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Kuala Lumpur/Manila/Geneva, 12 November 2020 – Another major storm has struck the same communities that were devastated by Super Typhoon Goni in the Philippines only 10 days ago.

Typhoon Vamco is hitting central Luzon in the Philippines today after dumping heavy rain on more than 1.6 million people already severely affected by last week’s super typhoon.

The Red Cross holds particularly grave concerns for more than 240,000 people who lost their homes to Typhoon Goni, especially those who are living in makeshift shelters along the coast as this latest storm hits.

Compounding the growing emergency, local government emergency funds have been depleted by the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Philippine Red Cross teams are working on two fronts: providing emergency shelter, food, clean water, and essential household items to displaced families, while also helping communities evacuate and prepare for this latest typhoon.

Philippine Red Cross Chairman, Richard Gordon, said:

“It’s critical to quickly begin rebuilding and help people recover after a devastating typhoon, but these non-stop storms are slamming our communities during a deadly pandemic, making this one of the most complicated disaster responses ever.

“We have mobilized all our available resources to meet this new challenge, supporting communities that are getting back on their feet after being hit hard by multiple storms on top of the relentless physical, emotional and economic toll of COVID-19.”

The IFRC launched a preliminary Emergency Appeal for 3.5 million Swiss Francs in the hours after Typhoon Goni hit. But it has become apparent the Red Cross will need to increase its request for support.

Head of IFRC Philippine Country Office, Robert Kaufman, said:

“It’s heartbreaking to see a population, already in the grip of the COVID pandemic, facing another severe storm, the sixth to hit the Philippines in the past five weeks. Every woman, man and child in this devastated region is facing hardship and increased risks. We cannot leave them to face these challenges alone.

“We expect the emergency appeal in support of the Philippine Red Cross will be substantially increased to ensure people are protected.”