Kuala Lumpur/Manila/Geneva, 26 November 2020 – Consecutive, devastating typhoons in the Philippines have laid the foundations for a long-term humanitarian crisis as more than 305,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed according to humanitarian assessments.
Typhoons Molave and Vamco, followed by Super Typhoon Goni, shattered the already precarious livelihoods of more than 200,000 farmers and fisher-folk, the social and economic consequences of which will reverberate across these rural and fishing communities for months or even years to come. Millions of people affected by these typhoons already faced huge social and economic hardships due to COVID-19 restrictions
Philippines Red Cross rescue and relief teams across the region supported hard-pressed local volunteer teams and strained local government relief efforts. The same teams are now turning to the massive task of providing basic services like water and psycho-social support to traumatized populations, and helping to rebuild and reestablish lost livelihoods.
Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon said:
“These huge back-to-back storms have passed for now but we have growing concerns for those hundreds of thousands of families who have lost their homes and livelihoods and are now facing the very hard realities of picking up the pieces.”
“Millions of lives are at stake, so it’s critical we re-double our efforts to support these families as they rebuild their homes and reestablish livelihoods.”
With the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Philippine Red Cross teams are providing emergency shelter, food, clean water, and essential household items to displaced families.
The IFRC has revised its international Emergency Appeal upwards to 10.8 million Swiss Francs to support at least 120,000 people whose lives were turned upside down, and face the daunting task of rebuilding homes and livelihoods destroyed by Typhoons Goni, Vamco and associated floods. More than 1.15 million Swiss Francs has already been released from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to provide emergency relief and immediate support for typhoon and flood-affected communities.
Head of IFRC Philippine Country Office Robert Kaufman said:
“This is a growing humanitarian crisis caused by non-stop climate-related disasters. People have had no time to recover from one shock before the next one is upon them. It is tragic to see people who are ready to rebuild their lives facing set back after set back.
“The enormity is driven home when you visit these communities and meet the women, men and children confronting the impact of climate change on a daily basis. They are not numbers or statistics, but people trying to put roofs on their homes, cook a meal for their family and who want to send children to school, but instead have to deal with the growing frequency and severity of horrible storms.
“It is vital that we, as an international community, bring resources to bear where they are needed, and right now we need to support these people as they struggle with lives torn apart by multiple storms on top of the relentless toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
About the IFRC
The IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian network, comprising 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies working to save lives, build community resilience, strengthen localization and promote dignity around the world.