Philippines: WFP Supports Government Emergency Response To Tropical Storm Washi
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Published on 20 December 2011

In the first phase of the emergency response, WFP delivered high-energy biscuits to feed more than 7,800 people in evacuation centres in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. 

In support of government relief efforts, WFP is providing urgently needed food, supplies and logistics support to boost the Philippine government’s emergency response to help thousands of people whose lives have been devastated by Tropical Storm Washi, which battered Northern Mindanao over the weekend.

NORTHERN MINDANAO – In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Washi (locally known as “Sendong”) that hit Northern Mindanao over the weekend, WFP is responding to the Philippine Government’s request for support to assist over 74,000 people worst-affected by the floods, many of whom have no access to food and clean drinking water.

In coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Philippine Air Force, WFP immediately dispatched three tons of High-Energy Biscuits (HEBs) to the affected areas to initially assist 7,800 of the most vulnerable people in evacuation centres in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.  

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of lives and displacement as a result of the storm and flash floods,” says WFP Country Director and Representative Stephen Anderson. “We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Filipino people who have suffered from the floods, lost family members or friends.” 

The Government has specifically requested WFP emergency food and non-food items – such as blankets, water tanks, tarpaulins and tents – as well as logistics support to help transport government relief items to affected communities in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and El Salvador, in Kinoguitan municipality in the province of Misamis Oriental and in Iligan city in the province of Lanao del Norte. 

“WFP staff is working around the clock to assist people in these communities – many who have lost everything” Anderson explains. “We are most concerned about those who still remain inaccessible and we will continue to work closely with the DSWD and other agencies to reach them”.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of the Philippines, out of the 285,000 persons displaced by floods, some 43,000 are sheltering at 62 evacuation centres.  The death toll has risen to 957 people, with others still missing.