Stamford, Conn. – Dec. 8, 2014 – An AmeriCares emergency response team has arrived in the Philippines to assist families displaced by Typhoon Hagupit. The team from AmeriCares headquarters in Connecticut joined the response team in country today to assist with coordinating aid deliveries and assessing survivors’ needs. Hagupit, known locally as Ruby, made landfall Saturday in the central and eastern Philippines with torrential rains and hurricane-force winds, causing severe flooding and massive power outages. With memories of Typhoon Haiyan just 13 months ago, up to 1 million Filipinos were more cautious this time, evacuating their homes in advance of the storm.
Now downgraded to a tropical storm, the slow-moving system is bringing relentless rain that has heightened flooding concerns. The AmeriCares response team in Manila is ready to distribute hygiene supplies to shelters as soon as it is safe to travel. Shipments of medicines, bandages, baby care products and other relief supplies are planned in the coming days. AmeriCares also awarded emergency funding to a partner organization in the Philippines in advance of the storm to purchase food and relief supplies for displaced families.
“Roads are flooded, power lines are down and roofs are blown off homes,” said AmeriCares Response and Recovery Coordinator for the Philippines Paul Pagaran. “We won’t know the full extent of the damage for days, but with thousands of families in crowded evacuation centers we anticipate our help will be needed.”
AmeriCares has been responding to emergencies in the Philippines since 1985, most recently working alongside the Philippines Department of Health and local partners to repair health centers damaged or destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan. In the one year since Haiyan, AmeriCares has delivered $21 million in aid to help restore health care services and strengthen the health care system to prepare for future emergencies. Reconstruction is completed or underway on 74 health care facilities, restoring access to care for close to 2 million patients. Some facilities were supplied with generators that allowed them to continue operating over the weekend despite power outages.
AmeriCares has been aiding survivors of natural disasters, disease outbreaks, political conflict and extreme poverty around the world for more than 30 years, saving lives and restoring health and hope. The organization’s relief workers are among the first to respond to emergencies and stay as long as needed. On average, AmeriCares responds to 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year. AmeriCares also establishes long-term recovery projects in communities affected by disaster and brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities.