People clear debris after a typhoon hit the Philippines

Typhoon Rai: Humanity & Inclusion launches relief operations

Humanity & Inclusion is preparing to launch its emergency relief operations in the Philippines to assist people following the devastation caused by Typhoon Rai.

More than 1 million people have been affected by Typhoon Rai, which hit the Philippines Dec. 16-18. Humanity & Inclusion was one of the first humanitarian actors to assess the damage in some of the hardest-hit communities.

Emergency aid in two provinces

After having assessed the needs of communities and individuals, Humanity & Inclusion’s teams in the Philippines will start their operations on Dec. 26 in the Bohol and Surigao del Norte.

In Bohol, teams plan to distribute 3,024 temporary shelters to people whose homes have been destroyed, and will provide 2,700 tarps in partnership with another organization. The support will provide families with decent shelter until they can rebuild their homes.

In Surigao Del Norte, Humanity & Inclusion is preparing to distribute 100 hygiene kits, containing items like soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and sanitary towels. Teams are also set to provide 300 families with cash transfer in three barangays—neighborhoods—in Surigao City. Families will be able to use the aid to buy food in local markets.

“Our teams are happy to be part of these operations. Humanity & Inclusion was one of the first humanitarian organizations to assess needs in the field and we are happy to be returning with assistance to help affected populations,” says Alvin Dumduma, Humanity & Inclusion’s project manager in the Philippines. “We’re keen to start implementing the first aid operations.”

Unstable situation

Working with local authorities and community teams, Humanity & Inclusion will identify the families and individuals with the greatest needs to prioritize aid efforts.

“The situation is changing all the time,” Dumduma explains. “People affected by the typhoon do not want to wait around in overcrowded and uncomfortable evacuation centers with limited access to sanitary facilities. They want to return home to rebuild their houses, even by using salvaged materials. We will have to reassess their needs when we start providing them with emergency assistance. With so many people affected, it’s really important to take into account the needs of the most vulnerable people and the most immediate needs.”

Future actions

Humanity & Inclusion is looking into the possibility of working on child-friendly spaces, with educational and learning activities to ensure children still have access to education, and to provide them with mental health assistance to detect and treat trauma.

In a second phase of the response, the organization plans to distribute non-food items like cooking supplies and dignity kits, including items such as sanitary towels, underwear, toilet paper, and more.

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