Republic of Korea steps in with support for Malaysia floods response

Published: 28 January 2015 21:24 CET

By Patrick Fuller, IFRC

Efforts to help flood-affected communities across three states of East Coast Peninsular Malaysia, received a significant boost when the Government of the Republic of Korea donated $100,000 US dollars to relief operations supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

On 27 January, at a ceremony held at the IFRC’s Asia Pacific Zone Office in Kuala Lumpur, Mr. Martin Faller, IFRC Head of Operations for Asia Pacific received a letter of intent for the donation from Mr. Yoon Changyul, Minister and Consul General, and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea. During his visit, Mr Yoon was briefed on the current humanitarian activities being undertaken in flood damaged communities by the Malaysian Red Crescent Society.

The funds will support the relief and recovery programmes of the Malaysian Red Crescent Society which has deployed more than 1,000 staff and volunteers to assist communities since the floods began in late December. So far, the society has reached approximately 30,000 people with relief services including medical support and the distribution of food and non-food items.

The IFRC has released 170,000 Swiss francs ($188,000 US dollar) from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund to cover the dispatch of 10,000 blankets and other relief items and the deployment of a water and sanitation unit, together with a team of engineers who are now providing clean water for residents in Gua Musang district in Kelantan, where water supply systems were damaged by the floods.  

Now, emergency relief needs are reducing and the IFRC continues to provide technical support to the Red Crescent to draw up detailed plans to support the longer term recovery of selected communities in the months ahead. Assistance will be provide temporary and transitional shelter for families whose homes were damaged, replenishment of lost household items, water purification and rehabilitation of water systems, together with health and hygiene promotion campaigns and the rehabilitation and construction of community centres.

“This is a very generous gesture by the Government of the Republic of Korea that will make a big difference in the services we are able to deliver to thousands of people whose lives have been severely disrupted by the floods,” Martin Faller said.

At the peak of the flooding, more than 230,000 people were evacuated from their homes.

Thousands of evacuees, many of whom are staying with host families, are still unable to return home.

The IFRC works closely with the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea National Red Cross on the provision of long-term development and emergency response programmes in countries across Asia Pacific. In 2012, the IFRC signed an agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Republic of Korea National Red Cross to undertake activities including disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction.