Red Cross appeals for P260 million for 'Sendong' victims-A A +A
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
SOME P262 million will be needed for the recovery of communities ravaged by tropical storm Sendong last December, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said Wednesday.
This developed as the groups announced their plan to more than double the support they will provide to residents displaced by the massive flooding brought by Sendong in the port cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.
They are now asking for 5.69 million Swiss francs ($6.1 million or P262 million), a big jump from the initial call for 2.63 million Swiss francs ($2.8 million or P120 million) that was made in the days following the onslaught of Sendong that claimed over 1,200 lives.
These increased financial needs reflect the perilous situation still faced by those who were severely affected, according to Richard Gordon, the chairman of the Philippine Red Cross.
"More than a month on from Sendong and at least 223,000 are still living in emergency shelters, with host families, or in makeshift conditions. It may take a long time for these people to get back into permanent homes, and they will need our support in the interim," he said.
Besides appealing to private donors, the Red Cross recently became a beneficiary of nearly P2 million from proceeds of the exhibition match between the men’s national football team Azkals and the Spanish club CF Internacional de Madrid.
At present, the Red Cross has pledged to support 4,000 families with either safe transitional shelter or with repair kits to help them to rebuild homes.
The transitional homes are intended for families whose houses were destroyed, and the repair kits are for other families to rebuild homes that were damaged.
The revised operation will also see the Red Cross provide 2,000 families with cash or other livelihoods support as well as reaching 15,000 families or roughly 75,000 people with food, water storage containers and hygiene kits.
Those families receiving water containers will also be provided with information on health and hygiene, helping them to take the necessary steps to avoid exposure to illness and disease.
A recent outbreak of the deadly bacteria leptospirosis has claimed 16 lives and affected 377 others.
For its part, the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) called on the government to ensure the transition of displaced individuals to a safer area and provide full financial support for the reconstruction of their houses.
Around 10,000 houses are expected to be constructed soon by the National Housing Authority (NHA) or just a third of the estimated 30,000 homes damaged by Sendong in flood-hit cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.
"Considering that leading government agencies involved in land use planning did not even bother to reconfigure the urbanization of Iligan and Cagayan De Oro before Sendong, the government is partly to blame for the destruction in Mindanao," the group said.
Earlier, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III sought an inquiry that will investigate the factors that led to the tragedy in Mindanao and Visayas. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)