The Finnish Red Cross continues operations in the Philippines

Joe Cropp / IFRC
Red Cross volunteer nurse, Aura Barroga, explaining the importance of hygiene at an evacuation centre in Manila.
Image: Joe Cropp / IFRC

The Finnish Red Cross supports the flood operations in the Philippines by donating €50,000 from the Disaster Relief Fund.

The heavy rains that fell in Philippines on the first week of August were the worst the country has experienced in three years. The downpours caused floods that continue to affect over four million people in Manila and neighbouring provinces. Hundreds of thousands have been forced to leave their homes.  At the worst point, over 80% of Manila, a city with over a million habitants, was under water.

The number of casualties has reached one hundred. Evacuation centres are still accommodating over 200,000 people.

The Philippine Red Cross began relief operations immediately after the floods began. So far, Red Cross volunteers have delivered food, hygiene kits and other aid equipment to tens of thousands of families, as well as participated in search and evacuation operations.

Clean water in the focus of aid operations

Now the focus of the relief operations is on health, especially on ensuring clean water supplies and hygienic clean water treatment.

The biggest problem the evacuation centres are struggling with is the lack of clean water.  Bottled water is expensive and not enough coal is available for boiling water. At the moment, Red Cross volunteers are distributing information on water treatment and the importance of hygiene.

“The most important resource in teaching health and hygiene are the communities themselves. By working with the communities, we have the opportunity to reduce health risks and distribute information on avoiding contagions,” says Gwendolyn Pang, Secretary General of the Philippine Red Cross.

Finns support Red Cross operations

The Finnish Red Cross has provided significant financial, material and human resources aid for all relief operations after natural disasters in the Philippines since 2008.

A sum of €50,000 has been donated from the Finnish Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to repair the current damage.

The Finnish Red Cross has supported disaster management in the Philippines through the development financial resources of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Disaster Relief Fund since 2010. The programme is likely to continue at least until 2015.