MANDALUYONG CITY -- Describing the aftermath of Odette as "a slow, simpering, difficult challenge that will go on for the next several months," the Philippine Red Cross(PRC) Chairman and CEO Senator Richard "Dick" Gordon held an emergency diplomatic meeting with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and 29 ambassadors and diplomats last December 23, 2021. He thanked them for their contributions and appealed for more donations for those who were affected by the recent Super Typhoon.
Explaining the current situation on the ground, " It has been exacerbated once again by the loss of livelihood, infrastructure damage, crop damage, which still has to be unfurrowed, and challenges to morale because these people have no water, the lifelines are out, water, power, communications, even medical facilities are affected, but the most affected of course are the most vulnerable, and there are many poor in our country," said Gordon.
Through the Emergency Appeal, the Philippine Red Cross will deliver urgent relief and longer-term recovery efforts for an estimated 400,000 people with the support of the IFRC. Appealing for more donations, Gordon said," every bit helps, and hopefully we can come out as successful as we did in Haiyan wherein there were no integrity issues in all the typhoon operations and fundraising initiatives."
Always being the first responders on the ground whenever a disaster strikes, the PRC has 1,540 volunteers on the ground right now, as they distributed hot meals to 27,915 individuals, provided bread to 865 families, gave food items to 194 families, distributed non-food items to 50 families, provided psychosocial support to 725 individuals, set up Child-Friendly spaces catering to 263 individuals, monitored the blood pressure of 965 individuals, gave first aid to 31 individuals, held a session on hygiene promotion in evacuation centers to 8,083 individuals, gave hygiene kits to 204 families, distributed 168,300 liters of water, sent over clothing to 251 individuals and face masks to 245 individuals, and distributed 19 body bags as of December 23, 2021.
As of yesterday, December 22, 2021, the PRC has received bilateral donations from Spanish Red Cross, German Red Cross, Singapore Red Cross, Australian DFAT, International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent(ICRC), Korean National Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross, Kuwait Red Crescent Society.
Present in the emergency meeting was Chairman and CEO Dick Gordon, PRC Secretary-General Elizabeth Zavalla, IFRC Asia Pacific Regional Director, Gwendolyn Pang, IFRC Philippine Head of Delegation, Alberto Bocanegra, IFRC Philippines Program Coordinator, Gopal Mukherjee, and IFRC Communications, Rachel Punitha.
Also, in attendance were representatives from the Australian Embassy, Austrian Embassy, British Embassy, Bruneian Embassy, Cambodia Embassy, Canadian Embassy, ECHO, Egyptian Embassy, Embassy of Brazil, Embassy of France, Embassy of Hungary, Embassy of Israel, Embassy of Italy, Embassy of Japan, Embassy of Mexico, Embassy of Panama, Embassy of Spain, Embassy of the Czech Republic, EU Delegation, Finnish Embassy, France, German Embassy, Korean Embassy, Netherlands Embassy, New Zealand Embassy, Embassy of Norway, Norwegian Embassy, South African Embassy, and Swedish Embassy. (Philippine Red Cross)