Three years since typhoon (Haiyan) Yolanda's devastation, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) conducted the Haiyan Summit on November 24, 2016 at the PRC Logistics and Multipurpose Center in Mandaluyong City to underscore the vital cooperation among its internal and external partners who helped the affected communities and individuals rise from the rubbles left by the super typhoon. With the theme, "Typhoon Haiyan: From Disaster to Deliverance," the summit aims to highlight the solidarity of the PRC, partners in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and private stakeholders during, and in the aftermath, of the disaster until they achieved almost 96 percent of the programs targeted. "This memorable event is a great opportunity for us to show our deepest gratitude to our internal and corporate partners and stakeholders who unswervingly supported our recovery assistance for Yolanda affected communities and individuals. We are looking forward that our collaborative efforts with them will not end here," said PRC Chairman Richard Gordon. According to Gordon, the efforts and support from different partners truly helped the PRC launched this kind of big humanitarian and relief and recovery operation. "With the support of our partners, the continuous repair and construction of shelter and community infrastructure, provisions for livelihood assistance, improved education and health, disaster preparedness and risk reduction programs will continue up to 2017 and beyond," said Gordon. Expected to grace the event are representatives from the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, corporate partners and ambassadors who helped in the recovery projects in Eastern Samar, Tacloban, and Aklan. Among those who will share their Haiyan testimonies are:Jeff Franklin, Country Representative from Norwegian Red Cross; Ms. Anne Orquiza, Portfolio Manager for Disaster Risk Management, Climate Change Adaptation and Urban Resilience in Australian Aid Program; Aftab Ahmed, COO of Citibank Philippine;, and Captain Dexter Comendador, President and CEO of Air Asia Philippines. Chairman Gordon will also present the organization's three-year accomplishment report on Typhoon Haiyan's rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts. The event will also feature a photo exhibit depicting the plight of the affected communities and families and how their lives where changed through PRC's efforts to provide shelter, livelihood, education, WASH/ Health and DRR programs. Due recognition will be accorded to all the partners during the said event. Moving forward In the years to come, PRC envisions to strengthen bonds and renew commitments with the partners in sharing humanitarian causes not only for Haiyan Recovery Operations but also in embarking on significant projects for disaster preparedness. As the country already experienced three devastating typhoons in recent months, PRC provided immediate responses and assistance to the affected provinces and individuals. The Red Cross was able to send a pay loader and other equipment for clearing operations in response to the devastation of typhoon Ferdie, Karen and Lawin in northern parts of Luzon. Recently, PRC also reinforced its fire responses like in the Mandaluyong and Las PiAas fire incidents, and the Bulacan Firecracker blast. PRC immediately deployed fire trucks and ambulances as well as mobilized Red Cross 143 volunteers to respond and provide aid to the affected areas and individuals. First aid and welfare stations, as well as psychosocial support and hot meals, were provided to the fire affected families and individuals. PRC assistance and assessment are still ongoing to aid the needs of the victims. To maximize its equipment and services rendered, PRC will also launch the long awaited MV Susitna, a ship that will serve as the biggest ambulance fleet and disaster response sea vessel in the country. Clinical laboratories and additional blood centers supported by the Department of Health (DOH) will be also instigated. Moreover, the 1.8 million volunteers under the Red Cross 143 program are always ready to be mobilized to respond during major emergencies in different areas. With all these humanitarian services, the PRC is open for donations to aid the needs of those affected communities by disasters, as well as in strengthening disaster preparedness programs.
Source: Philippine Information Agency