Stamford, Conn. – Nov. 12, 2013 – AmeriCares first aid shipment carrying medical aid for 20,000 typhoon survivors is on its way to the Philippines and more aid shipments are underway. The air shipment left the Amsterdam warehouse yesterday and is expected to arrive in the Philippines on Thursday carrying many of the most frequently needed post-disaster medical supplies including antibiotics, wound care supplies and pain relievers. Three more medical aid shipments are planned in the coming days, including two shipments from the aid organization’s Connecticut headquarters.
“There are widespread shortages of medicines – the hospitals still standing have nothing left on the shelves,” said AmeriCares Vice President of Emergency Response Garrett Ingoglia. “The floods destroyed most of their supplies just as demand is spiking with injured survivors seeking help. And with the water supply compromised in many areas there is an increased risk of waterborne diseases.”
AmeriCares has emergency response experts in Cebu and Manila working with partner organizations to restock hospitals and clinics and supply medical professionals working in the affected areas. The disaster response and humanitarian aid organization has also provided emergency funding to a local partner that is distributing critical relief supplies to 1,000 families in Samar. AmeriCares has delivered aid to the Philippines since 1985 and has an established network of contacts throughout the country that supports 150 health care facilities, allowing it to quickly speed relief to disaster survivors.
Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, made landfall on the island of Samar on Friday with wind speeds up to 170 mph and a 15-foot storm surge. Some of the most severe damage was in Tacloban, where the city’s only functioning hospital is reportedly turning away injured patients.
AmeriCares has been aiding survivors of natural disasters, political conflict and extreme poverty around the world for more than 30 years, saving lives and restoring health and hope. To date, AmeriCares has delivered more than $229 million in humanitarian aid to the Philippines including relief supplies for survivors of last month’s deadly earthquake. Other recent emergency responses include Typhoon Bopha in 2012, Typhoon Washi in 2011, back-to-back typhoons in 2009 and Typhoon Frank in 2008.