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Oxfam and its local partners are ready to respond to Super Typhoon Mangkhut (known locally as Typhoon Ompong), if needed. The Philippine government considers Mangkhut to be highly threatening and a request for international assistance might be considered. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that 4.3 million people live in the projected path of this destructive storm.
In a statement, Maria Rosario Felizco, Country Director of Oxfam in the Philippines, said that Oxfam and its partners, Humanitarian Response Consortium (HRC) and Citizens Disaster Response Center (CDRC), were ready to assist with services in water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); cash programming; emergency food security and livelihoods and gender and protection. “Oxfam and its partners have a strong response capacity in the Philippines with a team of experienced responders on the ground,” said Felizco.
“Oxfam and our local partners are committed to working closely with the government and other humanitarian actors to mitigate the impacts of Super Typhoon Mangkhut , and especially to ensure that the rights of women are upheld throughout all stages of any emergency response. We collectively aim to operationalize a gender perspective in humanitarian assistance because women and girls face multiple levels of vulnerability during emergencies. It’s very important that their specific needs and capacities are taken into account.”
Oxfam will be deploying staff to join the emergency response teams of HRC and CDRC. “We sent responders to travel to Tuguegarao today with CDRC, and we expect to send another team over the coming days to join HRC. Our joint assessments will be looking at the differentiated contexts, needs, and priorities of men, women, and the most vulnerable sectors living in areas most likely to be affected by the typhoon,” said Felizco.
Typhoon Ompong is predicted to make landfall in the northern tip of Cagayan on Saturday morning, and is packing devastating wind gusts of up to 250 km/h, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
“We are very concerned about the potential for landslides, due to the mountainous terrain in northern Luzon, and flooding from the expected heavy torrential rain,” said Felizco. “Mangkhut is also projected to bring heavy rain over western Luzon, and we are concerned about the communities who are still dealing with the aftermath of habagat or the storm-enhanced southwest monsoon rains from July to August.”
The state weather bureau also reported that this could be the strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year.
Patricia Miranda in the Philippines | + 63 (02) 920 2814009 | PMiranda@oxfam.org.uk