Philippines - ReliefWeb News
By Melissa Hinnen*
August 19, 2014—Purposeful work is everywhere in Barangay (neighborhood) Calogcog, in the municipality of Tanauan, Philippines. After Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, tore through the region, more than 200 homes were destroyed in this community alone. Nine months later, people are hard at work maintaining temporary shelters and cleaning up debris until new homes can be completed.
Thanks to United Methodists and others who supported the response by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, the more than 218 households in Calogcog that have requested help will receive new homes.
While the cleanup and repairs serve a practical purpose, many say it also helps them temporarily take their minds off their grief. Everyone in the area has a heartbreaking story of loss. In Calogcog, 200 bodies were recovered and identified, but many more are still missing.
According to Nancy Michael, who teaches fourth grade at the Calogcog Elementary School, 70 people—many of them children—took shelter in the school during Yolanda. Only 27 survived.
Cornelia Corilla, 85, tells a similar story. When Typhoon Yolanda came, she and other family members sheltered in her daughter’s home, where they always went during storms. Of the 21 people in the home, only her son, grandson, and great granddaughter, who had gone to the roof, survived.
Corilla survived by holding onto the bed when a tidal wave filled the home. “I am the oldest,” she wept. “Why did I survive?”
Building Back Better
Tanauan’s chief engineer, Raul Soliva, wears a shirt that says, “Every Day is a Better Day in Tanauan.” UMCOR is committed to working with him and the Calogcog community to “build back better.”
Each home is being customized to accommodate the lot and the size of the family. The new houses are designed not only to resist typhoon-strength winds but, also, have high-sided roofs that can be accessed from inside the house.
UMCOR housing program officer Malaya Conejos is working with families to identify needs and the amount that they can contribute to the construction. All families are asked to contribute by removing debris and, if possible, to the cost of hiring local, skilled construction workers. Those with additional means supplement the construction costs of their neighbors who cannot contribute financially.
With tears in his eyes, Julius Modesto, 27, whose home was destroyed and whose three aunts died in the typhoon, said five of his family members have been volunteering. According to Modesto, the way the community has come together eases some of the pain.
While grief is still very present, he said, “Now we are happy because we are going to have new houses.”
Blessing the First House
As the community gathered to celebrate at the ribbon-cutting of the first completed house, church leaders, including United Methodist District Superintendent Dave Cosmiano, who blessed the house, and Bishop Ciriaco Q. Francisco, who leads Davao Episcopal Area, offered words of prayer and encouragement.
“This rebuilding is a manifestation of prayers and support from around the world,” Bishop Francisco said. “We are bound together in the love of Jesus, even in calamity. We are thankful that God shows his faithfulness to us time and time again.”
As Roger Modesto entered his new home, he offered a joyful smile and thanked UMCOR, saying, “This house is for my children and grandchildren. I ask God for continued blessings.”
Your gift to International Disaster Response, Advance #982450 enables UMCOR to respond effectively to disasters around the globe.
This World Humanitarian Day, CARE Canada is calling on governments and international actors to show a renewed commitment to the protection of humanitarian aid workers everywhere.
“With the recent Ebola outbreak, the ongoing crises in Gaza, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and so many other places, humanitarians continue to provide crucial life-saving assistance amidst extremely challenging, sometimes dangerous, circumstances,” said Gillian Barth, president and CEO of CARE Canada.
“It is fundamental all sides respect the impartiality of aid workers so we can help those most in need.”
On August 19, World Humanitarian Day is meant to honour aid workers who have lost their lives while on assignment. Over the last decade, direct attacks on aid workers have increased in alarming frequency with an estimated 155 humanitarians having paid the ultimate sacrifice in 2013.
In early August, at least seven local aid workers were killed in South Sudan, providing yet another example that it is becoming increasingly difficult for humanitarian workers to access people in need.
CARE is proud to support the global UN World Humanitarian Day campaign honouring “Humanitarian Heroes” worldwide. For a fresh insight into the motivations and challenges local aid workers face, CARE interviewed staff in countries including South Sudan, Niger, Yemen, Kenya, Jordan and the Philippines. The result is our report “Passionate to Save Lives,” a portrait of aid workers serving their communities with grace and ingenuity despite significant obstacles.
“At CARE, and across our humanitarian partners, there are so many heroes working 24 hours a day, doing fantastic work in some of the worst conditions imaginable. We must support these people and make sure that we can do everything in our power to protect them,” said Jessie Thomson, director of CARE Canada’s Humanitarian Assistance and Emergency Team.
World Humanitarian Day was created by the UN General Assembly in 2008 in memory of UN Special Envoy to Iraq Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 other people killed in a terrorist attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad, in 2003.
Snapshot 13-19 August
Yemen: The 9 August Al Jawf ceasefire has been broken. Access to people affected by the conflict in Al Jawf is extremely limited due to persistent insecurity, and it is very difficult to obtain information. Almost 3,000 people have died in violence since the National Dialogue Conference took place on 25 January.
Syria: Government air strikes hit Islamic State positions in Ar-Raqqa, as well as Deir-ez-Zor and Aleppo, while IS advanced west towards the Turkish border, taking several villages from rival opposition groups. IS killed some 700 Sunni Sheitat tribe members, while an estimated 15,000 Yazidis fleeing IS in Iraq are seeking refuge in Al Hasakeh governorate.
Iraq: A Level 3 emergency was declared by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee. 17 million people, more than half the population, are affected by the ongoing violence, and 1.5 million need assistance. 200,000 people were displaced in the week of 4–11 August.
Updated: 19/08/2014. Next update: 26/08/2014
Appeal Target: US$18,836,152 Balance Requested: US$5,585,798
In the early morning of 8 November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda), made landfall in the eastern Visayas region of the Philippines. With winds up to 250 kph sweeping through the region, accompanied by a storm surge of up to 5m, the typhoon caused wide spread damage and losses. Its impact was felt from provinces of Batangas and Cavite in the north as far as Surigao del Sur Province,
Mindanao in the south.
Government data as of April 2014 reports estimate that 14.1 million people were affected, including 6,300 casualties and hundreds more missing, 4 million displaced and about 1 million houses destroyed or damaged across 600 municipalities and 44 provinces in 9 regions of the country.
The ACT Alliance members launched their Relief and Rehabilitation response through the ACT Appeal issued in November 2013. The next months’ focus remained on distribution of relief goods while also providing early recovery support through livelihoods restoration, WASH, unconditional cash transfer and provision of semi-permanent shelters alongside providing psychosocial care with optimal integration of quality & accountability measures.
As of April/May the ACT response has transitioned to early recovery and rehabilitation. Several consultation meetings were conducted in the target communities to identify the context and needs as well as possible gaps in the delivery of services of other humanitarian actors present in the area.
Revision 1, issued 28 May 2014, reflected changes based on the community consultation process and after taking stock of realities on the ground. The first revision reflected the amended response of Christian Aid, LWR, NCA and NCCP and focussed on the sectors of permanent shelter, albeit with significant downscaling, shelter repairing, semi-permanent shelter kits, DRR inclusive of capacity building and construction of cyclone shelters, WASH and livelihood restoration with strong mainstreaming of cross-cutting issues including quality & accountability, psychosocial care and LRRD.
Revision 2 reflects the revised ICCO response focussing on food security and nutrition, NFIs, shelter, livelihood, DDR and capacity building.
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, August 19 – Eight agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) from five Samar and Leyte towns received farm tools from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on separate occasions since July 31 to August 4 as part of the rehabilitation process in typhoon “Yolanda” affected areas.
A total of 188 sets of farm tools comprised of a shovel, a bolo and a hoe were distributed by Fidel Rodriguez, FAO Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, to the Caticugan Farmers Association, San Juan Farmers and Fishermen Association and the Pagsulhugon Irrigators Association, all within the San Juanico agrarian reform community (ARC) in the municipality of Sta. Rita in the morning of July 31, and the Legaspi Farmers and Fishermen Association and the Kauswagan han Canyoyo Consumers Cooperative, both within the Marabut ARC in Marabut town in the afternoon of the same day.
On August 1 he handed the tools to the Tulusahay Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Julita, Leyte; while on August 4 Rodriguez distributed the same to the St. Benedict Association for Sustainable Farming and the Jaro Agrarian Reform Cooperative of Tunga and Jaro, Leyte, respectively
Sixty-eight sets of tools were distributed in Sta. Rita, 33 sets were distributed to the two ARBOs in Marabut, 12 sets were distributed in Julita, while 75 sets were distributed to the Tunga ang Jaro ARBOs.
FAO, according to Rodriguez, tied up with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to prioritize the ARBOs because the latter are more organized and active compared to other farmer organizations.
He emphasized that each set of tools is given to a group of five members who are going to share these farm inputs donated by the governments of Ireland and Belgium thru the United
Rodriguez was assisted by Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officers (MARPOs) Brenda Boller, Chito de la Torre and Norman Diaz during the distribution in Sta. Rita, Marabut and in the Leyte Municipalities, respectively.
Benderito Dacuno, 62, chairman of the Legaspi Farmers and Fishermen Association in thanking the donors said that these are what they need now because all their tools were swept away by “Yolanda”. At the moment, they are just borrowing tools from other villages, he added.
Earlier, FAO also distributed 2,486 bags (40 kilogram per bag) of certified rice seeds and equal number of urea (50 kilogram per bag) to rice farmers.
Meanwhile, Regional Director Sheila Enciso explained that FAO is among the foreign and local organizations who responded to DAR’s call to assist the agency in the rehabilitation of the ARCs particularly those in Leyte, Samar and Eastern Samar’s hardest hit areas. (Jose Alsmith Soria/DAR-8/PIA-8)
By: Miriam P. Aquino
SAN FERNANDO CITY, Aug 19 (PIA) - To Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Director Renato Solidum, it takes imagination and anticipation to prepare a community against disasters.
Disaster imagination is identifying the problem, accepting that there is a problem, and doing something about it, he said.
“You must know how to identify the hazards that will affect your place and beyond. Try to imagine the consequences to better identify the solution,” Solidum said.
The Phivolcs has advanced the idea that anticipating and imagining for the worst scenario will move agencies, local governments and the communities to act upon disaster alerts.
By imagining disasters, the community must be familiar with the areas which are exposed to hazards such as earthquake faults, and those which are prone to tsunami, floods and landslides.
By anticipating its effects, the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources has been continuously initiating activities to support the government's national greening program as a major shield against climate change impacts.
To date, some 1,700 mangroves (1,000 propagules, 700 seedlings) were planted along the five-hectare wetlands mangrove area in Barangay Parian Oeste, Bauang, La Union on August 6.
The mangrove-planting was part of the Region 1 Climate Change advocacy campaign launch that the DENR and the Philippine Information Agency jointly undertook to battle the weather pattern.
The DENR chose the mangrove site, which was established in 2012, as a planting area to replenish patches that were identified as dead spot.
Mangroves, which act as natural barriers against tsunamis and storm surges, were able to shield island villages in Sagay City in Negros Occidental from monster winds and waves at the height of Typhoon Yolanda.
Recognizing the defensive value of mangroves to coastal communities, the DENR has encouraged local governments to develop green walls of mangrove and beach forests as natural protection against storms.
Some P347-million was programmed to support a campaign that would see 19 million mangrove seedlings and seedlings of other beach-forest trees like the talisay planted on 1,900 hectares of coastline across the country. (MCA/MPA/PIA1 La Union)
ILOILO CITY, Aug. 18 (PIA6) - - The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of the Australian government has provided a P33.1 million grant to support the government’s efforts on education in Western Visayas.
The grant will be used for the construction of 26 sub-projects consisting of day care centers and school buildings in identified municipalities in the region.
Maricar Calubiran, DSWD 6 Kalahi CIDDS Social Marketing Officer, said DFAT is now on its second year implementation in the region.
Of this P33.1 million, some P20.4 million went to Iloilo province for the construction of 15 sub-projects; P11,050,000 for Capiz for nine sub-projects and P1.6 million for Negros Occidental for the construction of two units classroom buildings in Calatrava town.
In Iloilo, the 15 sub-projects will be implemented in Bingawan, Lambunao, Maasin, Calinog and Btac. Viejo towns.
Calubiran said the three towns except Bingawan and Btac. Viejo are already covered by DFAT in 2013. The 9 sub projects in Capiz province will be implemented in the municipalities of Maayon, Tapaz and Jamindan.
All the 9 DFAT covered municipalities are also Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services-National Community-Driven Development Program (KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP) areas in the region.
KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP is the expanded version of the Kalahi-CIDDS launched by the national government in 2003 that aims to alleviate poverty in rural communities using the community-driven (CDD) approach. The program being implemented by DSWD starting this year until 2019 was redesigned to respond to the impacts brought by typhoon ‘Yolanda’ to disaster declared municipalities. (JCM/LAF/PIA-Iloilo)
18 August 2014 – Thailand Ambassador to the Philippines Prasas Prasasvinitchai presented a check in the amount of US$622,243.39 to Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario as additional donation from the Government and people of Thailand to aid the rehabilitation process in areas affected by typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan.
The simple handover ceremony was held at the Department of Foreign Affairs and attended by Ms. Thelsa Biolena, Director of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Response Operations Office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Secretary del Rosario thanked the Royal Thai Government and the people of Thailand for their generous donation and said that Thailand’s assistance would help the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in the disaster-stricken areas.
The amount was raised through a nationwide telethon in November 2013 in Thailand led by former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. END
World: Managing Risk and Reducing Vulnerability in Humanitarian Action, Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 116, August 2014
Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 116, August 2014:
Hardly anything new can be said in the HFA2 process about managing risk and reducing vulnerability. However, when scoped in detail, both these concepts offer gaps as wide as a gateway to march in. Newer and rarer voices of leaders from Asia and beyond point to these gaps and ways to bridge them through the HFA2 process.
What are minimum standards for managing risks? What do visually impaired women have to say about disaster risk reduction? Which challenges continue on the agenda of recovery from Typhoon Haiyan? To find out answers to such questions, and more, read this issue. This issue is also relevant to upcoming World Humanitarian Summit by the United Nations.
This issue of Southasiadisasters.net is titled 'Managing Risk and Reducing Vulnerability in Humanitarian Action'. As apparent in its title, this issue deals with the various aspects of disaster management. Climate change, unplanned urbanization, institutional failure and civil strife have become characteristic features of the developing countries in this day and age. All these factors compound the exposure level of the citizens of such countries, thereby pushing a greater number of them into the embrace of vulnerability.
This issue contains articles that expound upon the various measures to manage the risk of natural hazards and reduce underlying vulnerabilities. Lucidly written and meticulously researched, this issue contains articles on diverse topics from the field of DRR, ranging from the impact of disasters on agricultural trade in Africa to the importance of GIS in disaster management; and from the key challenges to typhoon Haiyan recovery to empowering visually impaired women from DRR. The content includes:
i. Need for Minimum Standards ii. R!SE is Important for Global Disaster Risk Reduction iii. Impact of Disasters on Agricultural Trade in Africa iv. Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), Philippines Recovery and Reconstruction: Key Challenges v. Changing Role of National Authorities in South Asia and the Disaster Response Dialogue vi. Incident Command System (ICS) for Crowd Management vii. How Useful is GIS in Disaster Management in India? viii. Challenges of Disaster Risk Reduction in South Social Work Studies ix. Achievement of Hirrak Development Center x. PMRDF: An Experiment to Bridge Bharat with India xi. Empowering Visually Impaired Women for Disaster Risk Reduction xii. Reducing Risk, Strengthening Response: The British Red Cross and its Partners in South Asia
The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Arpit Asthana; Dagmar Milerova Praskova; In Hye Sung; Biswanath Dash; M. Rajamanickam and G. Victor Rajamanickam; Colonel Nagar M Verma; Dr. P.G.Dhar Chakrabarti; Ms. Sadhana Adhikary and Dr. Bigi Thomas; Samuel Carpenter; Sebastien Penzini; Sudhir Kumar and Connie delos Santos; and Zafar Lund.
Themes: Risk Reduction, HFA2, Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction, Agriculture, Risk Resilience, Crowd Management, Empowering Visually Impaired Women, WHS.
1. General Situation
Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda)- the strongest typhoon ever to hit the Philippines-struck Central Philippines on Friday, 8 November 2013, with maximum winds of 235 kph and gusts of up to 275 kph.
The humanitarian impact of the typhoon has been massive, due to the deadly combination of powerful winds, heavy rains, and tsunami-like storm surges which wiped out a number of coastal towns and cities – most notably Tacloban.
Lives and livelihoods have been affected at all levels: homes, health facilities and schools destroyed, fishing fleets washed out to sea, crops torn up, and agricultural land flooded. Given the scope of the disaster and the corresponding intervention required, on 11 November 2013, the President of the Philippines issued Presidential Proclamation No 682, declaring a state of national calamity, and indicated that the country would accept international assistance.
Update on the dengue situation in the Western Pacific Region
In the last past weeks, Malaysia has experienced an increase in new dengue cases. As of 23 July:
- Cumulative number of reported cases: 53,246
- Cumulative number of deaths reported: 147
The Philippines are experiencing a lower level of Dengue than in 2013. As of 19 July (Table 1):
- Cumulative number of reported cases: 35,264
- Cumulative number of deaths reported: 134
10 Years of IPC
This year, the IPC celebrates its 10th anniversary. Originally developed by FAO in Somalia in 2004, the IPC has been extensively applied in different countries and contexts.
In 2007, the IPC became a Multi- Agency Partnership, now led by 11 Partners under the results-based IPC Global Strategic Programme (2014- 2016) launched in February 2014.
Since its inception, the IPC has been continuously tested and refined through its field application as well as through stakeholders’ consultations and lesson learning exercises. This field-based, multi-level and consultative development process led to the release of version 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0 of the IPC Technical Manual, which has improved year-by-year the rigor and quality of IPC approach. Further, in order to meet countries’ demand generated by its application in complex emergency situations, the IPC has expanded its scope by developing tools and procedures to classify chronic food insecurity situations and, most recently, to complement the IPC analysis with a nutrition component.
All along 10 years of implementation, the IPC is now regularly used in 29 countries worldwide and the demand for IPC by is constantly growing
When the world's humanitarian leaders gathered at the World Health Organization's headquarters in December 2010 the mood was somber. The previous year had witnessed large-scale natural disasters in Haiti and Pakistan, and the collective response of the major United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations had been chaotic and ineffective. The response to the January 2010 earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince had been especially problematic, and the Haitian people were angry and frustrated by the vast gap between resources committed and actual improvements in their lives.
The obvious conclusion was that business as usual for the loosely organized humanitarian system was not acceptable. Prodded by UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, the leaders of the operational UN agencies and the NGO consortia -- including InterAction -- resolved to change the way they respond to large-scale crises. Four years later, as we approach World Humanitarian Day, positive effects of this resolve have been felt, especially in the response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, but we are still far from being the unified, effective humanitarian response system that millions of people affected by large-scale emergencies need and deserve.
Read the full article by Joel R. Charny, Vice President for Humanitarian Policy and Practice, InterAction in the Huffington Post.
This post is part of a five-part series produced by The Huffington Post, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, and the NGO alliance InterAction to commemorate World Humanitarian Day. World Humanitarian Day (August 19) honors aid workers who have lost their lives helping the millions of people affected by disasters around the world.