This report covers the period 1 January to 30 June 2008
The Annual Appeal to support the Philippines National Red Cross Society (PNRC) focuses on organisational development, with an emphasis on expanding its volunteer base throughout the country, as well as increasing its capacity in disaster management and health and care.
The total budget for 2008 is CHF 2,158,657 (USD 1.93 million or EUR 1.31 million). Unfortunately, to date, there have been no contributions to this appeal, and therefore no expenditure under this appeal. Meanwhile, funding from the Typhoon Emergency Appeals of 2007 has contributed towards capacity building in disaster management. In addition, on 24 June 2008, an Emergency Appeal for Typhoon Fengshen was launched, seeking CHF 8.3 million to assist 80,000 families over three months. To date this appeal is approximately 28% covered.
The International Federation, on behalf of the Philippines National Red Cross Society, requests urgent support for the 2008 Annual Appeal, in order to enable it to meet the objectives outlined in the Appeal, and contribute to the strengthening of PNRC, to enable it to provide better services to vulnerable communities in the Philippines, especially in times of disaster, and in the area of health and care.
The Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) has a long-standing reputation for being a highly operational, well-committed and well-organized national society, used to responding effectively to the many disasters that strike the Philippines annually. The country itself is vulnerable to an average of 20 typhoons per year which are often succeeded by large-scale flooding and landslides. The Philippines also experiences earthquakes and more sporadically, volcanic eruptions.
The PNRC has, over time, developed adequate skills in responding to most of these disasters and is recognized and respected nationally for its efforts in supporting those affected. The national society also continues to support those impacted by three ongoing armed insurgencies in the country, mainly concentrated in Mindanao, located in the southern part of the country. With the aid of its strong image and reputation in the area of humanitarian aid, the PNRC has developed good fundraising skills and received much international support in times of disaster.
The leadership of the national society is very keen on maintaining the high profile of the PNRC, and constantly challenges its staff and volunteers to be more proactive, and to respond in more rapid, efficient and innovative ways. Given the additional risks triggered by climate change, this approach looks towards enhancing the skills and response time of the national society as a whole. Climate change looks set to affect the Philippines to a greater degree than it may other countries. Many of the 7,000 or more islands that constitute the country lie at only a few metres above sea level, meaning any rise in ocean levels would have a tremendous consequence for the country as a whole.
The PNRC faces great challenges in serving an ever-growing population, a large portion of which is economically deprived. Poverty and hunger (some cases of which are severe) are on the rise, following the steep increase in the price of rice (which constitutes the staple food of the nation) internationally, and as a result of significant fluctuations on the currency exchange. Additional levels of malnutrition are likely to have immediate, real and negative impact on the health and well-being of many families.