Typhoons in the Philippines and Vietnam, Earthquakes in Indonesia, Tsunamis in Samoa Heighten Need for Disaster Relief

Photo used under Creative Commons from Cray146/Flickr
Her family's home was destroyed by one of the many typhoons which struck the Philippines. Photo used under Creative Commons from Cray146/Flickr

In the aftermath of a string of devastating disasters in Asia and the South Pacific, AmeriCares touched the world dramatically. From earthquakes in Indonesia to typhoons in the Philippines, AmeriCares delivered aid to men, women and children struck by heartbreaking catastrophes. 

Typhoon Lupit narrowly missed the Philippines, but strong winds and punishing rain bands worsened existing flood conditions. Stagnant water and flooding put thousands at further risk for waterborne diseases such as leptospirosis, which has already claimed over 150 lives in and around the capital city of Manila.

Commonly known as rat fever, leptospirosis, is caused by exposure to contaminated water and can cause symptoms ranging from fever and chills to liver failure and meningitis. AmeriCares sent several powerful antibiotics and other medicines to help people who have become ill with the dangerous disease. Read more >>

In the Philippines, where two earlier typhoons killed hundreds and flooded millions out of their homes, AmeriCares delivered crucial airlifts and shipments. We delivered:

  • Water purifiers to provide 10,000 families with safe water for weeks while floodwaters recede and public drinking water supplies are decontaminated;
  • Antibiotics, pain relievers, fever reducers, syringes, medical supplies and chronic disease medications worth over $3.2 million;
  • Enough rehydration fluids to protect up to 4,000 children from dehydration.

In Indonesia, where two massive earthquakes killed thousands and displaced millions, AmeriCares has been hard at work on the ground and back at headquarters to help survivors. We delivered:  

  • Enough rehydration fluids to help up to 5,000 children;
  • Medical equipment, surgical supplies and critical emergency medicines to help doctors care for 1,000 patients being treated in tents serving as temporary hospitals;
  • Antibiotics, children's fever reducers, gastrointestinal and asthma medications – enough to provide treatments for 42,000 people.
To help restore the region’s largest hospital, AmeriCares is also sending portable warehouses to provide temporary storage for sensitive medical supplies and equipment. AmeriCares remains in Indonesia, coordinating aid deliveries and working with health care professionals on disaster recovery plans. Read an aid worker’s report from the field in the aftermath of the disaster >>

In Samoa, where thousands remain homeless after a tsunami wiped out coastal villages, AmeriCares delivered Safe Kid Kits to help 360 young children feel secure in emergency shelters while their families' homes are being rebuilt. 

AmeriCares has mounted emergency response efforts from its U.S. headquarters and on the ground - working around the clock to save lives and restore health to thousands of people affected by the devastation.

Every day, AmeriCares is prepared to respond to men, women and children in crisis. Disaster relief stocks are strategically located to help in the world's danger zones - such as the Ring of Fire in the Pacific which has seen great devastation in recent days. Ongoing medical aid strengthens our capacity to deliver lifesaving medicines and medical supplies throughout the world. A critical issue remains – the challenge of responding to several major disasters in these difficult economic times.

When disasters strike, health care facilities struggle to cope with a surge in demand as survivors seek care. The supply chains that keep the facilities stocked and caring for patients are usually disrupted for weeks, if not months.

Medicines and medical supplies are urgently needed by emergency health providers and public health responders to treat mounting illnesses and injuries. That’s why AmeriCares strives to maintain its ability to deliver disaster relief and medical aid to men, women and children in need – wherever they are, whenever they need it.

Update as of November 3, 2009: AmeriCares continues to help survivors of the recent typhoons, tsunami and floods in Asia and the South Pacific.  And we also continue our on-going efforts to provide lifesaving medical and humanitarian aid to people in poor and conflict-ridden countries struggling for daily survival around the world.