Red Cross is assisting hundreds of thousands of people, who are recovering and rebuilding their lives after Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful on record, caused widespread destruction across central Philippines.
Relief supplies, including food continue to be distributed in many devastated towns and villages.
Relief supplies, including food continue to be distributed in many devastated towns and villages. Philippine Red Cross has ensured that more than 1.1 million people most in need have received food and water supplies. More than 215,000 people have received health and hygiene support, including access to toilets. Other vital supplies like water containers, blankets and mosquito nets have been distributed to hundreds of thousands of people.
In early November, damaging winds with speeds of more than 300 km/h, flash flooding, storm surges and landslides left millions of people without food, clean water or permanent shelter. Thousands of people died in the Philippines. It is estimated that more than 16 million people were affected by the typhoon, with more than 1.1 million houses damaged or destroyed. Over four million people - the population of Melbourne - remain displaced.
More than 6200 Red Cross staff and volunteers have been assisting in the disaster-affected communities. They have been helping hundreds of thousands of people affected by the disaster with personal support, checking to make sure they are coping and supporting people to re-establish their homes.
Getting children back to school
Children are going back to school in areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines with the assistance of Red Cross. The typhoon damaged or destroyed more than 3200 schools across the region, leaving teachers and students without classrooms or school supplies. Temporary classrooms have been built by Red Cross for more than 8500 students.
Cash boost for communities
The cash transfer program gives families the opportunity to meet their most important needs.
Isolated mountain communities on Panay Island are receiving a cash boost to support the redevelopment of vital coconut and rice crops crucial to their livelihoods. Typhoon Haiyan toppled thousands of coconut trees and destroyed paddy fields across central Philippines, leaving at least 10,000 families in Panay without the income from farming on which they depend.
Looking for family and friends
People concerned for the welfare of family and friends in the region should first attempt to contact them directly. If that is unsuccessful they should check the official ICRC website, which lists names of missing persons as well as persons who have reported that they are alive and also allows people to register names of family/friends who are still missing.
If further assistance is needed and the person overseas is an Australian citizen they should then call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 (for enquirers in Australia) or +612 6261 3305 (for enquirers overseas).
Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in volunteering overseas. Australian Red Cross does not send new volunteers overseas in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. We are instead supporting Philippine Red Cross through our appeal.
However, we are seeking qualified disaster management experts who can help communities in the Philippines to prepare for future disasters. These volunteer assignments will commence early next year.
Red Cross understands people may have a strong desire to donate items. While this generosity is appreciated, we do not have the capacity, nor are we set up to collect, store or distribute donated goods.
We are focusing our efforts on providing emergency relief, rehabilitation and recovery assistance to communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan (including the Philippines and Vietnam); supporting water and sanitation, shelter and health initiatives in affected areas; sending specialist aid workers to assist in initial assessments, relief, recovery and longer term disaster management operations; and supporting Red Cross longer term programs and the work of our Red Cross Red Crescent partners in the affected areas.
Our experience with emergency recovery has also shown that affected communities recover sooner when they can make their own choices. This includes choosing and purchasing goods to help put their lives back together again rather than being given goods. Another benefit of allowing those affected to choose their own purchases is that money is being put back into the community to stimulate local businesses. This is an important part of the local economic recovery.
Red Cross resources for you and your family
If recent events in the Philippines have caused distress for you or your family, Australian Red Cross has a range of resources that may help you at this time.
About the appeal
The Typhoon Haiyan Appeal is now closed. Any outstanding community fundraising monies must be sent to Red Cross or pledged donations advised by Monday 10th March 2014.
Funds raised through this appeal will be used to:
- provide emergency relief, rehabilitation and recovery assistance to communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan (including the Philippines and Vietnam)
- support water and sanitation, shelter and health initiatives in affected areas
- send specialist aid workers to assist in initial assessments, relief, recovery and longer term disaster management operations
- support Red Cross longer term programs and the work of our Red Cross Red Crescent partners in the affected areas.
Australian Red Cross will not deduct more than 10% of any donation to the Typhoon Haiyan Appeal to cover appeal costs. Should the funds raised exceed the amount required to meet the immediate needs of the people in the affected areas, Australian Red Cross will direct the excess funds to other emergency preparedness and/or program initiatives in the Asia Pacific region.
Donations of $2 and over are tax deductible.
Video: Our people in the Philippines say thank you.