TyphoonHaiyan - RW Updates
More than 1,900 completed shelters made for typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) affected families in Bantayan Island in Cebu were formally turned over to the beneficiaries by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on May 1, 2016.
The shelter project in Bantayan Island, particularly in the municipalities of Madridejos and Bantayan, were done by the PRC in partnership with German Red Cross and was done under PRC’s Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Program. More than 500 houses are still to be built in Bantayan Island for those who lost their homes to typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.
“Bantayan Island was one of the worst hit islands in the province of Cebu when typhoon Yolanda came. The typhoon left the island completely isolated in its wake, left several dead and thousands homeless,” said Richard Gordon, chairman of the PRC.
Typhoon Yolanda made its fourth landfall in Bantayan Island in Cebu, which left around 30 percent of the island’s residents completely without homes, while 90 percent of the houses that were left standing had the roofs torn off.
“With this housing project for the residents of Bantayan Island, the PRC and German Red Cross were able to provide not just a place to live for the families that have been affected by typhoon Yolanda, but more importantly, we were able to give them back their dignity and helped them start anew after their horrifying ordeal,” Gordon added.
For the whole province of Cebu, PRC in partnership with other national societies in the Red Cross Movement and some private donors, have already built a total of 7,772 houses as of April 22, 2016. More than 600 houses are still to be built to complete the target number of houses for identified shelter beneficiaries in the province.
As of date, a total of 73,361 houses have already been built by the Red Cross and partners in nine provinces that have been severely affected by typhoon Yolanda. The nine provinces are: Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Cebu, Iloilo, Leyte, Palawan, Eastern Samar, and Western Samar.
Aside from shelter, PRC’s Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Program also supported 8,354 households in Cebu with livelihood assistance, rehabilitated and reconstructed five health facilities, and rehabilitated and constructed water and sanitation facilities in seven schools in the province.
During the emergency phase of the disaster, 16,293 families in Cebu received food items, while 39,726 families received non-food items from the PRC such as plastic mats, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, tarpaulins, tents, kitchen sets, hygiene kits, and shelter repair kits.
Around PhP 5 million emergency cash relief assistance were also given to the affected individuals and families in the province of Cebu in the aftermath of the typhoon.
32 of 81 provinces in the Philippines are suffering drought.
Small-scale farmers hit by the drought in parts of Mindanao are exhausting coping strategies while local authorities work to deliver assistance.
23,000 people remain displaced in Zamboanga City two and half years after the September 2013 conflict.
The Philippines seeks international classification for its search and rescue teams.
Philippine private sector gears up disaster preparedness ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit.
“Now we seldom eat rice or bread, [and when we do] it’s mostly with just vegetables,” says farmer Jennie Korbo, while surveying the cracked, parched soil of what used to be a corn field in Sarangani province, Mindanao.
While the Philippines is in the midst of election fever, farmers in the south are suffering from El Niño-induced heat that is laying waste to normally productive land.
Jennie has lost her two last corn crops and is now in serious debt because of the drought.
The ribs of her two cows are clearly visible as they amble from tree to tree seeking shelter from the unrelenting sun. “I just give them water so that they feel full. They only eat the dried corn stubs from the field,” she says.
The provincial capital of Alabel in Sarangani is full of farmers like Jennie who depend on corn for their livelihood. The municipality declared a state of calamity in 2015 when the region began to feel the full impact of El Niño.
Now with an estimated 40 per cent of the country suffering drought, 11 provinces, 10 cities and 26 municipalities and barangays across the country - but mostly in Mindanao – have declared states of calamity. Some 182,000 farmers with 224,800 hectares of agricultural land have been affected by El Niño.Local authorities struggle to respond quickly due to funding freeze
In Alabel, an estimated 5,500 hectares of land normally supporting corn – including Jennie’s 1.8-hectare rented farmland – lie unplanted since February due to the lack of water. About 500 hectares of banana plantation are also affected, municipal agriculturist Enriguito Dagupto estimates.
According to Dagupto, many of the farmers say their families are close to starvation and are waiting anxiously for assistance from the Government. “The national government has promised irrigation pumps and seeds but as of now they have not been delivered. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is also promising food and clothing,” says Dagupto.
The farmers’ problems are compounded by the fact that government assistance has to follow special procedures for the 45 days in the lead up to the national and local elections in May. The municipality’s emergency funds are far from sufficient to help all those in need. “We have PhP3 million (US$64,000) in the calamity fund but are allowed to use only half of it [for this drought],” Dagupto says. The rest is saved for future possible calamities.
Although Sarangani province is among the poorest in the Philippines, its fertile land provides corn, rice, banana, coconut, vegetables and fruits for the rest of the country. Since February the region has lost half of its high-value crops, according to estimates.
The national weather bureau forecasts that dry conditions in parts of Mindanao may last until July. The local officials say they can only pray for the rain to come earlier. “We are getting worried that if assistance does not arrive in time, our people will really suffer. There may be massive hunger and peace and order will be affected,” says Dagupto.Farmers cope with hardships as they await assistance
The Government has released $98 million to help counter the impact of El Niño on agriculture, through providing seeds, fertilisers, water pumps and technical training to the affected farmers and cloud seeding and other water supply augmentation. In addition, $11 million has been made available for emergency employment assistance and another $2 million for food distribution to the affected households. Unfortunately, none has arrived to help Jennie so far.
UN agencies, the Red Cross, and international and national NGOs are supporting the authorities with emergency food security assessment, distribution of food, water and other relief items, and financial and technical assistance to the affected farming communities especially in Mindanao.
While the scorching El Niño heat continues, Jennie slips deeper into debt. She borrowed PhP30,000 ($640) for seeds and fertilizer last August. “Before, we got 250 sacks of corn from my land; the last time I only harvested 20 sacks.” In February this year she did not plant at all.
Normally Jennie would earn PhP20,000 ($430) per harvest. Now she can’t pay back her loan with its steep 10 per cent monthly interest rate. Plus she needs money to pay the rent on her farmland and food for the family. The solution is to eat less, earn a few extra dollars from ad-hoc jobs and borrow more.
Jennie’s family is consuming bananas as an alternative to their staple food of rice. Her eldest son had to drop out of school to take a job as a motorcycle driver, while other siblings earned small fees for setting up an instant photography service at local end-of-school-year ceremonies.
These, however, are not sustainable means to make the family’s ends meet, and Jennie is worried about the decreasing water level in her hand-pumped tube well. If the family runs out of potable water, she may have to borrow again, from whomever she can, even though she will probably spiral downward into debt which may take a long time to repay, even after the weather improves.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development –Field Office VI (DSWD-FO VI) will release the shelter assistance, amounting to P8.2 million, for the municipality of San Dionisio in Iloilo by the first week of May, assured DSWD- FO VI Regional Director Rebecca Geamala.
The Municipality of San Dionisio is one of those where the DSWD implements directly the payout of the shelter assistance in as much as the local government unit does not have exemption from the election ban.
The assistance will be released in partnership with a religious group in the town considering that it is election period.
Dir. Geamala met with the representatives of the different barangays of the town who flocked at the DSWD compound early Monday asking for clarification as to when will their shelter assistance be released.
“Even before you came to our office, we have already scheduled the release of the assistance for your town,” Dir. Geamala said.
The shelter assistance is intended for 828 families whose houses were partially damaged by Typhoon Yolanda which hit the Western Visayas Region in 2013.
Dir. Geamala explained that the delay in the release of the aid was due to the need to revalidate the list of beneficiaries after receiving complaints that families with totally damaged houses were classified under partially damaged and vice-versa.
Overall, DSWD-FO VI has released P8.2 billion in shelter assistance as of the first quarter of 2016. ###
105,000 people in Luzon and Mindanao were provided with food and cash assistance in March to improve their food security.
WFP has been providing technical support to the Government in conducting the Emergency Food Security Assessment to assess the impact of El Niño in Mindanao.
Ongoing military operation against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Mindanao triggers sporadic armed encounters which impact WFP operations in the area.
The PRRO targets around half a million people affected by protracted conflict in Central Mindanao as well as typhoon-affected communities in Visayas and Mindanao. The assistance is tailored to reach the most vulnerable in areas where poverty, nutrition and basic education indicators remain well below the national average. WFP supports internally displaced people and returnees through marketsensitive food assistance-for-assets options, school meals, and stunting prevention programmes for children under two years of age and pregnant and nursing women.
Through the Disaster Preparedness and Response Programme under this PRRO, WFP implements initiatives such as capacity development trainings, installation of early warning systems, and community-based risk mitigation activities, to support local government units, academic institutions, civil society and NGOs in strengthening disaster preparedness and risk reduction mechanisms.
This operation also features capacity augmentation and policy development components to optimise the disaster response structures and policy frameworks of the Government of the Philippines in support of the Philippine Development Plan (2011–2016).
The Special Operation aims to enhance the disaster response capability of the Government of the Philippines in areas of logistics and supply chain management to ensure that WFP is ready to activate response options at scale in a timely manner and in alignment with government relief mechanisms.
Building on the key learnings from the Typhoon Haiyan emergency in 2013/2014, the operation aims to mitigate potential implementation bottlenecks and challenges as identified during the large-scale humanitarian response.
The establishment of a network of disaster response facilities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, in support of an improved and decentralised emergency response network, is a key element of the operation. WFP also provides technical assistance and trainings for government counterparts on practical, operational and strategic logistics.
New tech allows for rapid and detailed assessments of vulnerable farmland
25 April 2016 - In a bid to stay ahead of the negative impacts of climate change, floods and typhoons on food security, the Government of the Philippines and FAO have started using unmanned aerial drones to assess where farmlands are most at risk from natural disasters and quickly assess damages after they strike.
Under a pilot phase of the still-fledgling project funded by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Philippines and the FAO, two drones have already been sent soaring over the Philippines provinces that have been affected by the current El Niño.
Some 25 FAO and government technical experts are ready to be deployed across the archipelago to support drone missions. They were recently trained over three weeks on how to fly the drones and learned a range of remote aerial assessment methods.
The drones are equipped with navigation and photogrammetric equipment that can generate detailed and data rich maps from aerial photographs including Normalized Difference Vegetation Index or NDVI, a formula used for assessing vegetation and plant health.
Data gathered can be used to see where agricultural systems are at particular risk from natural disasters -- and identify ways through which such risks can be countered, for example, through ground contouring, building retaining walls, or planting protective vegetation.
Capable of covering up to 600 hectares a day, the drones should significantly accelerate the process of risk analysis, according to Christopher Morales, Director of Field Operations for the Philippines Department of Agriculture.
"It is efficient, it saves time and we will be using a reliable source of data so that we can plan and provide appropriate interventions and responses for our farmers in times of disasters and calamities," he says.
"Additionally, imagery generated from drone flights can reveal where agricultural infrastructure projects and service facilities like irrigation or storage facilities could be sited to best serve local farmers. The technology can also potentially support in the assessment of coastal and forest areas." said Jose Luiz Fernandez, FAO Representative in the Philippines.
A new tool for countries at risk from natural disasters
The Philippines is among the world's most at-risk countries for tropical storms and other disasters.
Over the past decade, earthquakes, typhoons and floods have claimed thousands of human lives and periodically left parts of the archipelago's infrastructure and economy in tatters.
Such disasters impact heavily on farms and food systems, leaving people without food in their immediate aftermath and undermining food production capacity for years afterwards.
Approximately 20 strong typhoons affect the Philippine Area of Responsibility each year. In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan alone devastated 600 000 hectares of farmland and caused over $700 million in damage to the agriculture sector. In addition, the country is also highly vulnerable to other natural hazards such as drought, flooding and volcanic eruptions.
The vulnerability of the agriculture sector to natural hazards is evident elsewhere across the globe as well. Nearly a quarter of all damages inflicted by natural hazards such as drought, floods storms or tsunamis in the developing world are absorbed by the agriculture sector, FAO studies have shown.
Preparing for such events and taking steps to reduce risks to farmers and farming systems can greatly reduce such damages and avoid the need to build agriculture back from scratch following a disaster.
The ADB program in the Philippines has provided loans, grants and technical assistance to grow the country’s economy and improve the lives of people, particularly the poor, women, children and other vulnerable groups.
ADB has been a strong development partner of the Philippines, its host country, with average annual lending of $745 million in the last 10 years.
The Philippines is among the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia. To meet the large infrastructure needs of the Philippines, ADB has been supporting PPPs since 2011. Increasing use of results-based lending is expected to identify investment projects that make better use of country systems to increase implementation efficiency.
Future ADB assistance to the Philippines will be based on a holistic program-oriented approach, to increase the predictability of ADB resource allocations and government disbursements, strengthen synergy across sectors and operations, and provide financing flexibility to suit the assistance required.
Updated yearly, this ADB Fact Sheet provides social and economic indicators on the Philippines as well as concise information on ADB's operations in the country and contact information.
April 19th, 2015 ― Doha: A delegation of Qatar Red Crescent Society has visited the Philippines to inaugurate a housing project, as part of a development program of the Qatar Alliance for the Relief of the Peoples of Somalia and the Philippines, at a total value of $2,256,209 (QR 8,211,020).
QRCS was represented by Mr. Rashid bin Saad Al-Mohannadi, Director, Social Development Department.
The one-year project involved building 650 housing units, seven classrooms, and a depot in northern Tacloban.
Immediately as the project had been completed, the work on another 625-unit project has been initiated.
In a ceremony with the Philippine Red Cross Society (PRCS), the housing units were handed over to the beneficiary families. The classrooms and depot were also completed.
The houses are built of wood and cement, with a separate toilet and sewerage chamber each. The 650 targeted families were selected based on case studies from among the families with totally destroyed homes; people with special needs; families whose breadwinners are children, women, or old people; and chronic patients. The beneficiaries were trained in safe shelter standards and emergency measures.
Seven classrooms were built at the central school of northern Burauen, a town of Leyte Province, at a cost of $150,000. A ready-made depot was built near the PRCS branch in Leyte.
Local workforce was hired to build these structures, as a way to provide income for the local community.
Typhoon Haiyan, which stroke the Philippines on 8 November 2013, was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded. It is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, killing at least 10,000 people and rendering nearly 66,000 people homeless. Overall, it affected almost 9,800,000 people in nine regions with 44 provinces and 600 towns. State and community infrastructure was badly damaged, which resulted in severe basic services breakdown and worsened living conditions.
The Qatar Alliance was formed as a result of the Qatar Day of Solidarity with the Peoples of Somalia and the Philippines, held on Tuesday 19 November 2013, in response to the noble call by H.E. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, Emir of Qatar.
Apart from QRCS, which was assigned to implement the executive work of the campaign, the alliance involved Qatar Charity, Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF), Sheikh Eid bin Mohammad Al Thani Charitable Association, and Al-Asmakh Charity Foundation.
The alliance has already executed and organized many projects and events to mobilize financial and nonfinancial support for the campaign. These efforts are aimed at helping alleviate the suffering of as many victims as possible in the two countries.
Fiji: Humanitarian Implementation Plan (HIP) South East Asia and the Pacific (ECHO/-XA/BUD/2016/91000) Last Updated: 08/03/2016 Version: 3
AMOUNT: EUR 21 400 000
- MAJOR CHANGES SINCE PREVIOUS VERSION OF THE HIP
Second modification as from 08.03.2016: Fiji - Tropical Cyclone Winston:
Tropical Cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji on 20 February, causing loss of lives and significant damage to shelter, agriculture and infrastructure across its path. The Fiji Government estimates that close to 350 000 people living in the cyclone’s path were affected; 42 people have been confirmed dead and close to 40 000 people remain in evacuation centres.
ECHO’s and partners’ assessments indicate that multi-sector emergency humanitarian aid is needed for the most vulnerable and most affected families, with emphasis on food assistance (including support to re-launch agriculture activities), WASH and shelter. To address the needs of the most vulnerable people affected by Cyclone Winston in Fiji, EUR 1 000 000 has been added to this HIP. The response will focus on the most vulnerable people who have lost their shelter and source of income due to the extensive damage to agriculture.
First modification as from 28.01.2016: Transfer of the EUR 1 500 000 allocation foreseen under the 2015 HIP for the conflict in Mindanao (the Philippines):
The EUR 1 500 000 allocation foreseen under the 2015 HIP for the conflict in Mindanao, the Philippines, has been transferred to this HIP. Fighting between the army and nonstate armed groups1 has displaced over 495 000 people since 2012. The 2013 MNLF siege in Zamboanga displaced more than 118 800 people, the 2015 offensive against BIFF in Maguindanao displaced more than 132 000 and persisting fighting entails continuous displacement in different parts of Mindanao. Livelihoods have been destroyed as a result of conflict and displacement, in particular fishing for the indigenous Badjaos in Zamboanga and the farms and livestock in Maguindanao. While it is hoped that the peace process and the Bangsamoro Basic Law may bring sustained peace in the long term, for the moment the conflict remains active. Its humanitarian consequences have received virtually no international attention, making Mindanao a much forgotten crisis. The Government’s response to conflict-induced displacements has been much lower than to natural disaster-induced displacements2 .
Support for the Philippines Department of Science and Technology, and its National Meteorological Service; the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration
The location of the Philippines means that it is subject to a range of natural hazards, including earthquakes and volcanoes. It is also situated on the typhoon belt in the north-west Pacific. This results in most of its islands experiencing periods of torrential rain, flooding, landslides, high winds, thunderstorms and related storm surges, between June and November.
Typhoons are one of the most dangerous natural hazards. They cause considerable loss of life and immense damage to property. They are also notoriously difficult to predict. The effect of these hazards was witnessed in 2011’s Typhoon Pedring (internationally known as Nesat), 2012’s Typhoon Pablo (Bopha), and the most disastrous storm of the century, Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013.
The country is usually affected by around 21 cyclonic storms each year and directly struck by five to six. To make sure society is sufficiently resilient and prepared requires the development and delivery of effective weather and climate services.
For the 306 families from Tacloban City who suffered the brunt of Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ when it struck almost three years ago, having a new home is heaven sent.
Since March 29, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Housing Authority (NHA), and the local government unit (LGU) of Tacloban City have been moving families from the three bunkhouses located in IPI, Abucay, and NHA compound to the permanent relocation site in Ridgeview Park 1. The houses were built by NHA.
The 306 families comprised the first batch that were transferred. The three agencies hope to finish transferring the remaining 491 families within this month.
To help the families in their new homes, DSWD-Field Office VIII provided them with Pabaon Packs that consisted of 25-kilos of rice, plastic mats, mosquito nets, blankets, and cooking pots.
The families expressed their joy for having new and safe homes and were excited to share their plans. Gina, 45, married with five children related her plans to engage in buy and sell of baked products. Another beneficiary, Mana Tale Penaranda, said that she would plant okra, ampalaya, string beans and malunggay in her backyard garden as a source of food and extra income. She expressed her appreciation for her new house saying that it is well-ventilated with high ceilings. Likewise, couple Rodrigo and Michelle Cannecer narrated that they will set up a sari-sari store as their extra source of income.
Michelle is also thankful for her family’s new home saying, “Malipay kami nga after three years may balay na kami, salamat hin madamo (We are happy that after three years, we already have a house, thank you so much).”
Even the children are happy to have transferred to their new community.
Princess Michaela Cinco and Annjannes Separa, 12 and 13, respectively, excitedly exclaimed that Ridgeview Park is far better than the IPI bunkhouse where they stayed for two years.
“Diri na malubak it karsada, sementado na. Diri na kahoy it am balay, semento na gihap (The roads are cemented, not bumpy or rocky. Our houses are concrete).”
Edgar Salentes and wife, Rutchie, proudly showed their newly-opened sari-sari store and said, “Ginpalago gud namon an kwarta nga ginhatag ha amon han gobyerno ngan mga NGOs. Parag-pedicab la ako ngan an akon padis nag-skills training man hin cooking. An iba nga cash nga panhatag, amon gin capital hini nga sari-sari store (We have invested here the amount given to us by the government and the NGOs. I am a pedicab driver and my wife was one of those trained in cooking. We used some of the cash given to us as capital for this sari-sari store).”
The residents said that the memories of the devastation that ‘Yolanda’ brought to their lives remains but they have to move on.
“For ‘Yolanda’-affected families, starting a new life is neither easy nor fast, but with determination, perseverance, and hard work, they now have a chance for a better life in their new homes,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman stated.
By Mary Joy Evalarosa, IFRC
Ever since the construction of her new shelter began two weeks ago, Jennylind Arsollon would stand by the door of her brother-in-law’s house with her one-year-old son, Manuel, in one arm, and watch while the carpenters work.
The last two years have been rough on the 33-year-old and her family. She was taking care of her brother-in-law’s house when typhoon Haiyan struck their town in Pastrana, Leyte, in November 2013. The family was forced to seek shelter in the basement as the house fell apart.
“It was a scary experience for our family, especially for the kids,” she said. “We huddled in the basement for hours and watched as the water began to pour in from the windows.”
When the water in the basement continued to rise, they clambered out and huddled in her brother-in-law’s living room. Once the storm subsided, the kids helped to bail water out from the basement and discarded everything that was damaged by the storm.
But the ordeal took a toll on her then 60-year-old husband, Ruben, who caught pneumonia a few weeks later. They lived in the damp house for more than two years, with Jennylind making ends meet from the 5 US dollars she earned by selling ‘bananacue’ from a government cash-for-work project. Life took a turn for the better for Jennylind and her family when they were approached by Philippine Red Cross volunteers conducting a survey under the Haiyan shelter recovery programme.
“One of the things that made this shelter different is that the latrine is located at the front of the house,” said Herbert Origenes, one of the Philippine Red Cross shelter team leaders in Leyte. “The participants informed us during the initial survey that the back part of the house is prone to water retention during heavy rains, so we took steps to avoid that.”
Over the past two years, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has made significant progress in its recovery program, reaching more than tens of thousands of people with shelter, livelihood cash and health and education programmes.
As it nears the end of its three-year operation, the Philippine Red Cross’ Haiyan Recovery program, supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and partner national societies, has so far built or repaired more than 72,000 homes in 9 affected provinces, reaching more than 90 percent of the shelter target since the programme started in 2014.
According to Philippine Red Cross Chairman, Richard Gordon, the shelter recovery program ensures that families have adequate, appropriate and safe shelter, supporting them from the transition phase to making more permanent and durable housing. “We also prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable and ensure their participation and access to basic services to provide them with a life of dignity,” said Gordon.
FAO and DA take agriculture disaster risk reduction to the next level
Restoring livelihoods of typhoon-hit farmers in Central Luzon
Pikit farmers acquire livelihood and disaster risk reduction skills
Regional food security initiatives gain momentum in the Philippines
Fisheries Improvement Plans adopted by 11 coastal communities
FAO’s Typhoon Haiyan experience: Building back better means addressing the root causes of poverty, food insecurity and vulnerability to disasters
Philippines: Linking Preparedness Response and Resilience in Emergency Contexts (LPRR): Philippines Case Study Policy Recommendations
Authors: Rebecca Murphy, Mark Pelling, Emma Visman and Simone Di Vicenz
This policy brief outlines the core messages and recommendations coming out from the study that explored Christian Aid Typhoon Ketsana and Help Age International Typhoon Haiyan interventions. The authors asked community members, field staff, government officials and other key stakeholders what the biggest challenges were in implementing resilience informed humanitarian response and what they would recommend for improved practice. The brief aims to analyse past humanitarian interventions to understand and map out how emergency response can be better informed by communities’ understanding of what builds their resilience and links to longer term development.
This research was part of "Linking Preparedness Response and Resilience in Emergency Contexts (LPRR)" which is a START DEPP DfID funded 3 year, consortium led project aimed at strengthening humanitarian programming for more resilient communities. The consortium is led by Christian Aid and includes Action Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help Age International, Kings College London, Muslim Aid, Oxfam, Saferworld and World Vision.