TyphoonHaiyan - RW Updates
(This story appeared first yesterday on the website of the Thomson Reuters Foundation.)
Governments need to step up efforts in preparing for disasters to cut the rising bill for helping people hit by crises, the head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said.
Even though droughts, storms, floods and other disasters are predictable, most disaster funding only becomes available after they happen, said the IFRC’s Secretary General Elhadj As Sy.
“We see much more money being spent in responding to disasters and very little in preventing them,” Sy told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview.
In the latest example of a humanitarian crisis that has been looming for months, the UN appealed for US$864 million on Tuesday for Somalia, saying the Horn of Africa country risks slipping back into famine as a worsening drought has left millions without food, water or health care.
Sy said a fresh approach to funding is critical as humanitarian needs have grown exponentially over the past decade and are expected to keep rising.
The number of people who rely on humanitarian assistance has more than tripled while the cost of responding as increased sixfold, according to the IFRC.
Research in Kenya and Ethiopia has shown early drought preparedness is on average three times more cost-effective than emergency response, while other studies calculated disaster risk reduction globally saves an average US$4 for every dollar invested.
“We all have the figures...but nonetheless, it is so difficult to convince governments and funders to invest in a crisis they have not seen yet,” Sy said.
Spending on preparedness and resilience remains low, despite a UN call for governments to spend at least 1 per cent of development aid by 2020 on reducing the risks of disasters and preparing for them, up from around 0.5 per cent now.
Sy cited the Philippines as an example where efforts to improve preparedness by working with communities have paid off.
When Typhoon Nock-ten hit the Philippines in December it had the potential to be as deadly as Haiyan, the storm that killed more than 6,300 people and wrought havoc in the south-east Asian country in 2013.
Nock-ten killed just three people, according to government data released in early January, after almost half a million were pre-emptively evacuated, and thanks to extensive preparedness programmes introduced after the Haiyan disaster.
Forecast-based financing schemes, which link hazard warnings with appropriate funding, are critical in helping to curb future harm of disasters, Sy said.
Weather forecasts and other scientific methods have become increasingly sophisticated in predicting weather-related hazards months in advance.
“We can even see with a certain degree of accuracy that there will be a cycle of droughts in the Sahel as well as in eastern and southern Africa,” Sy said.
The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement has been experimenting with forecast-based financing in Ugandaand beyond, releasing funding to communities according to agreed triggers such as weather predictions, rather than waiting for dry spells or torrential rains to cause havoc.
This can include distributing chlorine tablets ahead of a flood instead of treating patients once contaminated water causes a disease, as well as stockpiling food and other supplies.
• UNICEF and partners continue to meet on-going humanitarian needs, respond to small, localised emergencies and remain prepared to respond to requests for humanitarian assistance. UNICEF and partners reached more adults and children than planned, providing access to safe water, learning materials, safe spaces for learning, Vitamin A supplementation and deworming. Reports of Grave Child Rights Violations have been identified, verified and responded to.
• The Government of the Philippines is taking a more independent approach to leading and responding to humanitarian needs. The humanitarian community is being encouraged to invest in building national systems and capacities for humanitarian preparedness, response and resilience.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Mindanao remained unstable in 2016, where 152,380 persons were displaced1 and in need of durable solutions. Causes of displacement include conflict, and military operations against terrorist groups aligned with ISIS in the Sulu Archipelago. The recruitment of children by armed groups and the use of child soldiers is of particular concern. Drought, aggravated by El Niño threatened food security, sustainable agriculture and the availability of clean drinking water. Typhoons caused flooding, landslides and catastrophic winds in Luzon destroying livelihoods and forcing school closures.
Philippines: Synthesis of key findings from Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluations (IAHEs) of the international responses to crises in the Philippines (Typhoon Haiyan), South Sudan and the Central African Republic
Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluations (IAHEs) are a relatively new innovation, related to the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Transformative Agenda and triggered automatically by the declaration of a level-three (L3) system-wide emergency. This Synthesis summarizes and assesses the key lessons from the three IAHEs conducted to date: in the Philippines (the response to Typhoon Haiyan) in 2014, in South Sudan in 2015 and in Central African Republic (CAR), also in 2015. The Synthesis aims to highlight areas of convergence and difference in the main findings of the IAHEs, and to point out common conclusions. While many examples of good and effective practice emerge from the evaluations, the focus here is more on the challenges and areas that need corrective action.
Two types of findings emerge from this analysis. The first are those related to the relevance, effectiveness and quality of the United Nations-coordinated inter-agency response viewed as a whole. The second are those related to the inter-agency processes that contributed to the way responses were triggered, informed, planned, resourced, coordinated and reported. Some of the lessons are more relevant to rapid onset and natural disasters (Typhoon Haiyan), while others relate more to slow onset crises or situations of protracted conflict (CAR and South Sudan). A key factor to keep in mind is the difference in the relative levels of development and strength of governance in the three countries, together with the very different operating environments that each presents for humanitarian aid delivery.
The findings reflect the fact that in each case, the ‘inter-agency response’ comprised a set of distinct organizational responses that were more or less well harmonized and coordinated, rather than a unified response guided by a single strategic planning process and managed within a joint strategic framework. This created particular challenges for effective collective action and put a premium on strong senior leadership working across agencies. Each IAHE addresses the particular ways in which these challenges were met, along with the related question: what value do the collective processes add, and at what cost?
In reviewing the relevance and appropriateness of the inter-agency responses in each case, the evaluations all considered joint needs assessments and the extent to which they informed joint and single agency planning processes. All suggest that standard IASC joint multi-sector assessment models need to be adapted to the contexts in which they are applied if they are to be useful. Standard approaches risk being irrelevant in practice.
Concerning the joint planning processes, three main issues are identified. The first is the commonly reported lack of full ownership and buy-in to the Strategic Response Plans (SRPs), even by Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) members and certainly beyond the HCT. This raises questions about accountability for delivery against collectively agreed objectives. Secondly, the SRP is seen as a fundraising document rather than as a strategic road map that provides a basis for the HCT to manage and guide the overall response. The third issue concerns the operational level of planning, which is generally judged to be weak, based too heavily on outputs and vague indicators (“numbers of people reached”), and an inadequate basis for measuring progress.
On the question of effectiveness and the achievement of the SRP objectives, the Typhoon Haiyan evaluation notes that the Philippines country context “created highly favourable conditions for an effective disaster response” and hence was a good test case for inter-agency L3 responses in a positive operating environment. By contrast, neither CAR nor South Sudan provided a favourable context. The response achievements must be seen in this light.
The Typhoon Haiyan evaluation is generally positive in its conclusions about the effectiveness of the United Nations-coordinated response, while noting that its contribution to the overall results was “difficult to assess” in the absence of more data on assistance provided outside of the inter-agency coordinated system (which, strikingly, is estimated by the IAHE team to have made up over 84 per cent of the overall response). The subsequent transition to supporting recovery was judged too slow.
In South Sudan, the inter-agency response is credited with saving lives, preventing the crisis from becoming a major public health catastrophe and (probably) averting famine. That said, weaknesses in monitoring and information management made it difficult to determine the results achieved and their impact. Key achievements include stabilizing acute child malnutrition at pre-conflict levels; effective control of a cholera outbreak in 2014; working with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to protect 100,000 civilians within the mission’s own bases; and “strong, innovative work” on livelihoods—although the impact of these on overall food security could not be separately determined from that of food assistance.
In CAR, the IAHE found that the response “contributed enormously” to relieving the immediate crisis, saving the lives of many Central Africans, reducing suffering and preventing much worse outcomes. However, considered against the more protracted crisis, the response achieved only “modest results” in providing access to basic services, protection and assistance, and “poor results” in livelihoods and recovery. The response was judged highly unsatisfactory in its approach to resilience. Overall, the IAHE concludes that while successful in terms of relief, the inter-agency response missed the opportunity to use the great surge of capacity to address CAR’s protracted crisis.
With regard to international engagement with national and local bodies and with affected populations, the picture that emerges from the IAHEs is a mixed one. As might be expected, the Philippines saw the closest collaboration between the United Nations-led inter-agency response and the Government, at both national and provincial or municipal levels. However, the international emergency response initially tended to bypass national systems and capacities, and it took time for the parallel systems to converge. In CAR and South Sudan, given the preexisting governance and capacity deficits and the politically contested nature of the context, engagement with Government was more limited and circumspect.
With respect to civil society engagement, some good practices are noted in each case, but even in the Philippines the level of engagement was less than might be expected. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the Philippines tended to operate separately from the international NGOs and from the HCT system, and the Typhoon Haiyan IAHE found “limited evidence” of effective engagement between the international response and national and local civil society.
Mutual lack of trust appeared to be a contributing factor to this. In CAR, few national civil society organizations participated in the inter-agency response, though a minority received funding through the Common Humanitarian Fund. In South Sudan, the evaluation found that while national NGOs lacked the capacity to mount a large response, they could have played a greater role than they did and could have been given more support to access responsewide resources, including pooled funding (they received less than 1 per cent of funding overall). International response stakeholders took positive steps in 2015 to encourage greater participation of national NGOs.
Community engagement was a strong feature of the response to Typhoon Haiyan. The evaluation found high levels of attention to Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP), although it lacked some of the necessary feedback elements. In CAR, by contrast, the evaluation found that this aspect of the response, and AAP in particular, was highly unsatisfactory; the failure to listen to the affected population increased “the potential for frustration, fraud and violence”. Likewise in South Sudan, the IAHE found that affected people had not been consistently involved in planning, implementation and decision-making, which affected the relevance and sustainability of programmes.
On coordination and coverage, a few recurrent themes emerge from the three IAHEs. The emphasis on central strategic coordination was not always matched by adequate operational (cluster/sector-level) coordination. Coordination processes tended to be resource-intensive and time consuming; the demand for data to feed information products was seen as “heavy”.
In the Philippines, the evaluation found that coordination mechanisms were well funded and rapidly established, and that the cluster system functioned as planned—although complicated by running in parallel to the Government’s own system. Excellent civil-military coordination greatly assisted the early stage of the response. While there was some unevenness in the geographic distribution of assistance in relation to needs, the IAHE found “no evidence of serious, sustained coverage gaps”.
In CAR, the HCT-led coordination model was questioned and its application widely criticized, especially by international NGOs and global stakeholders. Strategic coordination was considered weak, but operational coordination and efforts to avoid gaps and duplications in assistance were “mostly effective” despite coverage gaps at the sub-national level. In South Sudan, coverage was good in accessible locations and poor in remote locations. Coordination structures and processes were large and complex at the Juba level, but tended to be ad hoc and informal in areas outside the capital and state capitals. Leadership responsibilities were diluted among the various coordination bodies (including HCT and the Inter-Cluster Working Group), and a greater focus was needed on mandates and accountability.
The declaration of an L3 system-wide emergency is generally judged to have been appropriate and effective in each case, particularly in raising the profiles of the crises and enabling resources to be mobilized accordingly. Questions arise in each case as to the proper duration of the L3 designation and the need to switch focus in a timely way (and probably earlier) from relief to recovery while continuing to meet basic needs.
Interesting lessons emerge concerning the application and perceived relevance of the Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC) and its component elements. In the Philippines, it proved impossible to follow the HPC planning sequence, and the evaluation suggests that the HPC itself needs to be adapted to context, particularly in rapid onset emergencies. In CAR, the HPC was widely viewed as cumbersome and not well suited to a protracted crisis context.
In South Sudan, while the letter of the HPC was followed, the spirit was not. Since planning energies were directed more towards resource mobilization than operational planning, a basic principle of the HPC—that plans should follow evidence—was not followed.
Finally, with regard to leadership, the concept of empowered leadership was crucial in galvanizing the inter-agency response in CAR, allowing the newly appointed Senior Humanitarian Coordinator (SHC) to provide strong leadership. Tensions were noted in the Philippines, arising from the senior leaders’ need to both meet their own organizations’ expectations as well as contribute fully to the collective enterprise. All three evaluations raise questions about the leadership by the HCT, Inter-Cluster Working Groups and lower levels of coordination, and suggest that greater focus is needed both on empowering these levels of leadership and holding them to account.
Philippines: Survivors’ Solidarity and Attachment in the Immediate Aftermath of the Typhoon Haiyan (Philippines)
Introduction: Anti-social behavior and self-preservation are often assumed to be normal responses to threats and disasters; on the contrary, decades of research and empirical studies in social sciences showed that pro-social behaviors are frequently common and that solidarity is the typical response to a variety of threats. The main objective of this study is to investigate and describe survivors’ behavior, especially solidarity, according to the presence of familiar persons and to the perception of physical danger, elaborating the framework of Mawson’s social attachment theory.
Methods: In order to investigate these relationships, a behavioral research was carried out involving 288 people affected by the December 8th 2013 Haiyan Typhoon (Yolanda).
Results: Results revealed that solidarity was predominant and people reacted collectively and actively taking part in relief activities. Furthermore, we found strong solidarity and help towards strangers and unfamiliar persons.
Discussion: Investigating how people react is essential to develop a more efficient and effective response strategy especially in the immediate aftermath of a disaster when disaster mangers have little control of the situation and people rely on themselves; the natural tendency to help others can be essential to reduce losses and to fill the temporal gap between the event and the arrival of the organized relief unit.
MANILA, Jan. 5 - In line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to provide victims of Typhoon Yolanda a conducive and permanent resettlement area, Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said that water tanks and jetmatic pumps have been installed in all resettlement sites of Yolanda victims.
“As promised, all resettlement sites are now provided with water. The Tacloban North Resettlement Site is now equipped with 67 units of 5 cubic meter and 70 units of 2 cubic meter stainless water tanks,” Villar said.
The Department of Public Works and Highways augmented the water supply at 17 resettlement sites in Barangay Sto. Niño in Tacloban City. A total of 181 jetmatic pumps were already installed at various resettlement areas.
“We are very happy to be able to provide the water tanks on time. It is our duty to ensure that problems are addressed at the shortest possible time”, Villar said.
Aside from the water tanks and jetmatic pumps, the DPWH has also provided 4 units of 10 wheeler dump trucks, 5 units of 6 wheeler dump trucks and 2 units of water tank trucks
Overall, a total of 4,468 cubic meters of water were already delivered to various resettlement sites. DPWH is expected to provide clean water supply to 2,841 families.
“As part of the government’s initiative, we are tasked to provide all necessary assistance to the Filipino people. This is why we have extended all efforts that we can provide to the people of Tacloban, especially those hit by Typhoon Yolanda.”, Villar added.(DPWH)
Philippines: External Evaluation of the DEC-Funded Philippine Red Cross and British Red Cross Livelihoods and Shelter Recovery Programme
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal raised over £95 million in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, and allocated approximately £6.4 million to British Red Cross. Of this, British Red Cross spent £1.8 million during the initial emergency response and the remaining £4.6 million during the recovery.
This evaluation looks at the DEC–funded parts of the recovery programme which focussed mainly on shelter and livelihoods assistance.
2017 Requirements: US$6,106,400
East Asia and the Pacific region remains extremely prone to natural hazards, with significant human casualties and economic losses – more than 40 million people were affected by disasters in 2015. Children are among the most vulnerable to natural hazards, and suffer short-term and long-lasting negative impacts on health, nutrition, protection and education. Population growth, rapid urbanization and climate change continue to exacerbate the impact of disasters, which are expected to occur more frequently and with greater intensely, and to impact larger populations in the coming years. This threatens the well-being and protection of vulnerable populations, especially children, and prevents them from realizing their full potential. In 2015 and 2016, El Niño led to irregular rainfall patterns, causing both severe drought and flooding, particularly in Indonesia, Mongolia, the Pacific sub-region, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam, affecting more than 10 million people. Typhoons and cyclones disrupted the lives of thousands of children in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Pacific sub-region and Viet Nam. In addition, ethnic strife and protracted conflicts in Myanmar and the Philippines continue to severely impact the survival and well-being of children and other vulnerable populations. In the Philippines, clashes between the Philippine Armed Forces, the Abu Sayyaf group in Basilan and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Maguindanao continue to drive conflict-related displacement, with mounting concerns regarding grave violations of child rights.
Regional humanitarian strategy
The East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO) and UNICEF country offices work closely with national authorities to reach the most vulnerable children and their families and protect their rights during humanitarian situations. In response to recurrent monsoons and other disasters in the region, EAPRO will support country offices to deliver assistance to affected children, in line with the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action, particularly in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition, education and child protection. At the same time, UNICEF will continue to invest in its partnerships with national governments to strengthen capacities and systems in countries and contribute to national policy and strategy setting on preparedness and disaster risk reduction (DRR), based on child-centered risk assessment and vulnerability analysis. EAPRO will continue to build regional knowledge management capacity to document best practices and lessons learned to ensure regional exchange and make responses more fit for purpose in fast changing environments. Innovations such as cash transfers in emergencies are being piloted and further developed to support vulnerable groups affected by recurrent disasters. Committed to global agendas, including the World Humanitarian Summit, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Paris Climate Agreement, EAPRO will continue to work closely with its humanitarian partners and regional and sub-regional government bodies to nurture close collaboration and provide effective action for children, while addressing climate change, resilience and DRR. Acknowledging the increased capacity for emergency response among many governments in the region, EAPRO and country offices will rely on regional support mechanisms that draw expertise from and provide surge support to countries in the region by pooling available resources, advocating for improved humanitarian performance monitoring and encouraging further alignment of service delivery in humanitarian and development programmes.
Results in 2016
As of 31 October 2016, UNICEF had received US$8.46 million against the US$8.10 million appeal. 2 These funds allowed EAPRO to support the effective delivery of humanitarian action in its 14 country offices, and ensure investment in preparedness and DRR. Funds accessed through the regional preparedness and response budget supported the response to El Niño-induced drought and flooding in Viet Nam, including the distribution of therapeutic foods and micronutrients to pregnant and lactating women and children aged 6 to 23 months.
Critical WASH supplies were delivered to affected families, with additional supplies en route. In response to Tropical Cyclone Winston, the UNICEF Office for the Pacific provided tents and education supplies to affected children, building on the achievements of ongoing development projects. In the Philippines, UNICEF concluded the Typhoon Haiyan response; one of its final contributions was to the development of the implementing regulation of the Children's Emergency Relief and Protection Act. EAPRO also enhanced country capacities through trainings on preparedness, response and DRR, and initiated knowledge management mechanisms to mitigate the impact of recurrent disasters. EAPRO is also an active DRR partner and in 2016 contributed to child and youth coalitions, preparedness/DRR platforms and inter-governmental events, and initiatives such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response and the Asia Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.
Written by Craig Burnett
Fishing is a way of life across the Philippines, so when Typhoon Haiyan hit the nation of many islands in 2013, we aimed to restore the livelihoods of fisherman in the form of new, more sustainable fishing vessels. Here’s what happened.
When major disasters strike, we act fast. Sometimes within a few hours — as we did when Hurricane Matthew battered Haiti at the beginning of October. And while the TV crews pursue new headlines after a few days or weeks, we stay and work with local people to rebuild lives. In the wake of a huge typhoon in the Philippines in 2013, we helped fishermen go green and start earning again.
When Typhoon Haiyan brought chaos to the Philippines three years ago, Concern was quick to send help. In the weeks after the disaster, we gave out blankets and other essential supplies. But people needed to do more than survive — they needed to rebuild their lives.
On the island of Iloilo, where Concern focused its efforts, many people made their living through fishing. But the typhoon destroyed huge numbers of boats — even those pulled up on to land for safety. Without them, already poor families would struggle to put food on the table. So, beyond rebuilding schools, fixing water pipes, and helping people get ready for future disasters, we worked to replace damaged and destroyed boats with a new eco-friendly design.
We’ve taken a hard look at the scheme to see if it was a success. Read the full report, or grab the highlights below.
The island’s traditional fishing boats are made of wood from locally-grown tipolo trees. But tipolo tree numbers plummeted after the typhoon, as fishers chopped them down to replace their broken boats.
To protect tree supplies, Concern came up with an alternative design using marine plywood. The new design was a similar shape to the old boats, but needed much less wood. Once it was approved by the fishers and the local authorities, Concern set up a boatyard, staffed by five teams of local people. Soon the yard was churning out boats for fishers who had lost their old craft in the typhoon.
A PROJECT BACKED BY LOCALS
Each new boat was expected to last six years — longer than traditional boats, which would survive for three to four years. A survey showed that the new design was well liked by users, with 34% rating it ‘good’ and 64% ‘very good’. They rated the quality of construction highly too (39% ‘good’ and 56% ‘very good’). In total, 950 boats were built and given out by Concern, along with fishing gear.
A panel of local people made sure those claiming a boat had been fishing for a living before the disaster. No boats were given to people who did not own one before the disaster. The list of those helped was shared with other organizations working in the wake of the typhoon, to make sure support was spread around fairly.
To offset the wood used to build the new boats, the project included the reforestation of more than 120 acres of land on a local mountain. Local farmers and fishermen associations planted more than 15,000 seedlings.
CRUCIAL CORAL REEFS AND MANGROVES
This wasn’t the only support we gave fishers on Iloilo. We also helped rebuild mangroves and coral reefs — vital environments for the fish local people depend on — and helped communities prevent overfishing. You can read more about this work, and the new fishing boats, in our in-depth report.
MORE ON CONCERN’S DISASTER RISK REDUCTION:
Period covered by this operation update: 8 November 2013 to 30 November 2016
Appeal target (current): CHF 94.53 million
Appeal coverage: 96 per cent
18 August 2015: The budget was adjusted downwards by 5 per cent, from CHF 99.88 million to CHF 94.53 million via Operations Update 13.
30 July 2014: A further revision of the emergency appeal was launched, seeking CHF 99.88 million to support 100,000 households (500,000 people) through December 2016.
16 January 2014: A revision of this emergency appeal was launched for CHF 126.2 million to support 100,000 families (500,000 people) over 24 months.
12 November 2013: An emergency appeal was launched on a preliminary basis for CHF 72.3 million to support 100,000 families (500,000 people) over 18 months.
8 November 2013: CHF 475,495 was allocated from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC) Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) in delivering immediate assistance and undertaking initial needs.
Identified as one of the most powerful typhoons ever to make landfall, Typhoon Haiyan struck Central Philippines on 8 November 2013. It killed at least 6,300 people and caused massive damage to more than 1.14 million houses, displacing an estimated 4.1 million people and affecting more than 16 million individuals.
The emergency relief operation was launched immediately to provide assistance to the people affected across the Central Visayas region. Food, water, and emergency shelter materials were dispatched and more than 8,000 volunteers were mobilized. The recovery of households entailed support for shelter repair and reconstruction, recovery of livelihoods and income generation activities, construction of water and sanitation facilities, rehabilitation of health infrastructure and health promotion initiatives, and improved educational facilities. Awareness raising sessions were also carried out with the communities to improve their knowledge of disaster preparedness.
Three years on, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), together with its Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (Movement) partners, are close to completing their support to longer-term recovery of communities. PRC and most of its Movement partners – including IFRC, with an Emergency Appeal operation of CHF 94.53 million in budget – are now working on their exit strategies and transitioning from recovery to development.
Philippines: Child Protection and Health: “Health Emergency Response Unit and youth lead community outreach: Joint health and child protection interventions in the Typhoon Haiyan response (Philippines)”
This six-page case study details the barangays (native Filipino term for village or district) around Ormoc City, in the province of Leyte in the Philippines. Ormoc and its surrounds were significantly impacted by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, and humanitarian needs quickly grew. Recognizing that increased stress for those impacted by a natural disaster can lead to an increase in violence against children, members of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement enhanced child protection prevention work, using a youth-led, community-based approach.
The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, with several earthquakes and around 20 tropical cyclones per year among other natural calamities.
In 2015, the European Commission made available a total of € 2.1 million in response to the decades-long armed conflict in the southernmost island of Mindanao, which has displaced more than 495 000 individuals since 2012.
Following Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) in November 2013, the European Commission made available €40 million in relief assistance, early recovery and reconstruction to help the most affected communities. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated to coordinate the delivery of assistance by the EU member states, which provided personnel and material support in addition to financial assistance totaling more than € 180 million.
Since 1997, the European Commission has released close to € 75.3 million in emergency relief interventions for survivors of natural disasters and € 24.7 million to help victims of armed conflicts. Furthermore, € 8.85 million have been allocated for local communities to better withstand future disasters (DIPECHO programme).