PHILIPPINES: Typhoon Haiyan relief assistance by South Africa
Typhoon wreaked havoc in Southern Islands of the Philippines and was estimated to be 3.5 times more powerful than Hurricane Katrina in the US. The aftermath of the typhoon necessitated the intervention of the International community to send disaster relief teams to enhance the work done by the government. In this regard, the Government and the people of South Africa joined forces with the International Relief Organisations to assist in dealing with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) much to the appreciation of the people of the Philippines.
Two relief groups, namely the “Gift of the Givers” and Rescue South Africa arrived in the Philippines on 15 and 17 November 2013, respectively and were both welcomed by Ambassador Agnes Nyamande-Pitso and Mr Carl le Roux. The “Gift of Givers” brought with them shelter material, medicines, and food items to the value of R2 million. They have partnered with the local Philippines Search and Rescue team called Rescue 926. The group has been assigned to Palompon town in Leyte Province.
Ambassador Agnes Nyamande-Pitso welcomes Mr. Ahmed Bham and members of Gift of Givers
The second team consists of 57 members under the umbrella of “Rescue South Africa” and they brought with them rescue and clearing equipment and medicines. The total cost of the goods and operation is valued at R6 million. The group consists of urban search and rescue personnel, trauma response rescuers and they will provide pre-hospital treatment and other required services. This group has been assigned to Villaba town close to Ormac city to assist the Philippine Department of Health, the United Nations World Health Organisation and the Philippine Army.
(L-R) Colonel Phillip Lapinid, Ambassador Agnes Nyamande-Pitso and Lt. Gen. Roy Deveraturda
These two groups are expected to be in the Philippines for a period of 7-10 days to serve and contribute towards the recovery effort of the Philippine government. This South African humanitarian action will boost our relations with the Philippines.
Ambassador Agnes Nyamande-Pitso flanked by some members of Rescue South Africa
SA Embassy Manila, Philippines