ICMC calls for urgent solidarity with the Philippines' Typhoon survivors

Geneva, 28 February 2014 - ICMC joins other humanitarian organizations in calling for urgent support for the 11.5 million people affected – including thousands feared dead – since super typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines last week.

The tropical typhoon that struck the 7,000-island country is the most powerful of currently active typhoons in the world and is the third super typhoon to strike the country in three years; it came only a month after a deadly 7.2-magnitude earthquake.

Typhoon Yolanda in the PhilippinesTyphoon Yolanda, Philippines, 2014 Heavy torrential rains and storm surges have injured tens of thousands of people and already forced some 600,000 people from their homes. Though the Filipino are resilient, having last year been among the three nations hit hardest by extreme weather, the extent of the devastation of the 8 November disaster has led the Government to declare a state of nationalcalamity that will probably take years to recover from.

"We have had a triple whammy of late so it’s tough," said David Carden, Head of Office at the Philippines United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs during a UN conference in Manila to launch an Action Plan to address the immediate needs of the population.

Innumerable needs, urgent lifesaving actions required

While some 2.5 million people are in dire need of food and clean drinking water, electricity outages, broken communication lines, insecurity and inaccessibility due to debris complicate relief efforts, according to OCHA.

The cyclonic winds, sheet and flash flooding, landslides and storm surges of up to four meters have damaged thousands of houses as well as corn and sugar crops.

Most disaster victims need tetanus vaccines and other medication. At least 100,000 pregnant women and some 190,000 breastfeeding mothers need specialized prenatal, obstetric and neonatal attention.

Violence is rampant, especially sexual and gender-based violence, given the fierce competition for resources and the overwhelmed authorities.

Some 4.4 million elementary and secondary school students as well as 300,000 preschoolers, already traumatized by the violence of the typhoon and the loss of friends and family members, are losing precious learning time.

About 2 million workers have seen their livelihoods and source of income destroyed by Yolanda. Already-poor communities also require clothing, sleeping materials, temporary shelter, and shelter repair materials.

Organized support

The UN requested some US $301 million to fund its action plan. The Philippines said that 22 UN Member States had so far pledged to provide humanitarian aid.

The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) had projected that 12.9 million people would be affected by the typhoon.

Solidarity is being globally organized through a cluster coordination of relief. In these first days of the emergency, before long-term reconstruction can be envisaged, ICMC is doing everything it can, in collaboration with its operational partners, to activate its networks to raise more funding on behalf of its member in the Philippines.

To donate

Please donate today, specifying "Yolanda" in the form to earmark your dollar-denominated donation. If you wish contribute euros or Swiss francs, please use the two Geneva-based UBS bank accounts below:

Swiss francs:

SWIFT: UBSWCHZH80A
IBAN: CH66 0024 0240 3341 5230Z

Euros:

SWIFT: UBSWCHZH80A
IBAN: CH66 0024 0240 3341 5260H