Needs assessment over #RubyPH to begin Dec 8
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) The initial assessment of needs in areas affected by Typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit) is expected to begin on Monday, December 8, but may be delayed until the Philippine government gives the go ahead.
The Philippine Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) is ready assess the situation in affected areas, Gil Arevalo of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) told Rappler on Sunday, December 7.
“Tomorrow (Monday) it will begin, in collaboration with other humanitarian agencies. The arrangement is similar to what happened with Yolanda,” Arevalo added. “This is the info as of now, but there will be updates again tomorrow morning.”
The HCT has also stored relief supplies for Ruby victims in Manila, Cebu, and Cotabato City. These are available for deployment upon the government’s request, the OCHA reported. Relief supplies include emergency shelter, food, and non-food items.
HCT teams are deployed among potentially affected areas and in its offices in Borongan City in Eastern Samar.
The HCT reiterated on December 6 the offer of international support to the Philippine government. The latter will respond to the offer based on assessed needs.
“Before the Philippine government accepts, it will look at the extent of damage first. It’s standard operating procedure. Initial assessment usually lasts 72 hours,” Arevalo said.
The Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) is also gathering social media reports on the needs of affected communities, particularly:
- immediate infrastructure and population displacement for the first 48 hours
- urgent needs of the affected communities before and after 48 hours
- overall humanitarian aid days after the typhoon
Bulletins containing information on disaster preparedness written in the local dialects in Samar, Leyte, Eastern Samar, and Roxas City were also distributed by the Communications with Communities and Accountability to Affected Populations working group.
Meanwhile, the government plans to use Roxas City as a staging area and the Cebu International Airport acting as the international point of entry for relief goods. Welfare Secretary Corazon Juliano Soliman is managing the “One Stop Shop” facility in Cebu, according to OCHA.
The World Food Programme (WFP) is also providing transportation and food supplies to support the government's humanitarian response, at the request of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
“Food, trucks or satphones – we will provide whatever is needed to help the people of the Philippines as this situation unfolds,” Praveen Agrawal, WFP Philippines country director, said in a statement.
In addition, the Armed Forces of the Philippines established the Multinational Coordinating Center at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, to coordinate incoming foreign military assets.
OCHA reported offers of assistance from Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
OCHA reported that the Department of Health (DOH) requested for Type 2 international medical teams – Inpatient Surgical Emergency Care – to support the response in Northern Samar.
Incoming medical teams should register and coordinate with DOH.
The government will not accept donation of medicines that are set to expire within one year. – Rappler.com
Editor's note: We previously reported that the government would allow aerial drones of the Philippine Humanitarian Country Team to do damage assesment. The permission has since been put on hold.