Typhoon Haiyan, one of the worst storms in Southeast Asia slammed across the Visaya Region of Central Philippines on the morning of 8 November 2013. With deathtoll stands around 6,294, more than 16 million people from 44 provinces were affected, nearly 4.1 million people are displaced. Over 1.1 million houses are either damaged and half of them completely destroyed.
Six months have passed since the typhoon left devastating marks. Humanitarian needs for the affected population have now moved on from emergency relief to longer term recovery, these including rebuilding their houses, reviving livelihood means, and to regain access to basic infrastructure and social services like healthcare and schools . Six months on, people have shown remarkable strength. However, high-level of pre-existing poverty has hold them back from in areas especially when basic services recovery are underway. The needs of external support on livelihoods, improved health, better shelter and future resilience of the affected communities are still eminent.
Hong Kong Red Cross Actions
Right after the typhoon hit the country, on 12 November 2013, the Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) launched an emergency appeal to the Hong Kong public. A total of 81 corporations, organizations and schools have organized fundraising activities to support the affected population in the Philippines. As of end of March 2014, an approximate HK$31 million has been received from Hong Kong public to support the Typhoon Haiyan operation.
Since the first month of the disaster, the HKRC has supported immediate deployment of personnel and delivery of relief and early recovery materials to the most affected area (see below for details). Subsequent planning has been made to look into early to longer term recovery needs of the affected population. So far, 95,000 people is benefitted through immediate relief while at least another 185,000 people are aimed at for longer term recovery programs.
Summary of achievements by HKRC actions so far:
- Distributed 3,250 family hygiene kits and 13,500 blankets and sleeping mats;
- Distributed food packs to 17,300 families;
- Deployed 9 medical volunteers for medical and basic healthcare services to the affected people in Leyte, Cebu and Samar between November 2013 to February 2014;
- Deployed 1 Restoring Family Link (RFL) specialist to Leyte to process over 300 missing persons cases;
- Offered emergency tracing and/or psycholgical support services to approximately 400 persons in Hong Kong;
- Procured and delivered school equipment including blackboards, chairs and desks to 20 temporary schools in Tacloban.
- Rehabilitating health facilities, including hospitals, health stations and units for a population of 180,000 in Samar;
- Supporting 5 rural communities in Capitz in rebuilding shelter, livelihoods, sanitation, health and education facilities;
- Integrating disaster risk reduction to all recovery programmes.
Other Red Cross Actions
Global appeal has been revised since it first launched. At the moment, Red Cross globally is seeking a total of CHF 163.86 million (approximately HKD 1.4 billion) to support 150,000 families (approximately 750,000 people) with food, clean water, safe shelter, health, livelihoods and disaster risk reduction over a period of 3 years.
As of today, the following have been achieved by Red Cross:
- Over 1 million people have received emergency relief items (including food, household items, hygiene kits and emergency shelter materials) from Red Cross;
- 17,604,000 litres of clean water distributed daily to affected communities, 65 water networks servicing 9 municipalities have been fully repaired;
- 138,435 households received emergency shelter support, this covered 25 per cent of total emergency shelter needs across the affected region;
- 100,413 families reached through the Red Cross hygiene-promotion activities, reducing the spread of communicable diseases;
- 20,043 patients assisted by the emergency health facilities established;
- 23,553 people re-established contact with their family through satellite phones and other means provided by the Red Cross, including by registering as "I'm alive" on the International Red Cross website; -31,539 people benefitting from psychosocial support;
- 8,235 total number of Philippine Red Cross volunteers deployed;
- 161 school classrooms constructed.
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