With funding from Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has launched an emergency relief intervention in response to the recent Typhoon Vamco in the Philippines. The extremely powerful storm caused deadly floods, which submerged whole towns and villages in the northern parts of the country, leaving tens of thousands of locals homeless, QRCS said in a statement.
Members of the relief delegation at Hamad International Airport
Immediately after the typhoon struck, QRCS’s Disaster Information Management Centre started monitoring the situation. It had already been activated since Super Typhoon Goni, which hit the country early in November, to gather information in co-ordination with the Philippine Red Cross, the statement noted.
A relief delegation was deployed by QRCS from Doha to implement a rapid intervention plan, which involves distributing emergency relief aid provided by Qatar. The delegation has already arrived in the capital city of Manila to support the Philippine Red Cross in helping victims in the worst-hit areas.
According to the scheme, the aid funded by QFFD will be delivered to 6,500 beneficiaries, including relief and food items, power generators, the Kit-5 water supply system (which can serve up to 5,000 persons per day), and sanitation and hygiene units.
The urgent needs that would be addressed by QRCS based on the initial assessment are shelter (shelter tool kits), nonfood items (blankets, kitchenware, hygiene kits, tarpaulins, mosquito nets and family tents), power generators, food items (fresh meals and one-month food packages), cash aid, inflatable boats and psychosocial support.
As reported by the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development, the total number of affected people exceeds 1.7mn, with more than 324,000 displaced people who were received in nearly 3,000 evacuation shelters. Till the end of November, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council had announced 67 killed, 21 injured and 15 missing.
Thousands of families in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela remain stuck on home rooftops, waiting for rescue and evacuation. Due to difficulties in conducting humanitarian operations in Marikina, Rizal, Laguna, Aurora and Quezon, the local governments in these provinces called for urgent humanitarian assistance.
Over the past few years, QRCS has implemented many relief interventions through its representation mission in the Philippines. These included response to Typhoon Haiyan (2013), Typhoon Hagupit (2014), the Surigao earthquake and Typhoon Vinta (2017), and Typhoon Mangkhut (2018). In addition, there are many development operations co-implemented with the Philippines Red Cross.