As the first Typhoon of the year bears down on the Philippines, including areas affected by last year’s super typhoon, humanitarian organisation Plan International is closely monitoring the situation in preparation for a rapid humanitarian response if required.
Typhoon Rammasun (known locally as ‘Glenda’) is expected to make landfall in the next 12 hours, pushing through the middle of the country and affecting multiple provinces, including the capital Manila. While not as large as Super Typhoon Haiyan which devastated huge parts of the Philippines late last year, Rammasun is still expected to cause serious flooding and property damage, further stretching a country which takes the brunt of more than 20 typhoons every year. Rammasun is also projected to hit areas already badly affected by Haiyan.
Marco Savio, Plan International’s Acting Country Director in the Philippines says: “We are continuously monitoring the situation and our contacts in the area are updating us on all developments. Our emergency response experts are ready to make a quick assessment and we are on standby to support affected populations as required. The people in areas affected by last year’s super typhoon are already incredibly vulnerable – another typhoon is the last thing they need."
“We have extensive experience responding to disasters here, including Typhoon Haiyan; to date we have helped more than 1.3 million people in 1300 villages who survived that devastating storm. We know from more than 50 years of experience working in the Philippines that when disasters hit, they always hit the most vulnerable the hardest. Children are always badly affected by disasters like this so we always work to ensure that girls, boys and their caregivers are prioritised for immediate assistance.”
“In an emergency our first response focuses on life-saving needs, including things like water and sanitation but we also look at the bigger picture, working to make sure that children are safe from harm and able to return to school.”
Plan International is one of the Philippines' longest-serving aid and development INGOs, with a special focus on helping marginalised children across the country to access their rights to health, education, livelihoods, disaster risk management and protection.
"Our staff are highly trained and experienced in emergency response” says Mr Savio. "We are on standby and will provide support as required to those who need it most."
For more information about Plan’s work in the Philippines, including previous disaster responses, go to http://plan-international.org/where-we-work/asia/philippines