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On 16 December 2021, Typhoon Rai (known as Odette in the Philippines) made landfall on Siargao Island in southeastern Philippines, leaving a devastating trail of debris and human casualties in its wake. More than 3 million persons were affected by the disaster, resulting in the over 250 deaths while another 568 persons were injured and 47 reported missing.

The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) immediately responded to the crisis by mobilising ASEAN relief items stockpiled at the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) Satellite Warehouse in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, the Philippines. This mobilisation aimed to augment the government’s ongoing efforts to help people affected by Typhoon Rai (Odette) in the Philippines.

A total of 541 shelter repair kits, 275 family tents, 5,000 family kits, 1,000 rolls of tarpaulin, 5,000 personal hygiene kits, and 1,000 kitchen sets were delivered with the support of the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) and Direct Relief. Facilitated by the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) of the Philippines, the ASEAN relief items were transported to the regions severely affected by Typhoon Rai (Odette), namely the provinces of Surigao, Cebu, and Bohol.

In the Letter of Condolences sent to Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Secretary of National Defense of the Philippines, Secretary-General (SG) of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi highlighted that the ASEAN stood ready to support the on-going humanitarian and disaster-relief efforts. SG Dato Lim stated that “I have strong confidence in the leadership of the Government of Philippines and the people’s resilience to bring about normalcy in the affected areas”.

Mr. Lee Yam Ming, Executive Director of the AHA Centre, conveyed the Centre’s deepest sympathies to those who had been affected by the disaster. “The AHA Centre has been monitoring the disaster situation in the Philippines since the last two weeks when several weather disturbances were first identified” he said. The Centre activates the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) when receiving and gathering information about the potential impacts caused by weather disturbances.

He stated that the mobilisation of ASEAN relief items represented tangible ASEAN solidarity in the spirit of ‘One ASEAN, One Response’. The ASEAN relief items, he continued, demonstrated the tangible support from the ASEAN Member States to the typhoon-affected people in the Philippines.

The AHA Centre worked closely with the Office of Civil Defense of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (OCD – NDRRMC) in the Philippines, as well as ASEAN countries and partners in monitoring the situation and identifying potential regional support. An In-Country Liaison Team (ICLT) was also deployed to closely work with the Philippine government. “The AHA Centre will be closely monitoring the situation in the Philippines with the relevant stakeholders and be ready to provide necessary support,” he concluded.


Written by : Gladys Respati | Photo Credit: AHA Centre