In November 2013, the typhoon Haiyan struck the Visayan Islands of the Philippines. Millions of people were affected by the impacts and damages. The German Red Cross reacted within 24 hours, started an emergency relief programme and subsequently supported the rehabilitation of the affected regions.
Typhoon Haiyan swept over the Visayas and had a devastating impact on life on the Philippines. In total, 16 million people were affected, more than 6,000 people lost their lives, and 1.1 million houses were damaged or torn away completely. Furthermore, an immense number of fields and seeds was destroyed, leaving about two-thirds of the farmers without a main source of income.
Since the first day after the typhoon, the German Red Cross (GRC) has supported the affected people. During the emergency phase, the provision of relief items, water and food took top priority. Financial support, in the form of so-called Cash Grants, was provided by the GRC. In this way, the affected people could decide independently which goods they needed to buy to cover their most urgent needs.
Rehabilitation and increasing resilience in five regions
Two years after the devastating super-typhoon, the German Red Cross is progressing in its rehabilitation efforts. Together with the Philippine Red Cross, extensive rehabilitation projects were implemented in the regions of Leyte, Cebu, Capiz and Antique. All activities aim at strengthening the resilience of the local communities so that the people can quickly recover from the burden of the typhoon and better withstand future disasters. The GRC integrates the sectors shelter (expandable lumber houses adapted to the local architecture), livelihood,water supply, sanitation and hygiene, reconstruction of infrastructure and disaster risk reduction.
Measures already take effect
The Philippines have already benefited from these measures in October 2016, when Taifun Haima hit the country almost exactly three years after Haiyan. Martina Schloffer head of the GRC office in Manila: "The people of the Philippines have learned from Haiyan. Provisions have been steadily improved and and developed all over the country with the Red Cross and other relief organisations." Around 160,000 people were quickly evacuated from the danger zone of Haima.
Two years after typhoon Haiyan, following rehabilitation activities have been implemented by the GRC:
- Construction of more than 4,000 core houses
- Repair of more than 6,400 houses
- Construction of more than 2,300 latrines
- Cash Grants for restoring livelihoods for over 10,000 people
- Skills & enterprise trainings for over 2,500 people
- Hygiene promotion for approx. 20,000 people
- Reconstruction of 126 water supply systems (pumps, supply networks, canals etc.)
- rehabilitation of 11 schools or health facilities
- Disaster risk reduction activities for 55 communities
- Recruitment of approx. 5,000 voluntary Red Cross aid worker teams in every community
Region: Visayan Islands
Country: The Philippines
Victims: 16 million, more than 7 600 fatalities
Material damage: 1.1 million damaged houses, 50 % of them completely destroyed
Rehabilitation funding: American RC, Canadian RC, French RC, Austrian RC, Swiss RC, Belgian RC - Flanders, Hong Kong RC, European Union, donations
Partner: Philippine Red Cross