Super Typhoon Haiyan has brought widespread flooding, landslides and destruction to the Philippines, destroying thousands of homes as it tracked across the Visayas region of central Philippines on its path through the country. The humanitarian impact has been severe and felt across 40 provinces in the Philippines. The storm, the worst typhoon to hit the country this year, made landfall early in the morning of November 8, with wind speeds of over 300 kilometres an hour. Water, food, shelter and medicine have been identified as immediate priorities.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has been working with the Philippine Red Cross as it prepares rapid response teams and supplies for those worst affected by the storm. The Philippine Red Cross continues search and rescue operations, providing first aid and hot meals to those in evacuation centres.
The Canadian Red Cross, with the support of the Government of Canada, is deploying a field hospital to provide basic health care to communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The Basic Health Care Unit is a general out-patient and surgical hospital that can meet the primary and public health needs of a community of 100,000 people. The hospital is designed to be operational within 12 hours of arrival on site and self-sufficient for one month. Twelve highly trained staff from Canada will be deployed with the hospital, which will be supported by the Norwegian and Hong Kong Red Cross National Societies.
The Red Cross is asking credit unions to help them collect donations for the relief efforts in the Philippines. The collection period will start immediately and run until December 13, 2013. All donations made by Canadians will be matched by the Government of Canada until December 9.