ICRC to distribute water, medical aid in Eastern Samar
MANILA, Philippines – Thousands of people will receive clean drinking water and medical care in the coming days as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) increases relief efforts in Super Typhoon Yolanda-affected areas. (READ: Yolanda death toll up at 5,632 – NDRRMC)
The ICRC in the next 3 months will work with the Philippine Red Cross to provide drinking water for 67,000 people and emergency health services for 63,000 persons in Eastern Samar, the international organization said in its recent operations update on Friday, November 29.
“People already living in dire poverty have seen their crops and livelihoods destroyed, while water networks and health facilities have been severely affected,” said ICRC response coordinator Vincent Cassard.
Drinking water and health services
In the southern part of Samar, 7 municipalities have benefited from water treatment units brought in by the ICRC. In Guiuan, the international organization coordinated with the local water board in delivering water and repairing pumping stations. The effort has provided drinking water to more than 30,000 people daily, according to the operations bulletin.
The ICRC also set up an emergency hospital in Basey and a basic health service center in Balangiga, with the help of the Norwegian and Finnish Red Cross Societies.
The international organization’s food distribution is ongoing. In remote areas such as the islands of Homonhon and Victory, food reached more than 58,000 people. (READ: Airlift extends lifeline to remote Yolanda survivors)
Relief efforts will later expand to include rehabilitation assistance, especially livelihood support.
“We will keep distributing food to affected communities along the south coast of Samar as long as needed, but we plan to help people get back on their feet through sustainable sources of income,” Cassard said.
Working with the Philippine Red Cross and Red Crescent partners, the ICRC currently has a total of 120 staff members working on the ground but plans to deploy more relief workers in the future (READ: Yolanda (Typhoon Haiyan): Aid, donations from int’l community) – Rappler.com