Disaster Update: Flooding in Paraguay

July 25, 2014


The Paraguayan Red Cross is carrying out response operations following the recent floods that have affected the southern part of the country and left more than 200,000 people homeless.

The American Red Cross is providing 2,000 hygiene kits, which contain personal hygiene supplies like soap and toothbrushes. Additionally the American Red Cross is contributing $45,000 to assist with transportation of relief supplies from a Red Cross warehouse in Panama.

In Asunción, flood levels like these have not been seen since 1983. The rise of the rivers, constant rain and the cold have come together affecting both urban and rural communities and leaving more than 200,000 people homeless. There is little access to food, and livelihoods are in danger. Flood waters have forced many to leave their homes with what little they have left on their shoulders. Some of the families seeking refuge have built temporary shelters made of collected wood, discarded poles and metal roofs.

More and more people are occupying free space with permission from the Municipality, others are settling on the sidewalks. The risks are increased by sanitation access problems caused by a shortage of portable toilets.
The Red Cross is responding to the needs of 22,500 people with water distribution, sanitation and hygiene support, disaster preparedness to prevent future events, and livelihoods support. In addition Red Cross water and sanitation specialists have been sent to the region.

“We have deployed our specialists in water and sanitation as well as shelter and human settlements to support the response operation and plan for the recovery process, which we recognize will take time and will require more resources on the part of the state, humanitarian actors and the private sector,” said Benoit Porte, IFRC’s Pan-American Disaster Response Unit Coordinator.

Red Cross responds to Typhoon Rammasun in the Philippines

July 17, 2014

The global Red Cross network is responding with help and support in the Philippines after Typhoon Rammasun stripped roofs, uprooted trees, and caused flash floods and mudslides as it tracking across some of the most populous areas of the country earlier this week.

Rammasun picked up speed once it struck the Philippines eastern seaboard on Tuesday, becoming a category 3 storm with winds of up to 125 per hour. Across the country 530,000 people were evacuated from their homes prior to the arrival of the typhoon. Authorities in the Visayan city of Tacloban, badly hit by Typhoon Haiyan last November, evacuated some 27,000 people.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies pre-positioned supplies of non-food relief items and hygiene kits for 20,000 families, as well as 10,000 tarpaulins in Tacloban.

An estimated 1 million people were affected as the typhoon passed through Bicol, Quezon, parts of the Visayas and the main island of Luzon, including Metro Manila, before sweeping out to sea towards China and Northern Viet Nam. According to government estimates, 7,000 homes were destroyed and a further 20,000 were damaged. Philippine Red Cross response teams were on high alert well before the typhoon arrived, with equipment including rescue trucks, amphibious vehicles and rubber boats readied for deployment. The Red Cross provided thousands of hot meals, food packs and non-food items to affected people in several provinces, while its emergency response teams helped in rescue efforts.

Once the storm passed, the Red Cross began conducting assessments in the worst affected regions. The focus now is on clearing debris left behind by the storm and providing water containers and non-food relief items. Water tankers have also been sent to areas without safe drinking water. The Red Cross is mobilizing volunteers to help in distribution efforts in densely populated coastal municipalities such as Taguig in Metro Manila, that are still without power and clean water.

“We’ve had positive feedback from our chapters that our disaster risk reduction training may have had a substantial effect on mitigating Rammasun’s impact. However, thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed,” she Gwen Pang, Secretary General of the Philippine Red Cross.

The Philippines were hit in November by Typhoon Haiyan, and the American Red Cross continues to support recovery efforts from that typhoon such as partnering with the German and Spanish Red Cross societies to make homes in the affected areas more storm resistant, provide access to clean water and sanitation facilities, provide cash grants to help people with their recovery and rebuilding efforts and prepare communities for future disasters.

Disaster Update: Syria

February 27, 2014

Damascus/Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent jointly delivered emergency relief to over 4,000 families in Barzeh over the last two days. The 19-truck humanitarian convoy was the first to enter the Rural Damascus district since a truce was brokered there earlier this month.

“The convoy arrived in Barzeh yesterday and delivered medical, food and other items, including kitchen sets, blankets and mattresses, throughout the day to local committees,” said Daphnée Maret, the deputy head of the ICRC delegation in Syria, who oversaw the operation. “ICRC economic security and health specialists had assessed the humanitarian situation in Barzeh last week. This is significant, as it paved the way for the impartial delivery of assistance, including medical relief, in an area directly affected by fighting.”

Local committees and local health personnel will start to distribute the aid provided by the ICRC at several easily accessible distribution points in the district today.

Haiti: One Year Report

January 4, 2011
View this document on Scribd

News Release: Cholera Outbreak in Haiti

October 22, 2010

Haiti – The American Red Cross is extremely concerned about an outbreak of cholera in northern Haiti, and is assisting in the rapid response by the Red Cross network. As of Friday morning, there are approximately 1,600 cases and 158 deaths reported following an outbreak of acute diarrhea in the Artibonite and Central Plateau regions of Haiti. This is not an area directly affected by the earthquake of January 12th, but we are concerned about the speed with which this outbreak has spread.

On Friday morning, the Ministry of Health said tests had confirmed the disease outbreak is cholera. Contaminated river water is the suspected source, as most of the cases have occurred in an area stretching from north-central to north-west Haiti along the Artibonite River. The towns of Mirebalais and St Marc have been most severely affected.

The Red Cross network has launched a rapid and coordinated response. On Wednesday, October 20 a Red Cross truck loaded with medical supplies was sent to a hospital in St Marc that is handling many of the cases. These supplies include IV fluids, oral serum, antibiotics, first aid kits, and water filters.

On Friday, October 22, another two trucks are departing Port au Prince carrying 31,000 liters of clean water, chlorine, cholera kits, surgical masks and gloves, aquatabs, as well as large tents and sleeping mats to increase the hospital’s capacity. Teams of Red Cross health and water/sanitation experts are standing by to assist as needed.

The American Red Cross, which is running the largest health promotion effort in the camps of Port-au-Prince, has offered support by making available it health and water/sanitation experts, and has been asked to provide large quantities of chlorine to support the operation of water treatment plants.

As of Thursday, October 21, the Red Cross network began sending SMS text messages to people in the affected region advising them on good hygiene and sanitation practices. Two text messages per day will be sent to the affected region for at least several days.

In an effort to control the spread of disease, the government has also imposed a sanitary cordon around the affected area.

The Red Cross is working closely with the government’s Ministry of Health and Department of Civil Protection to support local health and water systems in response to this outbreak. The Red Cross is also coordinating its response with the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations in Haiti.

Press Release: American Red Cross Offers Aid to Central America after Tropical Storm Agatha

June 3, 2010

American Red Cross Offers Aid to Central America after Tropical Storm Agatha

A deluge of rain from tropical storm Agatha has flooded communities and caused hundreds of landslides in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. In response, Red Cross volunteers and experts are now assisting tens of thousands of people that have been displaced.

Soon after the rain began, more than one thousand responders with the Red Cross were called to action. They are helping their neighbors to relocate to safer areas, providing them with food and other relief supplies, and monitoring and evaluating the damage to impacted areas.

Meanwhile, in response to a request from the affected Red Cross societies, the American Red Cross plans to provide jerry cans, blankets, kitchen sets, and hygiene kits valued at $80,000, and is sending an additional $100,000 in financial assistance to support the relief operation.


Update: Southeast Asia Disasters

October 8, 2009

After a series of catastrophic disasters struck the region last week, the American Red Cross responded to a call for international assistance from four Southeast Asian countries. Members of our staff are on the ground establishing relief operations in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. In addition, below is a summary of our material and financial support thus far.

Supplies Shipped

  • To aid relief efforts in the Philippines and Indonesia, we’ve tapped our pre-positioned stocks, valued at $180,000 from our Kuala Lumpur warehouse.
  • 20,000 insecticide-treated bed nets
  • 10,000 jerry cans
  • 25,000 blankets

Financial Assistance Pledged

  • Philippines & Vietnam: $450,000
  • Indonesia: $400,000
  • Samoa: $100,000

As the responses transition to recovery, we stand ready to provide additional aid through the global Red Cross network. You can help too.

Our support (deploying skilled people, mobilizing relief supplies or providing financial assistance) to these crises comes from the International Response Fund.

You can help the victims of countless crises around the world each year, crises like the recent earthquakes in Indonesia and the flooding and typhoons in the Philippines and Vietnam, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation by either contacting 1-800-RED-CROSS or mailing your donation, with the designation, to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting redcross.org.