are still being traced;
Needs assessments have been conducted in 31 jails since the typhoon hit. The Red Cross is also helping detainees to get in touch with their relatives.
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