A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
December 5, 2012 (Manila, Philippines) – Despite being tagged as a super typhoon, the damages and destruction caused by typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha) was not as severe compared to last year’s tropical storm Sendong which affected similar areas.
According to Paul Ddel Rosario, Oxfam in the Philippines Humanitarian Coordinator “the pre-emptive evacuation and other preparatory measures taken by local government units, plus the cooperation of affected residents indeed saved lives.” However he added that “we still need to wait for the results from our assessment teams who are on the ground now to see what urgent needs Oxfam should respond to.”
Oxfam’s rapid assessment teams, supported by its local partners, are currently in Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City and Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Palawan.
Typhoon Pablo has further weakened as it continues to move towards Northern Palawan before finally existing out of the Philippines Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Thursday, December 6, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomic Services Agency (PAGASA).
The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) counts the number of casualties to 82 people killed and 24 missing. In Cagayan de Oro City, an area which was badly hit by Typhoon Washi on December of last year, there were no recorded casualties news reports say underscoring the preparedness of the community and the local government unit in facing a disaster.
A total of 24,380 families or 120,627 individuals were affected in Regions VIII (Eastern Visayas), X (Northern Mindanao), XI (Davao Region) and XIII (Caraga),of which 21,560 families or 106,730 individuals are currently displaced and are being served inside and outside evacuation centers.
Oxfam is currently the convenor of the Philippine INGO Network (PINGON), a network of international and national humanitarian groups, and is working with the group to harmonize preparedness measures. Oxfam is also closely coordinating with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Office of Civil Defence (OCD).
Please consider making a donation to the general emergency fund of your nearest national Oxfam affiliate. Your money will be used to fund our emergency work worldwide, which includes responding in countries such as the Philippines.
Notes to editors
Jed Alegado, Oxfam’s Media & Communications Officer, +63 928-5042911; +62 922-5409474; email@example.com