International action is critical for hundreds of thousands of people whose homes and livelihoods have been decimated by Super Typhoon Rai.
In response to the devastation caused by the typhoon, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an Emergency Appeal for 20 million Swiss francs to fund urgent relief and longer-term recovery efforts for an estimated 400,000 people.
Typhoon Rai slammed into the eastern Philippines on Thursday, 16 December ravaging islands and coastal communities in the eastern Philippines and carving a path of devastation, flooding towns, and cities across the country.
Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon said: “Filipinos are rallying together with courage, but after losing everything in this savage storm, international support will enable hundreds of thousands of people to rebuild their homes and decimated livelihoods.
“Red Cross emergency teams are reporting complete carnage in the coastal areas. Homes, hospitals, schools, and community buildings have been ripped to shreds. Our volunteers are providing urgent relief for people who have lost everything, including food, drinking water, first aid, medical care, and somewhere safe to shelter.”
Typhoon Rai is one of the most powerful storms on record to hit the southern Philippines. The superstorm has caused widespread flooding for millions of people hit hard by the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
IFRC Head of Philippine Country Office Alberto Bocanegra said: “Red Cross teams are describing widespread devastation in coastal areas. It’s going to be a long, tough road for people to rebuild and get their lives back on track.
“The emergency appeal that we have launched in support of the Philippine Red Cross will enable relief and longer-term assistance. We need to be ready to urgently increase support as the full extent of the disaster becomes clear.”
The Philippines is struck by around 20 typhoons a year, with climate change intensifying the risk of more powerful and frequent storms.