In response to the Australian Government’s announcement of $5 million to support the response to Typhoon Rai (known locally as Odette) in the Philippines, Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Lyn Morgain said:
“Super Typhoon Rai has caused immense devastation and extreme suffering for hundreds of thousands of families, just as they were preparing to celebrate Christmas.
“While the death toll is significantly less than 2013’s Haiyan – thanks to early action and the evacuation of millions of people prior to the storm making landfall – the damage to homes, livelihoods, and infrastructure is likely to be just as severe.
“While we welcome the initial contribution of $5 million, we urge the Australian Government to consider scaling up its support further, as aid agencies such as Oxfam scale up our assistance to support the Philippines on what will be a long road to recovery.”
A true picture of the storm’s impact is now emerging with some remote areas that were cut off by damaged infrastructure only now becoming accessible.
More than 2.6 million people have been affected, with at least 375 people killed, and 159,000 houses damaged.
Ahead of the storm, Oxfam and its partners distributed funds through digital cash transfer to thousands of families so they could purchase urgent supplies, such as food.
Oxfam’s humanitarian assistance will prioritise the key needs of affected families in the hardest hit provinces in Siargao Islands, Dinagat Islands and Southern Leyte.
Oxfam’s response aims to support at least 65,155 people (13,031 families) displaced by Typhoon Rai with life-saving assistance for water and sanitation, food security, emergency livelihoods, household supplies, emergency shelter, support to camp coordination, primary health and gender and protection interventions.