12 November 2013
Geneva/Manila/Sydney - In the wake of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan that struck central Philippines on 8 November, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is appealing for 87 million Swiss francs (94.6 million US dollars) to assist the estimated 10 million people affected by the strongest typhoon ever to make landfall in recorded history.
Widespread damage has been reported across nine regions of the Philippines. While the authorities are still confirming exact numbers of casualties, thousands are presumed dead or missing. "It is a scene of utter devastation," said Chairman Richard Gordon of the Philippine Red Cross. "Many people have lost their homes, and are in desperate need of food, shelter and water. It will be a long road to recovery."
The emergency appeal aims to assist the Philippine Red Cross to deliver essential relief to thousands of affected families. Within the overall appeal, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is appealing for 72 million Swiss francs to provide 100,000 families with food, clean water, shelter and other essential relief over a period of 18 months.
"Help must reach those in need as soon as possible," said Jagan Chapagain, IFRC director for Asia Pacific. "The added advantage of the Philippine Red Cross is our vast network on the ground, coupled with strong support from all our Movement partners globally, which enable us to reach the most remote communities quickly."
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) appeal for 15 million Swiss francs is specifically for areas already affected by armed conflict. "Samar Island has suffered unimaginable destruction and will be the main focus of our initial response," said Alain Aeschlimann, ICRC head of operations for the region. "This includes delivering essential aid such as food, water, shelter and basic health care. We will also help separated family members contact each other, and work with the authorities to provide reasonable conditions for detainees."
In recent months, the Philippine Red Cross has been responding to multiple emergencies, including typhoons and floods, and most recently the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck Bohol. "This is one of the worst disasters ever in one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. The clock is ticking to save as many lives as possible," said Mr Gordon.
Philippine Red Cross:
Chairman, Philippine Red Cross
Tel: +63 917 899 7898 / @philredcross
Tel: +60 12 230 8451 / @Pat_Fuller
Tel: +41 79 213 2413 / @benoistc
Tel: +63 918 907 2125
Tel: + 41 79 244 64 70 / @ewatson
Tel: +41 79 536 92 48