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How we helped after the 2009 Asia Pacific disasters

An aid truck is driven out of the back of a plane© Infoseries of disasters in Asia Pacific devastated millions of people. Red Cross volunteers started working across the region as soon as the disasters hit, bringing life-saving support to survivors.

Philippines typhoons

After Typhoon Ketsana, Philippines Red Cross volunteers carried out search and rescue operations and saved more than 400 people from rooftops and high walls during severe flooding. They gave first aid to the sick and injured and provided relief items and comfort for traumatised families.

The Red Cross also opened 130 evacuation centres in response to Typhoon Ketsana and Typhoon Parma, where thousands of survivors received shelter and hot meals.

The British Red Cross sent 1,500 hygiene kits and 1,100 kitchen sets from its pre-positioned emergency stock in Kuala Lumpur to support the relief distributions. It also gave £189,000 towards emergency shelter and livelihoods recovery.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ relief and recovery operation helped 200,000 people over 9 months. This included meeting people’s immediate needs with distributions of hygiene kits and household items, as well as looking at health and shelter. In addition, 1,330 of the most vulnerable families received help in recovering their livelihoods.

Vietnam typhoon

In Vietnam, Red Cross volunteers helped evacuate more than 160,000 people before Typhoon Ketsana hit. They also distributed thousands of household kits, including mosquito nets, blankets, water containers and kitchen sets to people affected by the typhoon.

The Federation’s relief and recovery operation helped 270,000 people over 14 months. The focus included distributions of rice and noodles, household water treatment, and hygiene promotion. The British Red Cross gave £75,000 to support relief distributions.

The recovery effort included helping people with shelter and livelihoods.

Samoan islands tsunami

The Federation released £197,000 from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to respond to the tsunami and launched an emergency appeal on 26 October. As aftershocks continued, the Samoa Red Cross evacuated people to five camps it established on safer ground.

Volunteers distributed relief to affected families and provided psycho-social support for people traumatised by the disaster.

The Federation sent specialists in relief co-ordination, water and sanitation, logistics and health. Its relief and recovery operation helped 5,000 people over 18 months. The British Red Cross gave £148,000 to support the response and sent a delegate specialising in securing the livelihoods of families affected by disasters.

Indonesia earthquake

Indonesia girl with Red Cross box of aid© InfoHundreds of Indonesia Red Cross volunteers were involved in search and rescue operations, providing first aid and support to those suffering psychological trauma. They also distributed relief, including meeting water and sanitation needs.

The British Red Cross gave £379,000 worth of relief goods from its warehouse in Kuala Lumpur, including jerry cans, mosquito nets and shelter kits. It also sent its logistics emergency response team to Indonesia for two months. The team supported the distribution of aid, making sure it was delivered to people as quickly and effectively as possible.

Due to the limited access by ground transportation, the Federation chartered helicopters to reach remote areas that were badly affected. The relief operation helped 100,000 people over six months.

Emergency appeal

As well as launching an emergency appeal, the British Red Cross released £50,000 from its own Disaster Fund as part of an initial response to the devastation. It then released a further £140,000 to send its emergency team to Indonesia.