Red Cross appeals for support to help thousands as Typhoon Bopha batters the Philippines

Published: 5 December 2012

Manila / Geneva,  6.12.12 – Today the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) made an urgent appeal for funds to support relief and recovery efforts for thousands of families affected by Typhoon Bopha which made landfall in eastern Mindanao leaving a trail of destruction in its wake as it crossed Northern Provinces.

The 4.5 million Swiss francs (3.7 million Euros) appeal will help the Philippine Red Cross to assist 10,000 families (50,000 people) who have been directly affected by the storm with immediate food and non-food relief, together with longer term help to support their recovery, including support to water and sanitation systems, cash grants to help restore livelihoods and materials to rebuild homes.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) indicates that a total of 62,607 families (294,110 people) have been affected across 26 provinces, with 54,034 families (250,511 people) sheltered in 544 evacuation centres. At least 4,700 houses have been damaged, and the livelihoods of thousands of families significantly reduced.

Details on the extent of damage are only starting to emerge and the numbers of fatalities, casualties, affected persons and displaced families will certainly increase in the coming days particularly in remote villages which have yet to be reached by rescue teams.

“The rain coming down from the mountains has caused rivers to run high and fast. This is when we face a real threat of fatalities from flash floods and landslides”, says Selva Sinnadurai, IFRC head of delegation in the Philippines.  

Typhoon Bopha has followed a similar path to Tropical Storm Washi which caused flash floods that claimed the lives of over 1,400 people in December, 2011.

The Philippine Red Cross has monitored the progress of the typhoon through its 24 hour operations centre in Manila, providing regular updates to its chapters located along the path of the storm.

“This time we made sure that our chapters were more prepared. Days before the storm we put our volunteers and first responders on standby in case of any eventuality and had relief stocks in place,” says Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross.

The Red Cross has served hot, ready-to-eat meals to some 1,000 people in evacuation centres and assessment teams have been deployed today to different parts of Davao where the highest fatalities have been reported.

The IFRC is also undertaking surveys in Iligan, Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon together with respective Philippine Red Cross chapters to determine the extent of damage wrought by Typhoon Bopha.

For further information and to set up interviews contact:

In Manila:

Tessie Usapdin,  communications consultant, Philippine Red Cross  : +63 915 572 5002, email:  teresita.usapdin@redcross.org.ph

Ava Rances, communications officer, IFRC  Tel: +63-927-794-2141 email: afrhill.rances@ifrc.org

In Kuala Lumpur:

Patrick Fuller, communication manager for Asia Pacific, IFRC  Tel: +60122308451 email: patrick.fuller@ifrc.org

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 mil­lion people each year through its 186 member National Societies. Together, the IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. For more information, please visit www.ifrc.org. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.


The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest humanitarian organization, with 191 member National Societies. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, our work is guided by seven fundamental principles; humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. About this site & copyright