To help survivors of Typhoon Bopha, the most powerful storm to hit the Philippines in the past year, AmeriCares awarded two emergency grants to partners working in hard-hit areas, delivered three medical aid shipments and deployed a relief team to the disaster zone.
The deadly storm slammed the southern region of the Philippines with high wind and rain on December 3, 2012, killing 1,100 people, displacing another 900,000, and causing widespread flooding and destruction. Seasonal flooding after the typhoon has hampered relief efforts. AmeriCares immediately awarded $15,000 in emergency funding to help provide food, blankets, soap, shampoo and other personal care items for 1,000 families displaced by the disaster.
A new emergency grant of $60,000 has been issued to our local partner, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Mindanao Island to help local health care providers deal with the influx of ill and injured patients by adding extra staff, restocking affected clinics and building a temporary health station. The assistance will help an estimated 5,000 displaced survivors in the hard-hit area.
In addition to the grants, AmeriCares response included:
- Emergency Medical Shipment: An air shipment of amoxicillin has been sent to our partner IOM. The antibiotic is crucial for fighting infections and diseases that can strike survivors in flood-affected areas.
- Emergency Air Shipment: More than two thousand pounds of medical aid and relief supplies including antibiotics, gastrointestinal medicines, wound care supplies and nutritional supplements was sent to our partner, the Sovereign Order of Malta, on January 6. The shipment was distributed to response partners helping families in Mindanao Island and the Davao region.
- Emergency Medical Module: On January 7, this shipment of crucial medicines and supplies was airlifted to partner IOM from our Amsterdam warehouse. The module contains enough medical aid to help 12 local health facilities replace dwindling stocks, and provide primary care 15,000 patients for three months.
In mid-January, an AmeriCares relief team spent several days in Mindanao visiting storm-damaged communities, assessing unmet health care needs, and working with local partners to distribute AmeriCares aid shipments. “It was inspiring to see the strength of these communities as they work to recover,” said Lauren Camp, senior associate on AmeriCares Asia Partnerships team.
“Although the Philippines is prone to storms and flooding disasters, Typhoon Bopha was one of the worst storms to ever hit this part of the country,” said AmeriCares Vice President of Emergency Response Garrett Ingoglia. “The devastation is incredible and the need is great.”
About 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year, often causing death and destruction. Long before Bopha struck, AmeriCares worked with partners to be ready for disaster. Earlier in 2012, AmeriCares launched a global pre-positioning initiative, enabling quick response to Tropical Storm Saola in August, 2012. In December, 2011, AmeriCares collaborated with partners to help thousands of victims of Tropical Storm Washi.