PCI Continues Relief Efforts in the Philippines
After two long days of travel overland from Manila, PCI’s Emergency Response Team in the Philippines arrived in the municipality of Hernani with urgently needed supplies it sourced in the capital city. Through a partnership with a member of San Diego’s Filipino diaspora community, who maintains a residence in Hernani, the team offloaded the provisions at a local house that was used as a staging ground for distribution to more than 11,600 beneficiaries in one of the hardest hit areas from the typhoon.
Based on its assessment of immediate household needs, PCI assembled family-sized packages of food and non-food items comprised of rice, bottled water, candles, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, detergent, and mosquito coils. Supplemental packages of diapers, sanitary napkins, and additional food items were delivered to households with children under five and pregnant and lactating mothers. PCI also provided the sole medical clinic in Hernani with six boxes of medicines, such as antibiotics, as well as medical supplies.
PCI’s packages also included one-page leaflets with recommendations about essential hygiene and sanitation practices, such as hand-washing and proper disposal of human waste in the absences of toilets, which were consistent with guidance and messaging being issued by the Ministry of Health. In total, PCI distributed relief supplies and messaging to 1,949 households in the municipality.
In addition to supplying items for immediate household needs, PCI’s assessments prioritized the needs of families for the medium and longer-terms, focusing on Hernani and eight additional municipalities badly affected in Eastern Samar Province: Balanginga, Balangkayan, Giporlos, Guiuan, Lawaan, Mercedes, Quinapondan, and Salcedo. Findings prioritized:
- Livelihood restoration for local fishermen who lost their boats, nets and other assets; women and the elderly, who farmed seaweed and owned small businesses operating sari-sari shops from their homes; and vendors selling fresh and dried fish in local markets.
- Provision of seeds and toolkits for cultivating crops, both for household consumption (especially for children, the elderly and pregnant women), as well as for income generation by promoting agricultural sales in home restaurants, sari-sari shops and other small businesses.
- Distribution of agricultural tools for rice farmers who sustained damage to their rice farms due to wind and flooding.
- Emergency shelter assistance to support families with immediate housing options, as well as to reinforce rebuilding and repairing efforts already underway.
- Debris clean-up and salvaging of reusable materials, with a focus on prioritizing rapid cleaning around water points and disinfection of contaminated areas such as pools of standing water and defecation sites. This includes controlling the spread of water and vector-borne diseases through community sanitation and hygiene activities.
PCI is focusing on strategies to reach the most marginalized groups – such as women, children, the elderly and disabled – in early recovery efforts. The organization is currently exploring partnerships to examine and implement strategies to reduce vulnerability to future disasters in the areas of agriculture, urban planning, and construction materials and techniques.
PCI has had a long history of providing humanitarian assistance to people affected by disasters and complex emergencies, most recently in Haiti after the 7.4 earthquake, and in Indonesia and India following the Asia Tsunami. PCI’s humanitarian assistance efforts have focused on protection for vulnerable populations; water, sanitation and hygiene; health; shelter and housing; livelihoods; and education in emergencies. We emphasize identifying the most vulnerable in remote, hard-to-reach areas.
If you would like to donate to support humanitarian relief efforts, please reference ‘Typhoon Haiyan’ in the comments field on the PCI donation form. All donations will go to support efforts in response to the typhoon.
We would like to express our profound gratitude towards Delta Airlines and Frosch travel management company for their donations, allowing PCI to secure travel for our Emergency Response Team’s trip to the Philippines.
Read more stories from the news related to PCI’s efforts in the Philippines:
- Local humanitarian group headed to help with Typhoon aftermath (CBS 8)
- Live video updates on UT-TV from the UT San Diego field team traveling with PCI (1, 2, 3, 4)
- Relief team from San Diego heads to the Philippines (San Diego 6)
- Relief workers leave for Philippines (Fox 5)
- PCI sends team to the Philippines (San Diego Daily Transcript)
- Filipino woman aids hometown relief efforts from Oceanside (UT San Diego)
- Family will skip Christmas to help the Philippines (ABC 10)