TyphoonHaiyan - RW Updates

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Updated: 1 hour 51 min ago

Philippines: Pintakasi: A review of shelter/Wash delivery methods in post-disaster or recovery interventions

3 February 2016 - 11:32am
Source: Catholic Relief Services Country: Philippines

Catholic Relief Services conducted an in-depth study to assess the efficiency, effectiveness and appropriateness of the modalities for delivering shelter and Wash assistance in its Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Program. This study, Pintakasi hopes to contribute valuable lessons learned and share best practices from the program with the shelter/WASH recovery communities of practice in the humanitarian sector as a whole.

The study focused on the efficiency (time, cost, quantity/scale), effectiveness (quality, beneficiary satisfaction) and appropriateness (vulnerability, dignity) of a cash-based approach to delivering shelter /wash solutions, compared to in-kind/direct-build construction, in the context of recovery after Typhoon Haiyan.

Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan: Portraits of resilience

1 February 2016 - 2:28pm
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization Country: Philippines

When Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) swept through the central **Philippines** on 8 November 2013, the storm affected some 14.1 million people and caused more than USD 700 million in damage to the agriculture sector, severely threatening the country’s food security.

The typhoon’s record intensity destroyed crop fields, orchards, fishing boats and gears—virtually all productive assets that rural and coastal families base their livelihoods upon. With one-third of the country’s population relying on the agriculture sector for their livelihood, it was crucial to get people back on their feet as quickly as possible and assist them in rebuilding their lives.

Supporting government-led efforts

Building more resilient livelihoods was a key focus of FAO’s Typhoon Haiyan Strategic Response Plan. In the immediate aftermath of Haiyan, FAO complemented Government efforts to restore the livelihoods of farmers in time for the imminent planting season, while enhancing local and national capacity to avoid or reduce the adverse effects of future hazards.

During the recovery and rehabilitation process, FAO worked closely with the Philippines Department of Agriculture and related government agencies at all levels, as well as local governments units, in addressing priorities identified in the Government’s Damage and Loss Assessment and Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda Plan.

FAO’s overall Haiyan response

FAO’s overall **Typhoon Haiyan** response comprised 22 projects benefitting more than 230 000 households (some 1.1 million people) of the most vulnerable agricultural and fisheries communities. Thanks to donor support of nearly USD 40 million, FAO provided assistance in four critical areas of intervention:

  • rice and corn farming;
  • coconut-based farming systems;
  • fisheries and coastal communities; and
  • coastal/mangrove forest rehabilitation (this cross-cutting component was integrated in various coconut-based farming systems and fisheries projects).

FAO placed Accountability to Affected Populations at the core of its emergency and rehabilitation programme cycle. In line with this, the views of communities were taken into account, so that both the process and what was being delivered addressed their needs, especially for the most vulnerable.

Two years after the typhoon ravaged coastal and farmland communities, the people who survived the storm—the farmers and fishers—are well on the road to recovery. This book is a tribute to their **resilience** and our work together to build back better their agricultural livelihoods after suffering such devastating losses.

Philippines: DSWD funds mudcrab project of ‘Yolanda’ survivors

27 January 2016 - 6:53am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Survivors of Typhoon Yolanda from Barangays Sto Nino, Sagrada, Quezon, and Old Busuanga in Busuanga, Palawan check on their mudcrab pens constructed in mangrove areas in their community.

The construction of the mudcrab pens was funded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), which provided P754,000 under the ‘Yolanda’ Recovery and Rehabilitation Program (YRRP).

Through SLP, some 100 ‘Yolanda’ survivors underwent Skills Training on Mudcrab Fattening and Culturing to equip them the necessary knowledge as they set up their livelihood project.

SLP is a community-based capacity-building program that seeks to improve the socio-economic status of its participants. It is implemented using the Community-Driven Enterprise Development approach which enables participants to contribute to production and labor markets by looking at available resources and accessible markets.

Philippines: Immediate Needs and Concerns among Pregnant Women During and after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

26 January 2016 - 8:19am
Source: Public Library of Science Country: Philippines


Mari Sato Yasuka Nakamura Fumi Atogami Ribeka Horiguchi Raita Tamaki Toyoko Yoshizawa Hitoshi Oshitani


Introduction: Pregnant and postpartum women are especially vulnerable to natural disasters. These women suffer from increased risk of physical and mental issues including pregnant related problems. Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), which hit the Philippines affected a large number of people and caused devastating damages. During and after the typhoon, pregnant women were forced to live in particularly difficult circumstances. The purpose of this study was to determine concerns and problems regarding public health needs and coping mechanisms among pregnant women during and shortly after the typhoon.

Methods: This study employed a cross-sectional design utilizing focus group discussions (FGDs). Participants were 53 women (mean age: 26.6 years old; 42 had children) from four affected communities who were pregnant at the time of the typhoon. FGDs were conducted 4 months after the typhoon, from March 19 to 28, 2014, using semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed using the qualitative content analysis.

Result: Three themes were identified regarding problems and concerns during and after the typhoon: 1) having no ideas what is going to happen during the evacuation, 2) lacking essentials to survive, and 3) being unsure of how to deal with health concerns. Two themes were identified as means of solving issues: 1) finding food for survival and 2) avoiding diseases to save my family. As the pregnant women already had several typhoon experiences without any major problems, they underestimated the catastrophic nature of this typhoon. During the typhoon, the women could not ensure their safety and did not have a strong sense of crisis management. They suffered from hunger, food shortage, and poor sanitation. Moreover, though the women had fear and anxiety regarding their pregnancy, they had no way to resolve these concerns. Pregnant women and their families also suffered from common health problems for which they would usually seek medical services. Under such conditions, the pregnant woman cooperated with others for survival and used their knowledge of disease prevention.

Discussion: Pregnant women experienced difficulties with evacuation, a lack of minimum survival needs, and attending to their own health issues. Pregnant women were also concerned about needs and health issues of their families, particular, when they had small children. Collecting accurate information regarding the disaster and conducting self-sustainable preparation prior to the disaster among pregnant women will help them to protect their pregnancy status, thereby improving their families’ chance of survival during and after disasters.

Philippines: Success Story: An Integrated Approach to Assistance in the Philippines

22 January 2016 - 2:02pm
Source: US Agency for International Development Country: Philippines

Following Typhoon Haiyan, USAID supported multisector programs that included DRR to help Tacloban residents rebuild their neighborhoods and increase their resilience against future disasters.

In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan affected 16 million people, caused at least 6,300 deaths, and damaged or destroyed nearly 1.1 million houses across the Philippines. In the coastal city of Tacloban, powerful winds and storm surge devastated seaside neighborhoods, damaged the vast majority of the city’s infrastructure, and left tens of thousands of residents wondering how to rebuild their homes and lives.

In coordination with the Government of the Philippines, USAID quickly identified Tacloban as a priority area for assistance and supported a range of partners to rapidly provide emergency shelter materials and other life-saving aid to typhoon-affected households. At the same time, USAID began discussions with partners regarding longer-term interventions to help communities safely rebuild and increase their resilience against future disasters.

USAID’s partnerships with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Plan International USA (Plan) illustrate USAID’s integrated, neighborhoodbased approach to assistance in Tacloban. USAID supported CRS and Plan to implement multi-year, multi-sector programs that centered on disaster risk reduction (DRR) while simultaneously providing protection, shelter, and water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance to 26 coastal barangays, or wards, severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

Through a combination of repaired and newly constructed houses, apartment rentals, and host family support, CRS and Plan provided transitional shelter assistance to more than 4,500 households in Tacloban with USAID funding. The organizations also engaged communities to restore or build water supply and drainage infrastructure, latrines, and hand washing facilities while concurrently conducting hygiene promotion campaigns and educating residents about genderbased violence, child safety, and other protection concerns.

USAID’s approach to early recovery in Tacloban included a continuous focus on emergency preparedness and response to build community resilience and mitigate the effects of future disasters. CRS and Plan trained nearly 2,900 people on safer construction techniques, established and trained emergency response teams in each of the targeted barangays, and conducted disaster drills that engaged thousands of community members, among many other capacity-building activities.

While many disaster response programs are short-term and focus on a limited number of activities, USAID supported CRS and Plan to implement longer-term programs in Tacloban that encompassed a range of projects that helped neighborhoods devastated by Typhoon Haiyan rebuild their homes, infrastructure, and sense of security. Additionally, the 26 barangays targeted by CRS and Plan are now more resilient and better prepared to face future shocks—one of USAID’s key objectives in Tacloban and throughout the Philippines.

Philippines: Philippines: Accountability to affected populations at the core of FAO’s Typhoon Haiyan Response

21 January 2016 - 6:56am
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization Country: Philippines

When Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) swept through the central Philippines on 8 November 2013, the storm affected some 14.1 million people and caused more than USD 700 million in damage to the agriculture sector, severely threatening the country’s food security.

The typhoon’s record intensity destroyed crop fields, orchards, fishing boats and gears—virtually all productive assets that rural and coastal families base their livelihoods upon.

With one-third of the country’s population relying on the agriculture sector for their livelihood, it was crucial to get people back on their feet as quickly as possible and assist them in rebuilding their lives.
FAO placed Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) at the core of its emergency and rehabilitation programme cycle. In line with this, the views of communities were taken into account, so that both the process and what was being delivered addressed their needs, especially for the most vulnerable.

AAP principles were integrated into the design, implementation and evaluation of all FAO projects to ensure the highest levels of programme accountability in terms of participation, governance, transparency and redress to complaints by programme beneficiaries.

From the start of implementation, all staff members including partners from the Government and Local Government Units were oriented on AAP as FAO’s commitment to local communities.

The number and type of inputs provided to beneficiaries were configured based on their farming needs, vulnerability and suitability to the area. This was done through conducting Agricultural Hazard and Vulnerability Mapping exercises in consultation with municipal agriculture officers, and presentation/validation with partners at project coordination committee meetings.

To further engage in two-way communication with affected communities during the recovery and rehabilitation phase, a mobile phone feedback system was set up using FrontlineSMS, a web-based platform that aggregates feedback gathered from communities into data for ease of sharing, reporting and tracking of responses. The feedback system encouraged farmers and stakeholders to SMS their concerns or questions about inputs received and the process.

Throughout the programme implementation, flyers and banners in the local dialect were also produced and distributed to ensure that there was continuing emphasis on beneficiary engagement in the decision-making process as well as respect for their cultural sensitivities.

At the conclusion of each project, a performance assessment was conducted by gathering feedback from selected implementation partners at the regional, provincial and municipal levels, including community-based organization representatives and project beneficiaries. The process included developing sustainability plans, which were formulated by the beneficiaries together with their corresponding local government units, to identify opportunities to link to existing or upcoming government programmes.

Philippines: ICRC: Our work in the Philippines in 2015

18 January 2016 - 1:35am
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross Country: Philippines


The year 2015 was challenging for the Philippines due to several internal armed conflicts and other situations of violence that led to the displacement of around 100,000 civilians, mainly in Mindanao. Typhoons have also brought significant humanitarian consequences in some parts of the country.

The level of conflict-related incidents was slightly higher than in 2014. The ICRC, a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization, was concerned by the almost daily occurrence of attacks and encounters, arrests, summary executions and improvised explosive devices mainly in Central and Eastern Mindanao, and the Sulu Archipelago, but also in Sorsogon Province in Region 5 and Samar in Region 8.

The ICRC has increased its confidential dialogue with all parties to the conflicts in relation to the respect for international humanitarian law. Its priorities have included building the resilience of communities affected by chronic armed conflicts through various projects; supporting the authorities to address the causes and consequences of extreme jail overcrowding; and enhancing the capacity of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), its primary operational partner, to help people affected by man-made and natural disasters.

Philippines: Recovering from Yolanda, one step at a time

12 January 2016 - 3:15am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

At-risk populations—the poor, powerless, and vulnerable—play an enormous part at every level of government anti-poverty and development work. They are the primary focus of the 26 government agencies that make up the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cabinet Cluster. They are also squarely in the cross-hairs of every natural disaster that hits the country, with those capable of moving to safer locations generally glad that they can still do so.

But this is the Philippines, so we know that, despite our best efforts, our most faithfully implemented policies are always under threat from natural disasters. Every such disaster not only impacts the poor in its path; it also impacts programs and strategies designed to draw as many members of that at-risk population as possible out of the situation that makes them most vulnerable. In what Cluster Chair Dinky Soliman calls the “new normal,” we know that some of the very places and people we are trying to help will get hit—often hard hit—especially since they have the fewest resources with which to recover.

One of the biggest challenges that the Aquino administration—and the next one to follow—will face is how to reduce poverty and increase employment and livelihood opportunities in a situation where the country is perennially devastated by natural calamities. They hurt our just-passed quest for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, just as they will surely impede the new Strategic Development Goals that the next administration will strive to meet.

It certainly helps that the Supreme Court has (finally) passed on the constitutionality of the Reproductive Health Law—giving long-term hope that our burgeoning population growth might abate. (But the disturbing political ploy by some legislators to starve the legally-mandated DoH contraception program of funds ‘for political gain’ actually damages the nation’s economy and—even worse—increases the suffering of the poor.) Likewise, children educated with the help of Conditional Cash Transfers will graduate, improving the capabilities of our workforce. If top-down economic growth can be maintained, we can hope unemployment will continue—and accelerate—its slight downward trend. (Unemployment is down almost a whole percentage point from last year—from 2014’s 6.5% to this year’s 5.6%.)

Without a doubt, Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) has been one of the biggest crises faced by the Aquino administration, particularly in terms of addressing joblessness and poverty itself. Certainly, there were a number of significant failures all round: the lack of preparation and poor coordination between national and local government agencies, which resulted in decimated infrastructure and livelihoods, and in a colossal number of human casualties. The snail-paced allocation of budget also caused one-third of recovery and reconstruction projects–including permanent shelters, roads and jobs–to remain idle. At the same time, the constant emphasis to help the living resulted in the poor management and identification of the dead. There was also the problem of lack of refrigeration facilities and public morgues. Finally, concerned government institutions often failed to take advantage of expert services and modern DNA laboratory facilities that were offered by the University of the Philippines and the Philippine General Hospital.

But though you wouldn’t know it from the public claims of most of our presidential candidates—faithfully magnified by media—Yolanda recovery and reconstruction has also made gains and passed milestones at a rate that has elicited favorable comment from various countries and international organizations.

A January 2016 paper published by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs quotes Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director General Arsenio M. Balisacan with distinct approval. The report says that the physical accomplishments “of completed and ongoing Yolanda programs, projects and activities now stands at 63.2%—30.3% completed and 33.1% ongoing. Most of the ongoing projects are scheduled for completion by 2016.”

Almost 95% of all affected airports are now rehabilitated; almost 96% of first-batch municipal facilities—such as civic centers, municipal halls and public markets—have been rehabilitated, as well as 89% of the damaged bridges and 72% of damaged roads. Accomplishments like these were unheard of as recently as the Aceh tsunami disaster of 2004, where the Indonesians took over ten years to recover. One thing about the “new normal”: we are certainly learning a lot about disaster preparedness and response.

But no one in anti-poverty and development can ever afford to allow their eyes to stray from the people and the quality of their lives. The ongoing distribution of Emergency Shelter Assistance reached 788,747 households (76.3% of the 1,033,827 families targeted); of the 54,825 targeted fisherfolk beneficiaries, 89.4% have had their fishing boats repaired or replaced—distribution of tackle and gear has already exceeded targets; 85.7% of the rice and corn seeds for the next harvest have already been distributed to farmers. These are big, powerful programs—and yet many can be left in want—either from having to wait or from not “fitting in.”

Many residents from Leyte province—the most Yolanda-devastated area—have found themselves without sources of livelihood. One government response has been the Accelerated and Sustainable Anti-Poverty Program (ASAPP) by the government’s Poverty Cluster.

Aimed at giving typhoon victims reason to hope once again, ASAPP is a concerted effort by national government agencies dealing with poverty and development to provide more livelihood ventures for poor families in identified provinces, cities, and municipalities all over the country.

Part of the ASAPP poverty reduction framework is the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), a community-based effort to improve participants’ socio-economic status through capacity building. For 2015, SLP targeted about 90,078 beneficiaries in Leyte for a total funding of P547,699,392. SLP is implemented through two tracks: Micro-Enterprise Development and Employment Facilitation.

Micro-Enterprise Development supports micro-enterprises’ organizational and economic viability by providing capital assistance to Employment Facilitation, which helps participants access appropriate employment opportunities. Both tracks are based on the Community-Driven Enterprise Development approach—equipping people to actively contribute to production and labor markets by looking at available resources and accessible markets.

Abuyog, Leyte is an ASAPP recipient. It is a first class municipality in the province of Leyte with a population of 57,146. With its land area of 688.2 square kilometers, it is the largest town in Leyte.

Getting back on their feet

For Yolanda-affected families, starting a new life is neither easy nor fast, but determination, perseverance, and a commitment to regain normalcy are driving factors for many—including three women beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program: Leslie de la Serna, Josephine Lleve, and Emee Montesclaros—all from Abuyog. These women reaped gains from the ASAPP program’s focus on livelihood generation through SLP.

Before Yolanda, the three women concentrated only on household chores and taking care of their children. But, becoming beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya—and later on, of SLP—significantly affected their lives,opening doors of opportunity and paving the way for their active participation in community affairs.

They now serve as volunteers, helping to implement other DSWD programs and projects.

Leslie, 31, from Barangay Sta. Fe, narrates that she earns income as a Barangay Health Worker (BHW), receiving P500.00 monthly. “My earnings as a BHW and the cash grants we receive for the health and education of our three children is a big help to our family.” She is also a Pantawid Pamilya parent leader handling Family Development Sessions—a regular activity participated in by the program’s partner-beneficiaries—and is a leader of the local chapter of Samaritan’s Purse, a non-governmental organization that provides food, water, shelter, medicine and other assistance to victims of armed conflict, disaster, famine and epidemics. Leslie is also became a member of the SLP-organized Yolanda Micro-Enterprise Association, which operates a mini-grocery selling low-priced grocery items.

The group was able to avail of an interest-free loan to start operations in August, 2015. Their first sale amounted to P500.00. The sales of their mini-grocery now average P4,000.00 per month. Gradually, the family income has increased, enabling them to meet not only their daily needs and expenses, but also those of their neighbors.

“The mini-grocery that we opened also helped the villagers since they no longer have to go to Tacloban to buy grocery items. The products that we sell are also cheaper,” Leslie proudly shared.

Josephine, 43, of Barangay Sto. Nino, narrates, “Before Yolanda, we had our own garden with okra, ampalaya, upo, and patola. We earned extra income from selling our vegetable garden’s harvest.”

Recently, Josephine and 11 other women from their village received capital assistance of P120,000.00 from DSWD’s SLP. They used this money to start a mini–grocery, where fellow Pantawid Pamilya members bought their children’s school needs and food.

“DSWD didn’t leave us. After Yolanda, we received relief goods. Our children are now even more interested in schooling,” she added.

Likewise, Emee, 38, of Barangay Balocawe says,“As a parent–leader of Pantawid Pamilya, I tried to motivate my fellow members not to depend solely on the cash grants given by the program.”

Emee and her husband, Clyde, 44, work hard to provide for their children’s needs. They also produce and sell tuba—coconut wine—as an additional source of income. Besides this, Emee and six of her neighbors are now starting an SLP-funded piggery.

But even while the poor communities of Abuyog have received assistance from SLP, questions have been raised about it. One is whether the DSWD has the competency to actually implement a program of employment-generation and livelihood assistance. The agency has addressed this need for expanding competencies by partnering with other line agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Agrarian Reform. These institutional linkages help bridge the demands of poor communities for skills development and support services, while at the same time fostering labor, microenterprise and market linkages.

Much—perhaps too much—has been made of Filipino resiliency. Is it necessarily a good thing, one wonders? Is it lauded as a collective quality to absolve the state of its responsibility to provide for its citizens’ needs? The Oxford English Dictionary points out the etymology of “resilience” from the Latin resilire, “to rebound, recoil,” and defines it as “the power to recover,” “the ability of something to bend, then spring back to its original state.” That is certainly what has happened with the people of Leyte, and many others like them who were devastated by climate disasters and are daily bent, sometimes broken, by the impoverished conditions of everyday life. While government programs are important for redrawing the conditions under which they labor, their success hinge precisely on people’s ability to respond to and recuperate from their misfortune. But in the same vein, resilience is never enough. It is up to government—both national and local–to harness that very capability to recover.