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Floods wreak havoc in the Philippines

Young boy swims through the flooded waters of the Philippines
Young boy swims through the flooded waters of the Philippines
August 8, 2012

Massive rainfall drenched Metro Manila, capital of the Philippines, affecting close to 1.3 million people, about 800,000 of them now in makeshift evacuation centers around the city.

A record-breaking 472mm of rain was dumped on Manila in less than 24 hours – the heaviest since 2009. As a result, schools in nine areas were forced to close. At least four provinces have been declared under a state of calamity.

Plan has emergency response teams on standby to respond immediately should assistance be required by children and their families who are affected by the floods.

“There is limited information at the moment but what we do know is that children are often the most vulnerable in disaster situations, and that will be so here as well. In any response Plan makes, we will focus on the needs and well-being of children,” says Carin van der Hor, country director of Plan Philippines.

Concern for children

Plan has committed to assessing the situation in Manila with particular attention to child safety, access to clean water and sanitation. From these findings Plan will decide whether to launch an aid response.

In floods, inadequate access to clean water or sanitation facilities can give rise to waterborne diseases.

Plan is particularly concerned as so many children have been affected by the disaster and education has been severely disrupted as schools are being used as shelters, says Van der Hor.

“We believe that even in the face of disasters, children’s education should continue. It is crucial for children in emergency situations to be back in a school environment as soon as possible. It reunites them with their peers, helps them gain a sense of normalcy and makes it easier to observe them for signs of distress or illness. Having the children in schools also means that they can receive the proper nutrition and clean water,” adds Van der Hor.

Preparedness project

Having responded to disasters in the Philippines since 2003, the current situation is a reminder that risk reduction efforts are crucial to help communities prepare for when disaster strikes, says Van der Hor.

Plan will launch a new AusAID-funded project in the Philippines this year to support up to 155,000 people to better cope with the effects of climate change, such as drought, landslides and floods.

Information for sponsors

We will contact sponsors directly if we receive any news about individual sponsored children. If you are planning a visit or have any particular concerns around this issue, please contact our Donor Relations staff at donorrelations@planusa.org or at 1-800-556-7918.

Learn more about Plan's work in the Philippines

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