The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) led by its Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon held a consultative meeting with the European Union (EU) ambassadors to discuss how they can contribute to save and uplift the lives of those suffering from recent disasters that hit country.
Gordon toured the EU ambassadors at the PRC Operations Center and highlighted the priority needs of those suffering from recent disasters such as the destructive storm Vinta, which hit Mindanao and Palawan last month.
Based on the assessment of the PRC, the top priority needs of Vinta-affected communities are shelter, livelihood, health, and water.
“Mindanao is the focus of our intention now. Prior to Vinta, our people there are already suffering from these problems. They are hungry before, but they are hungrier now. We really need to work hard together to provide the much needed humanitarian assistance to our people,” Gordon said.
Even before the storm made landfall, PRC has been present on the ground providing round-the-clock humanitarian assistance to affected communities.
Up to now, PRC regularly distributes clean water and conducts hygiene promotion to worst hit communities by Vinta particularly in Zamboanga del Norte. So far, PRC has distributed a total of 503,000 liters of water in Mindanao.
The PRC also provided hot meals to 8,351 individuals, food items to 1,318 families, cash grants to 400 families, hygiene kits to 425 families and sleeping kits to 400 families.
The PRC also set up welfare desks to provide psychosocial support to those who were traumatized, and locate those whose loved ones are still missing. To date, 2,149 were provided with psychosocial support, while 82 individuals were reunited with their families.
Other than Vinta, Gordon also discussed the urgent rehabilitation needs of the people in Marawi, who are still reeling from the aftermath of the five-month armed conflict, which destroyed their homes and livelihoods
He also mentioned the ongoing operations of the PRCin Biliran province, which was hit by Typhoon Urduja, and the most recent tropical storm Agaton, which doubled the suffering of the people in areas previously hit by Urduja and the Marawi crisis in Mindanao
Gordon also discussed the continuous rehabilitation ofYolanda-affected communities, which will be completedby June this year, and the PRC operations during the recently concluded Feast of the Black Nazarene
“The Philippine Red Cross and our partners in the Red Cross Movement will never waver in providing assistance to the most needy. These operations are manifestations of our commitment to humanity,” Gordonadded.
The meeting was attended by ambassadors and heads of mission of the embassies of United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, Romania, Sweden, Hungary, Netherlands, Austria, Spain, and the European Union.
Also present were PRC Governor Sherwin Gatchalian, PRC Secretary General Atty. Oscar Palabyab, anddelegates of the Red Cross movement in the country.
The Philippine Red Cross, as the foremost humanitarian organization in the country, has 103 chapters with two million volunteers nationwide that is always first, always ready, and always there to provide round-the- clock humanitarian assistance, especially to the most vulnerable.
PRC has six major services, which include disaster management, health, welfare, blood, volunteer service, and Red Cross youth.