American Red Cross Contributes an Initial $6 Million to Support Typhoon Haiyan Response Efforts in Philippines

Jasmin Ursal is staying at evacuation centre in Bogo. Photo: Jarkko Mikkonen/Finnish Red Cross

Jasmin Ursal is staying at evacuation centre in Bogo. Photo: Jarkko Mikkonen/Finnish Red Cross

WASHINGTON, Wednesday, November 13, 2013 – The American Red Cross today announced an initial contribution of $6 million in support of the global Red Cross response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. These funds will be used to distribute relief items, repair and rebuild shelters, provide healthcare and ensure access to clean water and sanitation systems.

“We are grateful for the American public’s generosity and compassion following what has been called one of the strongest storms in world history,” said David Meltzer, chief international officer for the American Red Cross. “The American Red Cross is in a unique position to help provide support by airlifting relief supplies from its warehouses around the world, providing trained disaster responders specializing in damage assessment and telecommunications, and by channeling its financial support to the Philippine Red Cross and its more than 500,000 staff and volunteers and our other global partners in the Red Cross network – all of which go to providing relief from this devastating storm.”

In addition to financial assistance, the American Red Cross is lending people, expertise and equipment to this effort with four specialists already on the ground in the Philippines. These include two people who specialize in telecommunication and who are traveling with satellite equipment, and two others who specialize in disaster assessment.

The Philippine Red Cross has extensive experience in search and rescue and large-scale relief and recovery programs. The Philippine Red Cross is the largest humanitarian organization in the country, with 1,000 staff members and an estimated 500,000 active volunteers engaged in this disaster response. Their volunteer relief teams continue to provide assistance in the hardest hit communities, including assisting in search and rescue efforts.

suppliesThe Philippine Red Cross has begun distributions of emergency supplies and has provided meals to people affected by the storm. On Sunday, 6,000 packs of relief supplies were sent to Leyete and other affected communities. However, supply delivery in the worst affected city of Tacloban has been significantly constrained by destroyed infrastructure, blocked roads, and downed communication lines.

Specialized emergency response teams from Red Cross societies across the globe are moving into the Philippines to assist the Philippine Red Cross. These include teams with expertise in logistics, disaster assessment, shelter, health, water and sanitation.

“A global Red Cross relief effort is well underway and we are working closely with our international partners to help get aid where it is needed,” said Meltzer.

Despite the tragic aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, thousands of survivors are grateful for their lives. The Philippine Red Cross worked closely with local disaster authorities to support preemptive evacuations, helping move more than 125,000 families to safer shelter prior to the storm making landfall. The Philippine Red Cross also disseminated early warning messages and safety tips in areas along the path of the typhoon.

Here in the United States, the American Red Cross is helping to reconnect families separated by the typhoon and has activated its family tracing services. If people are looking for a missing family member in the Philippines, please remember that many phone lines are down. If people are unable to reach loved ones, contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross to initiate a family tracing case.

The American Red Cross expects to make additional contributions to support the humanitarian response in the coming weeks. Donations received from American Red Cross and other Red Cross partners will aid the Philippines relief and recovery efforts through the Philippine Red Cross and possibly other organizations as experts on the ground determine the best way forward.

HOW TO HELP Those who want to help can go to www.redcross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS to donate to typhoon relief. People can also mail in a donation to their local Red Cross chapter. Gifts to the American Red Cross will support our disaster relief efforts to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific crisis, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other crises.

In a new partnership, Facebook is making it possible for users to donate directly to the American Red Cross either through a notification in News Feed, or directly on the Red Cross Facebook page. This is the first time that the American Red Cross has engaged in such a large-scale fundraising program with a social platform. For the Red Cross that means that with the click of a button on Facebook, we can connect people who want to help with those who are so desperately in need in the Philippines. This Facebook effort for the Philippines in the United States will continue through November 15.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

How to Help: Donate to Typhoon Relief on Facebook

Posted on November 13th, 2013 by Gloria Huang

For the next few days, Facebook is making it possible for users to donate directly to the American Red Cross either through a notification in News Feed, or directly on our Facebook page. We’re excited and grateful that they are activating this feature to support the massive global response effort following the impact of Typhoon Haiyan on the Philippines this past week.

If you visit your Facebook News Feed, you will see this at the top of the screen:

Screenshot

Clicking Donate $10.00 will bring you to a simple payment screen, where you will be asked for your payment information (Facebook will retain this information for any future Facebook purchases – see below for more info).

Just follow the simple directions to complete the donation, and you’re done!

If you’d like to give a different amount, you can also visit the American Red Cross Facebook Page to make a donation.

fbdonate


100% of the funds raised through Facebook will go to the American Red Cross. All of the donations will be provided by the American Red Cross to the Red Cross groups that are working on the typhoon response. The Philippine Red Cross has been leading this response effort, aiding with search and rescue immediately after the disaster, providing shelter, food, and water, and distributing relief supplies. However, as we mentioned earlier, this has truly been a global response effort. Specialized emergency response teams from Red Cross societies across the globe are moving into the affected area to assist. These include teams with expertise in logistics, disaster assessment, shelter, health, water and sanitation.

Typhoon Haiyan 2013
Volunteers and staff working with food items at Philippine Red Cross HQ. Photo: Jarkko Mikkonen/Finnish Red Cross

To read more about the response so far, please visit this page.


Have more questions?


Why did Facebook decide to do this?
Facebook is a place to connect to the people, places, and things they care about most. In times of disaster or crisis, people turn to Facebook to check on loved ones, get updates, and to learn how they can help. We regularly work with relief organizations, government organizations, media partners, and private industry to be part of this effort so we can all improve preparation for disasters, contribute to relief efforts, and bring to the forefront the needs of those directly impacted. This is just another way for us to help – and make it as easy as possible for people to help those impacted by the typhoon.

Why hasn’t Facebook done this for other natural disasters?
Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. We regularly work with relief organizations, government organizations, media partners, and private industry to be part of this effort so we can all improve preparation for disasters, contribute to relief efforts, and bring to the forefront the needs of those directly impacted. This is just another way for us to help – and make it as easy as possible for people to help those impacted by the typhoon.

We’re always exploring various options for helping people contribute and assist during a time of crisis. This is just another step towards making the assistance even easier, and we’re committed to evolving our products to find new solutions over time.

Will Facebook offer this for other causes other than natural disaster?
We’ve always exploring various options for helping people contribute and assist during a time of crisis. This is just the latest evolution, and we’ll continue to keep finding new and different solutions.

Why are people in New York and California unable to donate through Facebook?
We are currently working to get approval from NY & CA regulators for direct donations. We hope to have these states up and running as soon as those state regulators give their approval.

Does Facebook get a cut of these donations?
No, all of donations will go to the American Red Cross.

How secure is my payment information?
Your payment information is completely secure. When you make a donation on Facebook, your payment information will only be stored with Facebook and not shared externally.

For additional information on the security of your payment information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/help/241215262666597

Will my donation be broadcast to my Facebook friends?
No, your donation will be kept private. You can, however, let your friends know via a status update if you would like to share.