Recovery Efforts Expand in Philippines

Photo By: Blue Motus 2013

Recovery efforts continue to expand in the Philippines a month and a half after Typhoon Haiyan barreled through the country’s central islands on November 8, flattening communities and affecting more than 14 million people.

“Many families in the Philippines have begun the hard work of rebuilding their lives with the help of critical humanitarian assistance from InterAction members and others,” said Samuel A. Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction, an alliance of more than 180 U.S. based international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). “As these recovery efforts advance, it is incredibly important that support for them is strong. It will take years to recover from a storm of this magnitude.”

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) – the UN body that brings together humanitarian actors for emergency response – reported progress in several areas as of December 16, including:

  • 240 medical teams are operating in affected areas.
  • Food assistance has reached more than 4 million people.
  • Cash assistance programs are expanding, and 35,000 farmers in two regions are receiving seeds to plant in December and January.
  • Basic emergency shelter materials have been provided to 150,923 households, while more substantial shelter repair kits have gone to 37,721 households.
  • About 40,000 children under age five have been screened for malnutrition, and more than 20,000 children in two regions have received ready-to-use supplementary foods and high energy biscuits.

An estimated 4.1 million people remained displaced from their homes as of December 16 due to the super typhoon, locally known as Yolanda, according to the United Nations. Urgent humanitarian needs persist in some areas outside the main cities where debris, narrow waterways and mountainous terrain have complicated the delivery of supplies.

While most of the people displaced are living with family and friends, more than 100,000 are staying in nearly 400 evacuation centers. Aid workers are moving to establish short- and medium-term shelter solutions before the rainy season at the end of January, but inadequate funding and a shortage of materials are challenges, according to the UN.

The death toll from the storm has surpassed 6,000, and more than 1,700 people remain missing.

See the InterAction members that are responding in the Philippines and how you can help.