Stamford, Conn. – Jan. 29, 2018 – Americares, the health-focused relief and development organization, is preparing to deploy a team to assist families displaced by volcanic activity in the Philippines. The team, based out of the Americares office in Manila, plans to distribute protective masks, cleaning kits and essential health and hygiene products to families staying in evacuation centers in Albay province.
More than 75,000 people have fled their homes since Mount Mayon began erupting on Jan. 13, sporadically gushing lava and shooting ash into the air near Legazpi City. Last week, authorities raised the threat level to the second-highest, prompting a wave of evacuations.
“We are providing essential supplies and hygiene education for families in emergency shelters,” said Paul Pagaran, Americares country director for the Philippines. “Volcanic eruptions release dangerous gases and particles that can cause respiratory problems and lung damage. We are helping evacuees take the necessary precautions to protect their health.”
Americares helps communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters, increase access to medicine and medical supplies, improve and expand clinical services, prevent disease and promote good health. Since its founding nearly 40 years ago, Americares has provided more than $15 billion in aid to 164 countries, including the United States.
Americares has been providing assistance to the Philippines—one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries—for more than 20 years. Americares established a base of operations in Manila in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 to respond more quickly to disasters and strengthen health care for families in need. In addition to preparing for and responding to disasters, the Americares Philippines team helps to repair, rebuild and support critical local health centers, often the only source of care for thousands of people.
Americares relief workers pack protective masks to send to families staying in evacuation centers in Albay province.