Philippines Typhoon Haiyan

Photo: Jire Carreon/Oxfam

Updated November 2014

When Typhoon Haiyan swept across the Philippines in November 2013, more than 6,000 people died and more than 4,000,000 were forced from their homes. With the loss of houses and the crops, boats, and coconut trees their families depended on for incomes, millions already living in poverty face new financial hardships.

Oxfam has now reached more than 868,960 people with assistance.

Road to recovery

One year after Haiyan upended the lives of millions of people in the Philippines, we have finished the emergency phase of our response to the disaster. Our first priority in the days and weeks after the storm was to provide life-saving assistance such as clean water, latrines, hygiene kits, and cash to buy food and other essentials.We then began helping people to recover their means of making a living. Among our initiatives were the provision of rice seeds to farmers to replant lost crops and chain saws for clearing fallen trees that obstructed fields. Now, we have turned our focus to helping people with long-term recovery and rehabilitation.

We are working with communities and local governments to design effective services that are affordable, and looking at how they could be paid for by donors, suppliers, government, and users. For example, instead of fixing and repairing wells and latrines, we’re now looking at how maintenance will be done on an on-going basis. Instead of trucking in water, we’re working with local governments on how they will manage the water supply. In the coming months, we will be moving away from our work rehabilitating boats, mangroves, and seaweed farms. Instead, we will be developing long-term, sustainable means for people to make a living independently.

Throughout our response we have paid keen attention to the needs of women and girls who often face particular challenges in emergencies. Women have been central to our ongoing advocacy efforts. We have called for recognition of the property rights of women, and of the important role they play in the fishing and coconut farming industries—with the goal of ensuring that women are included in government registries and data, that they have access to government services, and that they have a strong voice in plans for the recovery.

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