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Philippines: vital assistance for 48,000 flood victims in Northern Samar

03-02-2011 News Release 11/24

Manila/Geneva (ICRC) – Around 48,000 people in flood-stricken areas of Northern Samar, one of the islands in the Visayas (Central Philippines) have been given a half-month supply of food by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Philippine Red Cross.

Distributions started in the municipality of Bobon last week and will continue in the region of Las Navas in the coming days.

"We saw the devastation brought about by rains and flash floods in Northern Samar, where it was already difficult for people in remote communities to cope with the lack of development and with security concerns," said Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross. "We knew we had to act quickly."

Distributions began within a week after initial assessments were completed. Each family was given 25 kilograms of rice, six litres of oil, 12 tins of sardines and other items.

"Although the ICRC's task consists mainly in bringing aid to people adversely affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence, the organization also works in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross to help people in sensitive areas when calamities occur," said Daphnée Maret, the ICRC's head of office in Tacloban.

In 2010 the ICRC provided support for Philippine Red Cross aid activities in weather emergencies in Jolo and Central Mindanao. It also assisted some 42,000 people in Ifugao after their lands suffered severe El Niño damage. The ICRC stands ready to take further action of this kind in cooperation with the Philippine Red Cross.

For further information, please contact:
Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC Manila, tel: +63 918 907 21 25
Alex Rosete, Philippine Red Cross Manila, tel: +63 922 861 96 63
Philippe Stoll, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 40 or +41 79 536 92 49