Canadian support has lasting impact in the Philippines

Sebastien Jouffroy is a humanitarian worker for the Canadian Red Cross. He was deployed to the Philippines for one year and is sending updates on his experiences throughout the mission. This is Sebastien’s most recent blog post from the Philippines. You can read his previous post here.

You may have heard about Typhoon Ruby (also known as Typhoon Hagupit), a typhoon that had the potential to bring about damages of a similar scale to the infamous Typhoon Haiyan, which affected more than 10 million people in November 2013. Fortunately, Typhoon Ruby is not to be compared to Haiyan but there are still a lot of people who have lost their homes and livelihood, and to them, this is as severe as it can get. The typhoon has now left the country but so did the news coverage.

My work with the Philippine Red Cross entails supporting them to respond to humanitarian emergencies in their own country, regardless of what external assistance and resources they may get from other countries. When disaster strikes, they are the first one there and the one who will consistently and repeatedly respond. It doesn't matter how big the disaster, because at the end of the day, their community is affected and they do something about it.

After Typhoon Ruby, the Philippine Red Cross deployed within few days a Basic Health Care to Eastern Samar, which could also be described as a field clinic. They provide medical consultations for free to the affected communities and ensure that the health needs of those living in dire conditions are being covered. When you live in an evacuation centre, in a tent or in a temporary shelter, getting sick is more likely and can quickly become a big issue, especially if the local facilities cannot cope with the increased number of patients. This field clinic will remain in the area until it is determined that the effect of Typhoon Ruby can be adequately covered by the local resources.


While the equipment for the field clinic was initially provided by the Canadian Red Cross or the Japanese Red Cross after being used in response to Typhoon Haiyan, I am glad to report that the support from the Canadian public and the Canadian government has a long lasting effect in improving the lives of those affected by disasters, no matter where they are and how many they are.

In addition to providing health care, the Philippine Red Cross is also providing food, safe water, hygiene kits, shelter and other supplies to assist those affected. This is just what they do, disaster after disaster.

 

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