Qatar Red Crescent has launched an emergency aid appeal, in co-operation with Philippines Red Cross, to raise $2mn in cash to support the people affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines.

The focus is on delivering food, other items, water  and health care to 5,000 families (25,000 persons) in affected provinces of Northern Mindanao region. It is estimated that 39 cities and 229 municipalities have been affected.

There are immediate needs for the provision of food and non-food distribution. Non-food items include shelter and hygiene kits, kitchen sets, jerry cans and tarpaulin sheets.

There is an urgent need for provision of basic health care and the supply of clean water to those living in evacuation centres in addition to the provision of “transitional shelters”.

According to preliminary assessments, approximately 3,383 houses have been damaged with over 2,055 estimated as severely damaged.

Commenting on the growing devastation left by  Haiyan, QRC’s Saleh al-Muhannadi highlighted the need of a worldwide support in such a critical situation.

“I take this opportunity to urge the business sector to donate and help those people in need for our support whether in kind or monetary contribution,” he said.

To meet the immediate clean water needs of those in evacuation centres, QRC, in co-operation with Philippines Red Cross, aims to supply the basic resource to the most affected population and provide them with the basic tools for survival, especially food and non-food items.

This is in addition to offering basic hygiene items for the benefit of 5,000 families, with a view of contributing towards reducing the risk of waterborne and water-related diseases, including dengue and malaria.

QRC will also provide shelter repair kits to 1,000 families whose houses have been partially damaged and 500 families whose houses were totally destroyed will benefit from transitional shelter.

As for the long-term needs, owing to the significant number of damaged houses reported, shelter assistance is a top priority, QRC said.

QRC and Philippines Red Cross consider provision of shelter assistance to be fully in line with helping people to restore their everyday lives and to enable them to live in decent conditions.

These efforts will target storm-affected families as a whole rather than individual members of family units. Lists of beneficiaries will be obtained from the local authorities and the respective Philippines Red Cross chapters will revalidate the lists, with volunteers undertaking surveys in affected areas.

The UN earlier yesterday launched an appeal for more than $300mn in aid to the Philippines.

The UN warned 10,000 people were feared dead in just one city, Tacloban, the provincial capital of Leyte province where 5m waves flattened nearly everything in their path as they swept hundreds of metres inland.

The UN cited local officials for the estimate.

However, last night Philippines President Benigno Aquino said he believed the estimate of 10,000 killed was “too much”.

Speaking in a televised CNN interview, he said that local officials who gave that estimate may have been “too close” to the disaster to give an accurate toll.

“Being in the centre of the destruction... there is emotional trauma associated with that particular estimate,” he said. “They didn’t have basis for it.”

He continued: “The figure I have right now is 2,000... so far about 2,000, 2,500 is the figure we’re working on”, though he admitted the toll still could rise.

It was unclear if Aquino was referring to the toll in the city of Tacloban alone.

Last night, the official government death toll stood at 1,774, although authorities have said they have not come close to accurately assessing the number of bodies lying amid the rubble or swept out to sea.  Pages 30, 32


Two shipments of assistance being sent today


Qatar has decided, under the directives of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, to send two shipments of urgent aid to the areas in the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan.  The aid will be sent today on two flights and will include 80 tonnes of medications, food, tents, blankets and clothes, Dr Ahmed al-Muraikhi, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Department of International Development told Qatar News Agency (QNA).  “Sending the aid is dictated by Qatar’s duty towards its friends in the Philippines during their current plight so as to relieve their suffering and devastating conditions,” he said.




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