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Philippines flood: Plan responds to the worst-hit areas

Remains of a village along the northern coastline of the island of Mindanao.
Remains of a village along the northern coastline of the island of Mindanao.
Plan water containers ready for distribution in Zamboanga Sibugay.
Plan water containers ready for distribution in Zamboanga Sibugay.
December 19, 2011

Plan has launched an emergency response in two of the worst flood-affected areas of Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro in the Philippines.

More than 600 people are dead, and hundreds are still missing after Typhoon Sendong swept through parts of Mindanao overnight on Friday. Almost 35,000 people are in evacuation centers in the city of Cagayan de Oro alone.

As the areas hit were not Plan program units, no sponsored children have been affected.

Plan is also doing an assessment in Negros Oriental, which has been declared under state of calamity.

Carin van der Hor, Plan’s Country Director in the Philippines, said that Plan will be sending 10,000 hygiene kits, 10,000 ‘hyposol’ water purifiers and 2,000 water containers as a first wave of its response.

"The hygiene kits and 'hyposols' will be given to around 8,500 families in evacuation centers. The water containers will augment those that have been distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development," she said.

"We will be going around to see how we can help the most marginalized in this situation: the children, the women and the indigenous peoples."

The Southern island of Mindanao is usually spared the worst of the Philippines' annual storms. It is home to various tribes of indigenous peoples.

Carin also said that Plan intends to provide emotional first-aid to children affected by the floods. "The magnitude of impact on the psycho-social well-being of children – especially those who have lost their families – seems huge and the organization feels this is something we will need to respond to soon."

Plan, which runs a former child soldier registration project in parts of Mindanao, has been working in the Philippines since 1961. It has extensive experience working with children and communities in the wake of disasters. 

Get more information about Plan's work in the Philippines, including previous disaster responses.

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