February 10th, 2018 ― Doha: Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has handed over 650 housing units to homeless families in the Municipality of Santa Fe, Leyte Province, the Philippines. This ushered in the end of Phase II of a comprehensive development programme in the regions hit by the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan.
Done in cooperation with the Philippine Red Cross, the undertaking consumed a budget of $ 2,256,209 (or nearly QR 8.2 million).
The housing units are built of wood, concrete, and metal sheets, each annexed with a bathroom and a septic tank. They were handed over to 650 households that have people with special needs, female or child breadwinner, chronic patients, and elderly people.
The beneficiaries also received training in safe shelter standards and how to handle an emergency.
"With the handover of 1,300 housing units in total, Phases I and II of the reconstruction programme has come out to be a new success of our partnership with the Philippine Red Cross," said Rashid Saad Al-Mohannadi, General Director, Relief and International Development Division, QRCS, during the handover ceremony.
The public event was also attended by Sen. Richard J. Gordon, Chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, Leopoldo L. Petilla, Leyte governor, and heads of Red Cross and Red Crescent foreign missions.
"We cherish the fundamental humanitarian principles and are always there to help those affected with natural disasters or wars, without discrimination on the basis of religion or race. QRCS will keep working in the best interest of the vulnerable in the Philippines, ensuring their dignity at all times," Mr. Al-Mohannadi added.
Mr. Petilla deeply appreciated the devoted efforts by QRCS personnel to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan to recover from the trauma of losing everything in a few minutes.
In his remarks, Sen. Gordon emphasized the crucial role of QRCS as a partner in conducting many effective humanitarian operations in several parts of the country. "We would like to thank them for supporting the Philippine Red Cross at times of distress. They are constant responders to our humanitarian appeals during natural disasters. This is highly valued by the government and people of the Philippines," he stated.
In November 2013, the Philippines experienced one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded. It is reportedly the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, killing at least 10,000 people and rendering 660,000 people homeless. A total of 9.8 million were severely affected by the destruction of infrastructure in nine provinces, which critically reflected on public services and living conditions across the board.