Six months after
Typhoon Haiyan, major long-term recovery needs remain
May 5, 2014
MANILA – Six months
after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) devastated the Visayas region of the
Philippines, millions remain in a precarious situation. The
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, one of the few
organisations to deliver humanitarian assistance across all affected
islands, has now launched an ambitious plan geared towards supporting
the long-term recovery of survivors.
16 million people were
affected by Typhoon Haiyan, with thousands losing family members,
homes and incomes. While the greatest intensity of need is in the
Eastern Visayas, people in other more remote areas also need help. The
Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement recovery plan pledges to help
775,000 of the most vulnerable people to recover and improve their
resilience to future disasters.
“Affected communities have
shown remarkable strength and many are on the road to recovery.
However, high levels of pre-existing poverty are holding people back
and in some areas basic services have not been re-established”, says
Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross. “Our recovery
work will focus on restoring shelter, livelihoods and access to health
care, to help affected communities overcome the hardships of the past
six months and become self-reliant again.”
Since the disaster struck,
the Philippine Red Cross, together with the International Federation
of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and over 50 national societies from
around the world have between them distributed emergency relief,
including food, shelter items and cash, to more than 1 million people.
Thousands more received medical attention from Red Cross emergency
“We are very proud of the
solidarity and good cooperation the International Red Cross and Red
Crescent Movement has demonstrated, mobilising quickly and effectively
to respond after Haiyan”, says Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of
Philippine Red Cross, adding “Our most unique asset is our volunteer
base. Over 8,000 Red Cross volunteers have been at the forefront of
the emergency response, alongside the hundreds of international and
national staff deployed to the affected area.”
The recovery plan, amounting
to 320 million Swiss Francs will run over the next three years. As
well as helping survivors to rebuild their lives, it will enhance the
Philippine Red Cross’ capacity to respond to future disasters through
targeted skills training for volunteers and strengthening expertise in
disaster management and disaster risk reduction.
Meanwhile, work to rebuild
damaged health care facilities and water networks in affected areas is
well under way, as are livelihood support programs delivering cash
grants, training and asset replacement.
In the aftermath of the
disaster, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement distributed cash
grants to 75,000 households and met 25% of the emergency shelter needs
of survivors, providing tents, tarpaulins and other materials to
almost 140,000 households. Support has already begun to roll out to
help families build more durable homes, together with projects
involving the construction of shelters.
Typhoon Haiyan Emergency
appeals launched by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent
Movement have collectively raised 315 million Swiss Francs (USD 357
million) so far.