Child rights group aids ‘Rolly’ victims in Bicol

Published November 6, 2020, 1:45 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

To assess the needs of children in areas battered by super typhoon “Rolly,” a child rights group has deployed a humanitarian team to Bicol provinces.

Residents carrying their belongings arrive at an evacuation center in Legaspi, Albay province, south of Manila on October 31, 2020, ahead of Typhoon Goni’s landfall.

Save the Children Philippines (SCP) sent humanitarian support to displaced children and their families now cramped in evacuation centers as Rolly flattened majority of houses, toppled power and communication lines, and severely damaged schools in Bicol.

“Children, mostly from poor households and living in remote areas, are paying the price of the impact of extreme weather events like super typhoon Rolly,” said SCP Chief Executive Officer Atty. Alberto Muyot. “We should act with urgency by protecting them from hunger, being displaced, as well as against life-threatening diseases including COVID-19,” he added.

Muyot said that an eight-member humanitarian team has been deployed since Monday to conduct assessment of the children’s needs.

“The impact of climate shocks, such as strong typhoons, is lifelong and devastating as it leaves families desperate for food, clean water, and put thousands of children at risk of diseases and acute malnutrition-a life threatening condition that requires urgent treatment,” Muyot, a former Undersecretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), said.

SCP noted that an estimated 450,000 children and their families live in the provinces that were hit by the strongest typhoon ever to make landfall in the last seven years since the devastating super typhoon “Yolanda” that killed 6,300 people.

The group is distributing 1,000 family hygiene kits; 1,000 water kits; and 1,000 plastic sheets or tarpaulins that can be used as temporary shelters for displaced families in Camarines Sur and Albay.

Muyot said the humanitarian response team has undertaken confirmatory tests for COVID-19 prior to deployment to ensure compliance with the health and safety protocols. “We’re very concerned that towns have been cut off as power and communication lines were down following the weekend’s storm,” he added.