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Stamford, Conn. – May 7, 2014 – AmeriCares will continue its Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts in the Philippines for at least another 12 months, working to restore health services for survivors and build a stronger, more resilient health system. The global health and disaster relief organization made the announcement in a new progress report published on its website this week detailing its relief efforts over the past six months and recovery projects underway.
AmeriCares relief workers have been working on the emergency nonstop since the November 8 storm and recently hired a disaster recovery specialist to oversee its long-term recovery work in the Philippines. AmeriCares is focused on repairing damaged health care centers and training health workers to recognize malnutrition and signs of depression in survivors.
“Our goal is always to immediately confront the crisis with lifesaving medical aid and then, over the long term, make lasting improvements in health care services,” said AmeriCares President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis. “In the Philippines, that means replacing roofs blown off health clinics, repairing broken windows and replacing medical equipment lost in the disaster. In all, we are helping to repair 67 community health centers serving 1.3 million survivors.”
Typhoon Haiyan – one of the most powerful on record – made landfall six months ago this week with sustained winds of 150 mph, killing more than 6,000 people and leaving a path of destruction across the island nation. An estimated 2,000 health facilities were damaged or destroyed by the fierce winds and flooding, forcing scores of health centers to cease operations or scale back services.
AmeriCares had a team on the ground within 72 hours, assessing needs and coordinating aid deliveries. Partner organizations were able to immediately access AmeriCares relief supplies pre-positioned in the country. To date, AmeriCares has delivered 63 aid shipments containing $19.7 million in medicines and supplies for survivors. The medicines from AmeriCares – enough to fill nearly 1 million prescriptions – helped to restock empty shelves at 44 health care facilities throughout the country and supply mobile medical teams treating survivors.
“Over the past six months we have played a critical role in the recovery, ensuring survivors have access to quality care,” Nyenhuis said. “We are committed to maintaining a presence in the Philippines well into 2015, and possibly even longer, if our help is still needed.”
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. The organization has delivered aid to the Philippines since 1985 in response to both chronic shortages of medicines and supplies and past emergencies including Typhoon Bopha in 2012, Typhoon Washi in 2011, back to back typhoons in 2009 and Typhoon Frank in 2008.