The British Red Cross has released £140,000 from its Disaster Fund to support relief efforts in the wake of the catastrophic typhoon strike in the Philippines.
The death toll following typhoon Washi, which struck last weekend, is now believed to have exceeded 900 with some 1500 injured.
Many people are still missing and thousands have been forced to seek refuge in evacuation centres
Richard Gordon, Philippine Red Cross chairman, said the devastation in the area was unprecedented.
He said: “I’ve gone through many disasters but this one is the worst as some of the survivors have lost so many family members. Some have lost as many as 30 relatives.”
Money from the British Red Cross Disaster Fund will pay for lifesaving aid including food, blankets, sleeping mats, jerry cans and shelter for families in the worst affected areas of Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro in Northern Mindanao region.
Barry Armstrong, British Red Cross disaster response manager, added: “The Philippine Red Cross was one of the first agencies on the scene and has been responding with 600 staff and volunteers since the storm hit.
“The money from the British Red Cross will support continuing operations to help the thousands of people who have been made homeless and lost loved ones.
“People have lost everything as a result of the storm and the job of the Red Cross is to keep them safe and help them back on their feet as quickly as possible.”
Red Cross teams have been involved in search and rescue, as well as supporting people in evacuation centres by providing hot meals, distributing food packs and setting up first aid posts. The Red Cross has also dispatched emergency supplies of food and other items from Manila and Davao to 5,000 families in the affected area.
The Disaster Fund enables the British Red Cross to give money to support emergency relief around the world as soon as disaster strikes, to support the fund visit www.redcross.org.uk/disasterfund.
To set up interviews, please contact:
- Teresita Usapdin, communications consultant, Philippine Red Cross. Mobile: +63 9155 725 002. E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Matthew Cochrane, communications, IFRC. Mobile: +66 81 922 8739 or +63 928 340 5509
E-mail : email@example.com
In Kuala Lumpur:
- Patrick Fuller, communications manager Asia Pacific, IFRC. Mobile +60 122 308 451 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies
in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on
with their lives.