Humanitarian emergency - Storm in the Philippines

December 21, 2011

Tropical storm “Sendong” (also named Washi) that struck the Philippines on December, 17th is now being called the world's deadliest storm this year.

More than 1,000 people have died from the storm and countless more are feared dead, according to a top disaster official on December, 21st.

“It’s possible the death toll will exceed 1,000 because there are many more missing”, said Benito Ramos, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). He also said they have lost count of the number of people who have gone missing following the flashfloods spawned by the storm.

According to government estimates, the estimated cost of damage to infrastructure and agriculture in the country is nearing PHP1 billion (€ 17.4 millions). The storm affected a total of 65,067 families, of which 49,441 were served in and outside evacuation centers. The storm also damaged 12,131 houses, of 3,581 were completely destroyed.

Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared a state of national calamity in the aftermath of the devastation caused by the tropical storm.

The Sanofi affiliate and Sanofi Espoir Foundation response

Immediately following the disaster, the Sanofi affiliate in the Philippines and its employees began collecting funds and clothes internally. The budget intended for a number of year-end staff celebrations, are now being given to the Philippine Red Cross and other relief organizations to help the affected population.

An emergency fund for employees affected directly by the flooding has been set up. It will be used to buy water, food and other critical supplies.

Sanofi Pasteur already donated 300 doses of flu vaccine and is looking at the possibility of donating 5,000 doses on tetanus vaccines as well as tetanus immunoglobulines and cholera vaccines. This will be coursed through the PHAP Cares Foundation, a duly-registered charity run by the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP).

The Sanofi Espoir Foundation is giving its support to the Philippine Red Cross to assist in the relief medical efforts.