1,000 families in Cagayan de Oro affected by storm Washi received relief packs from Mercy Relief (MR) today.  The Singapore-born regional humanitarian aid organisation deployed its first relief team within 48 hours from the appeal for international assistance made by the Philippines government last Sunday night.  The 4-man team was in Manila last Tuesday to team up with its partner organisation – the Citizens’ Disaster Response Centre (CDRC) – and together flew into the affected areas in North Mindanao to personally procure and distribute aid supplies, in partnership with local NGO Panday Bulig (PB).

The relief packs comprised food, water and personal hygiene items.  Two of the Singaporean NGO’s pedal-powered water filtration systems are due to arrive at Cagayan de Oro  from Manila over the Christmas period.  Total value of the relief supplies is S$27,800.  The three experienced NGO partners – MR, CDRC and PB – had previously worked together in many areas of the Philippines for the 2009 typhoon Ketsana emergency relief and reconstruction efforts.

Last Tuesday, President Benigno Aquino III declared a national state of calamity with the current death toll surpassing 1,000, with another 327,590 people displaced in North Mindanao.

MR Chief Executive Hassan Ahmad said, “Whilst the physical devastation may be in a contained geographical area, the extent of damage to properties and infrastructure is massive.  Basic survival needs such as food and water are the critical requirements for the moment.  At the same time, sanitation systems have been badly shattered and this will have an adverse effect on public health.  This will have to be addressed quickly so as to thwart the probable secondary hazard – epidemics.”

Getting Ready – Personnel from MR, CDRC and PB sorting and packing relief supplies including food, water and hygiene items for distribution at Cagayan de Oro.

Missing Christmas for a purpose – MR’s Programme Manager Geoffrey Seow, distributing the supplies at Cagayan de Oro.  As a Catholic, he will be missing this year’s Christmas from his family in Singapore.

‘Bloody Christmas & Very Sad New Year’ – A sign board outside one of the thousands of wrecked homes in Cagayan de Oro described the devastated spirits of the victims.

Swept Away – A house being washed by the 4-metre deep flash floods that left more than 32,000 people displaced.

Helplessly Devoted – A local volunteer, seating along a broken bridge, in awe of the brunt of storm Washi.

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance.  

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email corporateaffairs@mercyrelief.org