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Philippines: Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) - Surigao del Sur and Davao City, 23 October 2015

9 November 2015 - 4:17am
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Philippines


In September 2015, the Executive Director of ALCADEV, Emerito Samarca and two lumad leaders were killed by a paramilitary attack in Sitio Hanayan in Barangay Diatogon. The Lumad is a local term for indigenous peoples (IP) in Southern Philippines.

Due to the violence and fear for their safety, massive numbers of IPs left their homes and fled to the municipalities of San Miguel, Tago, Marihatag, San Agustin and Lianga. As of 22 October, 806 families or 4,000 persons are staying in three displacement sites. The perpetrators are reported to belong to Magahat-Bagani, an armed group in Southern Philippines.

The Philippines Department of Justice has already called for an investigation on the situation. UNHCR also called attention to the human rights violations reportedly perpetrated against the Lumad.
In close coordination with the local government units and the DSWD, IOM Cotabato conducted an assessment mission on 22 October in all three displacement sites. Some 4,000 IDPs remain displaced.
With the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), IOM highlights here the most pressing needs and concerns of the displaced IPs.

Papua New Guinea: Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (3 - 9 November 2015)

9 November 2015 - 3:46am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Indonesia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands


On 3 Nov, the Government welcomed the involvement of the Disaster Management Team in supporting the drought response. According to the Government, about 2.4 million people are affected by drought, of which 1 million people live in the most severely affected regions. Coupled with frost, the drought has impacted economic and agricultural activities, as well as access to education and health services. According to the Government, the current situation will become devastating if the drought continues for another three to four months.
Key needs include the provision of drinking water and purifying tablets, as well as food.

2.4 million people affected


Government-led relief efforts are transitioning to recovery operations three weeks into the response to Typhoon Koppu (Lando). Nearly 302,000 people returned home in Regions I and III so far, according to the latest Government report issued on 3 Nov. Some 714,000 people remain displaced, of which 9,100 people are in 37 evacuation centres.

714,000 people displaced

A 5.7M earthquake struck near heavily populated areas in Luzon early on 8 Nov. No damages or casualties were reported.


El Niño is impacting on water, food supply and livelihoods in communities around the country. In some provinces up to 70 per cent of crops are dead. Reports of disease have been received with some provinces reporting increases in dysentery, diarrhoea, stomach ache, pneumonia and vomiting. Health clinics and schools have been forced to close including 16 schools in Guadalcanal alone. A Drought Taskforce has also been established, the National Emergency Operations Centre has been activated and assessments are underway.

70% of crops dead


Around 6,000 people remain displaced following fighting that broke out between the Myanmar military and Shan State Army North in central Shan State in early Oct. Those displaced are staying in monasteries and IDP camps. Following assessments, INGOs and local CSOs have identified immediate needs in hygiene kits, clothing, blankets, food, health, shelter and WASH. INGOs and local organisations are providing assistance to those displaced, but further assistance is needed.4

6,000 people displaced

Elections took place peacefully with no major events noted and a reportedly high turnout.
However, elections did not go ahead in a number of conflict affected areas. Preliminary results are expected later this week.


Starting in July, fires have burnt a total of 2.1 million hectares of land; 80 per cent on Sumatra and Kalimantan islands. As reported by BNPB on 6 Nov, nearly 560,000 people suffered from acute respiratory infections and more than 43 million people have been affected by the haze. Rains since the last week of Oct have significantly improved the situation. Parts of Cental and East Java are still experiencing drought due to El Niño.

43 million people affected

A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck on 4 Nov. The epicenter was near Alor Island of East Nusa Tenggara Province. BNPB reported three injured people, 884 damaged houses and 51 damaged schools, health facilities, offices and places of worship. Local government provided emergency response assistance. Two other earthquakes of 6.0 magnitude occurred in North Sumatra and Aceh on 8 Nov. Immediate reports have indicated no damage or casualties, although they caused some panic among local communities.

Philippines: DSWD, ADB undertake housing project for ‘Yolanda’ survivors

9 November 2015 - 12:02am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Hilongos, Leyte – Some 297 survivors of Typhoon Yolanda in this town received P70,000 each for the construction of their new homes under the Core Shelter Assistance Project (CSAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in partnership with local government units (LGUs) and with funding support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The beneficiaries, who lost their homes at the onslaught of ‘Yolanda’, were identified by the ADB. They come from Barangays San Agustin, Baliw, San Antonio, Utanan, and San Juan.

During the recent turn-over ceremony, Hilongos Mayor Albert Villahermosa explained to the beneficiaries that they could no longer be eligible for the DSWD’s Emergency Shelter Assistance since they already received aid under CSAP. Leyte Governor Dominic Petilla and Vice-Governor Carlo Loreto were also present at the ceremony.

CSAP provides disaster affected families with permanent shelter units that can withstand typhoons with wind velocity of up to 220 kilometers per hour and earthquakes up to intensity 4. These are also constructed in safe relocation areas.

Under the CSAP, beneficiaries have to group themselves into five or 10 and help each other finish their houses. They will be paid P195 per day for 10 days, through the Cash for Work, to ensure that they will meet their daily needs while constructing their houses.

The core houses measure five meters by four meters.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that despite other disasters that the government is attending to, rehabilitation in ‘Yolanda’-affected areas are in full swing. ###

Philippines: DA braces for El Nino, readies mitigation measures

8 November 2015 - 11:05pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Oliver T. Baccay

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Nov. 7 (PIA) - - The Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office is ready to mitigate El Nino phenomenon if and when it finally hit Cagayan Valley.

Jessyflor Fagaran, agriculture disaster action officer, said there is a strong possibility the long dry spell as predicted by PAGASA will result in damage to crops and induced heat stress to livestock.

Fagaran said the phenomenon might cause the emergence of pest and diseases for livestock and crops which can affect the productivity level of both.

“Our mitigation measures include reactivation of our disaster task force for El Nino, mapping of drought vulnerable areas as well as maximization of production in the non-vulnerable areas and measures to save production in vulnerable areas,” she said.

Cagayan Valley contributes largely to national production of rice and corn. The agency reported seeds will be subsidized for those affected.

“ Hybrid seeds for 20,000 hectares of rice fields and 40,000 hectares of cornfield plus certified seeds of rice for 35,000 hectares have been prepared aside from vegetable seeds for 150 hectares and legumes for 1, 500 hectares,” she added.

Other than these, DA is also set to give soil ameliorants for 55,000 hectares of rice areas and corn for 40,000 hectares as well as trainings for pest and disease control methods to farmers.

With these, Fagaran is optimistic that farmers will be able to cope with effects of dry spell in the region and to produce expected production. (ALM/OTB/PIA-Cagayan)

Philippines: NHA ensures disaster-resilient housing units for Yolanda victims

8 November 2015 - 11:01pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA, Nov. 8 -- Providing disaster-resilient housing units and sustainable new communities for families affected by Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) remains to be one of the priorities of the government following the “build back better” principle.

National Housing Authority (NHA) General Manager Sinforoso Pagunsan said the NHA is undertaking several measures to ensure that permanent resettlement sites can survive a calamity as strong as Yolanda, considered the most powerful storm to make landfall in recorded history.

The agency is mandated to build 205, 128 permanent housing units for families living in danger zones (40 meters from the sea) in Regions IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII and CARAGA.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development provides emergency shelter assistance to families living in safe zones and whose houses were partially damaged by Yolanda.

Almost 1 million housing units were destroyed or partially damaged by the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda.

Pagunsan said the NHA chooses resettlement sites that are flood-free and not prone to other disasters like tsunami, earthquakes and landslides. “Kaya kumukuha tayo ng clearances from Mines and Geosciences Bureau at saka sa Philvolcs (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology),” Pagunsan added.

The agency also utilizes typhoon-resilient designs that can withstand typhoon winds of 250 kph and approved by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Pagunsan said NHA housing sites are complete with community facilities, and water and power lines. There are also spaces allocated for school buildings, tricycle terminals, police outpost, materials recovery facility (MRF), health center and covered basketball court cum multi-purpose center.

The Yolanda Comprehensive Recovery and Rehabilitation Plan (CRRP) has allotted Php 61.3 billion or 45% of its total funding requirements to the resettlement cluster headed by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, based on the principles of “build back better.”

The three other clusters included in the CRRP are infrastructure, social services, and livelihood.

The “Build Back Better” principle focuses on long-term, sustainable efforts to reduce vulnerabilities and strengthen capacities to cope with future hazard events.

Atty. Pagunsan was guest at the Kapihan sa Media ng Bayan yesterday. Kapihan airs live every Friday over Radyo ng Bayan DZRB 738 AM from 10am to 11am, and delayed telecast over PTV4 from 7 pm to 8pm, and IBC 13 from 10.30 to 11.30 pm. (Andrea Lynne Reposo/Media ng Bayan Operations Center)

Philippines: Super Typhoon Haiyan | Yolanda: Two Years After

8 November 2015 - 10:49pm
Source: Action Against Hunger Country: Philippines

Survivors Journey towards Recovery

PHILIPPINES -- November 2015 marks the second year since Super Typhoon Yolanda (internationally known as Haiyan), the category five typhoon that swept across central Philippines; leaving over 6,000 people dead, thousands more missing and severely affecting the lives of at 15 million others. Loss of homes, assets, livelihoods and infrastructures were widespread.

As the people of Philippines and the international community remember the lives lost and recognize the resiliency of survivors, ACF recalls two years of actions and looks to a future of restorative efforts to help provide the unmet needs of affected communities.

ACF's emergency response began 72 hours after the typhoon hit, with food and water deliveries in the most affected areas: Tacloban and Roxas and Panay. Two years later, ACF has been on the ground every day addressing the immediate needs of the population, particularly children under five, pregnant and lactating women, single female-headed households, the elderly, and persons with disabilities and chronic illnesses.

"The second anniversary is an occasion to be grateful for what has been recovered in the country and to remember those who have not yet been recovered. There are thousands of people still trying to return to their old routines and thousands who are still looking for a permanent home," said Javad Amoozegar, Country Director for Action Against Hunger in the Philippines.

By working closely with partners and local authorities, we put in place programs focused on health and nutritional counseling, water, sanitation and hygiene, and food security and livelihoods. Nearly one million people were treated by our teams in 46 municipalities in seven provinces. Two years later, our current programs are mostly focused on disaster risk reduction and adapting to severe weather patterns. Total aid for emergency and long-term recovery projects for Haiyan-affected people amounted to 25,332, 895,93 EUR.

To learn more about our response in the Philippines, check out our detailed Press Kit.

For interviews with our spokespersons, please contact Rosa May de Guzman - Maitem at + 63-929-319-4607

World: Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty

8 November 2015 - 9:22pm
Source: World Bank Country: Ethiopia, Pakistan, Philippines, World

Immediate Push on Climate-Smart Development Can Keep More than 100 Million People Out of Poverty

Africa and South Asia most threatened regions

WASHINGTON, November 8, 2015 – Climate change is already preventing people from escaping poverty, and without rapid, inclusive and climate-smart development, together with emissions-reductions efforts that protect the poor, there could be more than 100 million additional people in poverty by 2030, according to a new World Bank Group report released before the international climate conference in Paris.

The report, Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty, finds that poor people are already at high risk from climate-related shocks, including crop failures from reduced rainfall, spikes in food prices after extreme weather events, and increased incidence of diseases after heat waves and floods. It says such shocks could wipe out hard-won gains, leading to irreversible losses, driving people back into poverty, particularly in Africa and South Asia.

“This report sends a clear message that ending poverty will not be possible unless we take strong action to reduce the threat of climate change on poor people and dramatically reduce harmful emissions,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “Climate change hits the poorest the hardest, and our challenge now is to protect tens of millions of people from falling into extreme poverty because of a changing climate.”

The report finds that the poorest people are more exposed than the average population to climate-related shocks such as floods, droughts, and heat waves, and they lose much more of their wealth when they are hit. In the 52 countries where data was available, 85 percent of the population live in countries where poor people are more exposed to drought than the average. Poor people are also more exposed to higher temperatures and live in countries where food production is expected to decrease because of climate change.

The report, released a month before negotiators gather in Paris for international climate talks, shows how ending poverty and fighting climate change can be more effectively achieved if addressed together.

Agriculture will be the main driver of any increase in poverty, the report finds. Modeling studies suggest that climate change could result in global crop yield losses as large as 5 percent by 2030 and 30 percent by 2080. Health effects—higher incidence of malaria, diarrhea and stunting—and the labor productivity effects of high temperatures are the next-strongest drivers.

The impact of climate change on food prices in Africa could be as high as 12 percent in 2030 and 70 percent by 2080 – a crippling blow to those nations where food consumption of the poorest households amounts to over 60 percent of total spending.

In focusing on impacts through agriculture, natural disasters and health, the report calls for development efforts that improve the resilience of poor people, such as strengthening social safety nets and universal health coverage, along with climate-specific measures to help cope with a changing climate, such as upgraded flood defenses, early warning systems and climate-resistant crops.

At the same time, the report says an all-out push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is needed to remove the long-term threat that climate change poses for poverty reduction. Such mitigation efforts should be designed to ensure that they do not burden the poor. For example, the savings from eliminating fossil fuel subsidies could be reinvested in assistance schemes to help poor families cope with higher fuel costs.

In poor countries, support from the international community will be essential to accomplish many of these measures, according to the report. This is particularly true for investments with high upfront costs-- such as urban transport or resilient energy infrastructure -- that are critical to prevent lock-ins into carbon-intensive patterns.

“The future is not set in stone,” said Stephane Hallegatte, a senior economist at the World Bank who led the team that prepared the report. “We have a window of opportunity to achieve our poverty objectives in the face of climate change, provided we make wise policy choices now.”

The report also reviews successful policy solutions to show that good development can protect the poor from shocks. For example, after Typhoon Yolanda, the Philippines was able to use the existing conditional cash transfer system to quickly distribute emergency funding to the affected population. In Uganda, the combination of new crop varieties and extension visits has boosted household agricultural income by 16 percent.


In Washington DC
Nicholas Keyes
Tel : +1 (202) 473-9135

For Broadcast Requests
Mehreen Sheikh
Tel : +1 (202) 413-9204

Philippines: Two years after super typhoon in Philippines, UNICEF lauds 'tremendous' recovery efforts

8 November 2015 - 8:46am
Source: UN News Service Country: Philippines

8 November 2015 – On the second anniversary of Super Typhoon Haiyan, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has commended the significant progress made in recovery and rehabilitation efforts in the Philippines, but remains concerned about the unmet needs of children and their families, some still living in temporary housing.

“The two year anniversary of Super Typhoon Haiyan marks tremendous progress in recovery and rebuilding efforts,” said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Representative in the Philippines. “UNICEF commends the great efforts invested by the government, civil society and communities to help children and families get back on their feet.”

In a ceremony held in Tacloban City with development and humanitarian partners, Ms. Sylwander recognized the community efforts that went into ensuring that children are healthy, safe and protected.

UNICEF said among its contribution in empowering children and communities and building resilient systems that can withstand future disasters are: a vaccine delivery chain that can continue to immunize children in spite of breakdowns and power outages; a school improvement plan that embodies a culture of safety and preparedness; disaster-resilient evacuation centres; better access to safe water and sanitation and life skills and network building for youth.

But the agency underscored that despite the significant progress made since Haiyan, it remains concerned about the remaining unmet needs of children and their families and that the healing process, especially for children, will take a long time.

“Many families are still living in temporary housing away from their homes and livelihoods, in constant fear of another typhoon,” according to UNICEF.

UNICEF, however, noted a significant shift awareness of Filipino people when it comes to preparing for disasters “as evidenced by the reduced number of casualties in subsequent disasters including the recent Typhoon Koppu/Lando.”

Effective early warning systems, pre-emptive evacuations and improved government led coordination made a big difference in preventing the loss of life and property, applying many lessons that were learnt from the Haiyan response.

Haiyan is the biggest typhoon recorded in almost a century, and according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as it slammed into the Philippines in the early hours of 8 November 2013, it killed thousands and affected nearly 9.8 million people, displaced some 4 million people and destroyed 500,000 homes.

Philippines: Philippines marks second anniversary of devastating Typhoon Haiyan

8 November 2015 - 5:28am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

1/8/2015 - 09:47 GMT

The Philippines Sunday marked the second anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan - with the bodies of possible victims of the disaster which left at least 7,350 people dead or missing still being uncovered.

Thousands of residents marked the two-year milestone in the city of Tacloban, which was devastated by the huge storm, as memorials were unveiled and masses held.

On Saturday authorities confirmed they found six new bodies.

The unidentified skeletal remains were found by a man scavenging for wood in the outskirts of the city, according to Tacloban fire chief Charlie Herson.

"These are possible victims of the typhoon. They were buried by debris, in piles of wood," he told AFP.

Haiyan, the strongest typhoon ever recorded to hit land, smashed into the central Philippines on November 8, 2013. The once-thriving city of Tacloban on the island of Leyte suffered the worst damage with hundreds of houses washed away by a storm surge.

To mark the tragedy Sunday, special memorials were unveiled and Roman Catholic masses were said for the victims, including the more than 2,400 mostly-unidentified bodies buried in a mass grave in Tacloban.

Thousands of Tacloban residents are still living in makeshift temporary homes as questions are raised about the speed of reconstruction.

President Benigno Aquino's spokesman Edwin Lacierda said there would "always be discussions" on the speed of reconstruction, adding: "We understand such sentiments."

But he added despite local critics, foreign agencies, including the United Nations, had said the Philippines was rebuilding faster than other developing countries struck by comparable natural disasters.

"What befell us was massive and we are continuing to provide assistance... always following our principle, to build back better," he said.

However, local congressman, Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, said "this is still not yet the old Tacloban. This is still not the old Leyte. It will still be a long time before things get back to normal."

Some Tacloban residents are still clinging to hope their missing loved ones are still alive.

Single mother Angelina Marquez, 17, said she hoped Remegildo, the father of her child, would reappear two years after he went missing during the storm.

"I still believe that he may have been washed away to a different place and the time will come, like in the movies, when he will come back to me," she said.


Philippines: Philippines: Typhoon Yolanda Recovery: Reflecting on 2 Years of Reconstruction (4 Nov 2015)

7 November 2015 - 7:36pm
Source: University of Colorado at Boulder Country: Philippines

Following Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, the University of Colorado Boulder was funded under the National Science Foundation Civil Infrastructure Systems (CiS) and Infrastructure Management in Extreme Events (IMEE) divisions to investigate recovery and reconstruction in the central Philippines. A summary of preliminary research findings relating to shelter and WASH are presented.

World: WFP El Niño: Preparedness and Response, Situation Report #1, 06 November 2015

7 November 2015 - 11:19am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Afghanistan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Colombia, Djibouti, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malawi, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Somalia, World, Zambia


An El Niño event has been occurring since March 2015 and is steadily strengthening as it approaches its maximum intensity in late 2015. This El Niño is forecasted to peak in December, before gradually ending in early 2016. There are indications that it could become one of the most intense El Niños of the past 30 years.

The effects of El Niño will likely be felt throughout 2016. Over the next 12 months, El Niño could potentially affect the food security of a large number of already vulnerable people who are dependent on agriculture and livestock for their livelihood in Central America, most of Sub- Saharan Africa and South and South East Asia.

In grain-producing countries, El Niño related affects could lead to higher and more volatile commodity prices and jeopardize the fragile food security of the people WFP assists. Further impacts may be exacerbated by conflict and other factors such as urbanization and land degradation.

Effects will be more severe for communities that are already suffering from the cumulative impact of prior poor growing seasons. Some food-insecure families have already been adopting a range of negative coping strategies. These include skipping meals, selling off their assets and pulling children out of school. WFP is closely monitoring the current El Niño, and preparing for, and responding to, its effects.

Philippines: Shattered communities recover two years on from Typhoon Haiyan

7 November 2015 - 4:16am
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Country: Philippines

By Kate Marshall

Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Visayas region of central Philippines on November 8th, 2013. The super typhoon was the strongest tropical storm ever to make landfall in the Philippines. An estimated 16 million people were affected and 1.4 millions homes were left damaged or destroyed.

The combined impacts of Haiyan’s deadly tidal surge and high winds left a landscape strewn with the debris of splintered homes and shattered infrastructure. The typhoon hit some of the poorest provinces in the Philippines. Almost 24 million coconut trees were downed and thousands of acres of crops destroyed. In a few hours the livelihoods of countless labourers, small-holders and tenant farmers were wiped out.

Somehow, amidst the destruction and chaos, people maintained a sense of purpose. Immediately, they started to rebuild with whatever came to hand, salvaging possessions, bits of roofing, wood and furniture to make a new start.

Six months on, with the help of humanitarian agencies like the Red Cross, signs of recovery were evident. Cash for work programmes were helping to clear the streets of debris and providing people with an income to meet everyday expenses; chainsaws were provided to turn the fallen trees into building lumber, rice was being replanted and seeds distributed.

After a year the vegetation was growing back in most areas and people were reaping a harvest. Thousands of trees were replanted, backyard gardens were starting to flourish, and businesses and markets were getting back on track.

The Philippine Red Cross supported by partners in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement have played a major role in recovery efforts. In the first year, they built or repaired 35,000 homes and provided grants to 29,000 households to kick-start their livelihoods. Cash grants also enabled people to get back on their feet and buy building materials and other essentials.

Despite the steady pace of recovery, there were several challenges. The scale of the Red Cross operation - covering 400 communities across five island groups – meant logistical difficulties. Many beneficiaries were in remote upland areas or on islands far from the mainland. Land ownership and relocation of households were also fraught issues for many humanitarian agencies.

But two years on, over 880,000 people have now been helped to get their lives back to normal. More homes have been built together with new medical centres that service local communities. More people have started small businesses and received vocational skills training that boost their employment prospects. Water and sanitation facilities have been upgraded in schools and thousands of children have a better understanding of disease prevention and good hygiene.

“Collectively, all these activities have contributed to increasing the safety and resilience of communities”, said Richard Gordon, Chairman of the Philippine Red Cross. “Our network of dedicated volunteers has been the backbone of the entire operation and since the typhoon it has grown both in number and skills.”

The Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan recovery operation will continue into 2016.

Philippines: Philippine couple find love, hope among typhoon misery

7 November 2015 - 12:32am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

Tacloban, Philippines | AFP | Saturday 11/7/2015 - 03:27 GMT

by Imelda MAGBUTAY

After losing her husband and six children to the fury of Typhoon Haiyan, Juvelyn Luana has found fresh hope among the misery and crushing poverty as she rebuilds her life with a new family.

Two years after the monster storm devastated the coastal city of Tacloban, killing thousands, Luana has a new partner, a new son and a shack far from the deadly shore.

"Having a husband and a baby gave my life direction," the 32-year-old told AFP as she scooped water into four grey drums to take to their brick and tin shanty that lacks tap water and electricity.

She fetches water from a distant swamp at night because her partner Joel Aradana, also widowed by Haiyan, works during the day and there is no one else to look after their five-month-old baby Jacob.

Built just 500 metres (yards) from a landfill, the shanty bakes under the tropical sun by day and the stench is overpowering.

"It smells like raw fish mixed with rotten food. I'm worried that my baby might get sick," Luana told AFP during one recent humid evening.

A few plastic chairs, a gas stove and a tiny solar-powered television set that works only in daytime are the sum of the couple's possessions.

Unable to afford even a bed, they sleep on a straw mat laid out on the floor.

Pictures of their former spouses and children who perished in the storm hang from the wall, beside a picture of the new couple being interviewed on local television that featured their unconventional love story.

Outside, children played noisily with their pet dogs and elderly women traded gossip on their doorways.

- 'Life is very difficult' -

But the couple can consider themselves among the lucky ones.

They were among the first 929 families to get new homes from the government, which is still struggling to shelter more than a million people displaced by the deadliest known typhoon to have struck the Philippines.

Haiyan smashed already impoverished fishing and farming communities in the central islands on November 8, 2013, leaving 7,350 people dead or missing.

A 150-billion-peso ($3.2-billion) government plan to build 205,128 new homes by 2017 in devastated areas, along with roads, bridges and classrooms has crawled under the weight of a cumbersome bureaucracy.

Thousands of the less fortunate survivors still live in cramped palm-thatch and wooden temporary shelters.

Though opportunities are scarce, Luana's partner gets occasional carpentry work that pays 350 pesos ($7) a day.

"We are OK, rebuilding our lives slowly," she said.

"One look at Jacob every night and all my body aches disappear."

"But life here is very difficult."

The couple hopes to marry as soon as Aradana secures a death certificate for his wife, whose body was among hundreds that have not been found.

Luana said she gets no sleep at night fanning her son while Aradana rests his aching body after long hours at work.

Like many other Haiyan survivors, Luana said aid has not come fast enough.

A promised government loan she had been counting on to start a small business selling rice from her home has not been given.

A third of Aradana's pay is spent on the 18-kilometre (11-mile) commute to the city where he works, leaving them with barely enough to buy rice and sardines.

"I want to help my husband. He doesn't always have construction jobs so we need a steady source of income," said Luana, a high school graduate, who used to give manicures and massages to her neighbours.

"I also want to buy a television set. My neighbours are crazy about soap operas but I want to know when the next typhoon is coming so I can prepare."


© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

Philippines: El Niño advisory no. 9: Issued on 05 November 2015

6 November 2015 - 9:26pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Strong El Niño persists and further strengthens in the tropical Pacific

Observed weekly sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) in October 2015 were above 2.0°C indicating further intensification of El Niño condition in the tropical Pacific. Most ENSO prediction models suggest that the on-going strong El Niño condition may last until April-May-June of 2016. With further analysis of historical perspectives, climate models also show that the current El Niño is comparable or may even surpass the 1997-98 El Niño event.

The weather systems that affected the country in October were the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ), Southwest (SW) monsoon, low pressure areas (LPAs), Northeast (NE) monsoon, ridge of high pressure areas, tail-end of cold front, easterlies, and the passage of two tropical cyclones (TC) named Severe Tropical Storm (STS) “Kabayan” (Oct 1-3) and Typhoon (TY) “Lando” (Oct 14-21). Both TCs made landfall in the Province of Aurora and brought heavy rainfall along their tracks. The slow movement of TY Lando caused flooding and landslide incidents in many parts of Central Luzon, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, and Ilocos Region as reported by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). Several dams in Luzon (Ambuklao, Binga, San Roque, and Magat Dams) also released water due to heavy rainfall associated with TY Lando.

Rainfall assessment in October showed that near to above normal rainfall were received in northern and central Luzon while most provinces of southern Luzon experienced below normal rainfall condition. Moreover, way below to below normal rainfall conditions were observed in most provinces of Visayas except Bohol and Southern Leyte and most provinces in Mindanao except Camiguin, Compostela Valley, Davao del Sur, and Davao Oriental.

Further analysis showed that the provinces of Antique, Northern and Western Samar, North Cotabato, and Saranggani were affected by dry spell while the provinces of Quezon and Camarines Norte experienced drought condition.

Slightly warmer than average air temperatures were generally observed in most parts of the country in October.

Weather systems that will likely affect the country in November are the northeast monsoon, tail-end of cold front, easterly wave, ITCZ, LPAs, ridge of high pressure areas and one (1) or two (2) tropical cyclones that may develop and/or enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) with possible tracks over the Visayas and northern Mindanao.

Rainfall outlook for November indicates below to way below normal rainfall in most parts of the country while near normal rainfall are expected in the provinces of Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Isabela, Quirino, Albay, Northern and Western Samar, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental. Above normal rainfall conditions are predicted over CARAGA and Eastern Samar.

Drought and dry spell outlook for the month of November indicate that the provinces of Quezon, Camarines Norte, and Saranggani will likely experience drought while nine (9) provinces namely: Laguna, Mindoro Occidental and Oriental, Romblon, Aklan, Antique, Guimaras, Biliran, and North Cotabato may experience dry spell.

Surface air temperatures are expected to be slightly warmer than normal in most parts of the country. Predicted average ranges of temperature will be as follows: 13.5°C to 27.5 oC over the mountainous areas of Luzon, 20°C to 35.5oC for the rest of Luzon, 22.0°C to 35.0oC over the Visayas, 17.0°C to 33.5 oC over the mountainous areas of Mindanao, and 21.0°C to 37.0oC for the rest of Mindanao.

PAGASA will continue to closely monitor the on-going strong El Niño condition and updates shall be issued as appropriate. Meanwhile, concerned agencies are advised to take precautionary and intervention measures to mitigate its potential adverse impacts. For further information, please contact the Climatology and Agrometeorology Division (CAD) at telephone numbers 434- 0955 or 435- 1675.


Acting Administrator

Philippines: Philippines : reconstruire malgré le dérèglement climatique

6 November 2015 - 8:44am
Source: Action Contre la Faim Country: Philippines

Le 8 novembre 2015 marque le deuxième anniversaire du passage du typhon Haiyan qui a balayé le centre des Philippines. Deux ans d’action plus tard, de nombreux survivants ont pu reconstruire leurs vies sur l’un des archipels les plus exposés aux catastrophes climatiques. La communauté internationale doit rester vigilante face aux impacts du changement climatique.

Provoquant des tempêtes et des inondations, le super typhon de catégorie 5 a fait plus de 6.000 morts, des milliers de disparus et affecté gravement la vie d'au moins 15 millions de personnes. Les habitants ont massivement perdu leurs maisons, leurs actifs, leurs biens et moyens de subsistance. Les infrastructures collectives du pays ont également été détruites.

Le pays a su travailler à sa résilience et s’est engagé dans des programmes locaux et nationaux de gestion des risques de catastrophes naturelles, avec l’appui et l’expertise des ONG.

« La collaboration entre les autorités et la communauté humanitaire s’est révélée essentielle pour contenir les effets du typhon. La mise en œuvre rapide d'un plan d'urgence a permis de très tôt centraliser la réponse dans les quartiers et les communautés. Désormais, après une intervention d'urgence initiale, le cœur de la communauté humanitaire se concentre sur la mise en œuvre de solutions durables pour se préparer aux catastrophes futures », explique Benedetta Lettera, chef de base à Tacloban après la catastrophe, aujourd'hui responsable géographique Philippines pour Action contre la Faim.

La réponse d'urgence d'Action contre la Faim a débuté 72 heures après le passage du typhon, avec des livraisons de nourriture et d'eau dans les zones les plus touchées: Tacloban, Roxas et Panay. Depuis, les équipes sont intervenues sur le terrain chaque jour pour répondre aux besoins immédiats de la population, notamment les franges les plus vulnérables : enfants de moins de 5 ans, femmes enceintes et allaitantes, femmes seules à la tête d’une famille, personnes âgées, personnes handicapées et malades chroniques.

Après les interventions d’urgence des premiers temps, l’ONG a développé des solutions innovantes et durables pour la population touchée.

L’ensemble des activités est mené en intégrant les problématiques de genre, de gestion des risques de catastrophe, d’adaptation au changement climatique et de respect de l'environnement. L’implication très forte des femmes dans la reconstruction, la réhabilitation et la gestion des revenus de la famille renforce la mobilisation autour des projets et améliorent la qualité de vie des foyers.

La prise en charge des conséquences de la catastrophe a révélé des modes opératoires efficaces et permis de tirer des enseignements pour la reconstruction. En sécurité alimentaire et récupération des moyens de subsistance, Action contre la Faim a lancé des programmes de transferts monétaires à destinations de foyers identifiés comme vulnérables. La plupart des foyers ont utilisé les fonds pour couvrir leurs besoins immédiats mais également pour investir dans des activités génératrices de revenus, comme des petits commerces ou de l’élevage de petits animaux, qui permettront de retrouver indépendance et dignité.

La gestion des risques est quant à elle intégrée aux décisions de reconstruction : reconstruire les maisons et villages plus loin des côtes et plus en hauteur, utiliser des matériaux et des méthodes de construction plus robustes et adaptées aux conditions climatiques, améliorer les systèmes d’alerte et d’évacuation.

Pour Javad Amoozegar, directeur pays d’Action contre la Faim aux Philippines, « le deuxième anniversaire du passage du typhon Haiyan est l’occasion d'être reconnaissant pour le redressement du pays et de se souvenir de tous ceux qui n’ont pas encore complètement récupéré. Il y a des milliers de personnes qui tentent toujours de retourner à leur vie quotidienne d’avant, et des milliers encore à la recherche d'un logement permanent ».

A moins d’un mois de la COP21 qui se tiendra à Paris, la communauté internationale ne doit pas baisser la garde contre les conséquences du changement climatique.

L’archipel est le deuxième pays le plus exposé aux catastrophes naturelles derrière le Bangladesh. Les efforts de reconstruction, d’adaptation et de gestions des risques sont en cours et portent leurs fruits. Néanmoins, l’archipel est frappé chaque année par près de 25 typhons : les experts soulignent un lien direct entre le changement climatique et l'augmentation de l'intensité et la récurrence des typhons dans le pays.

Action contre la Faim a déjà fourni une assistance à plus de 911 950 personnes dans 46 municipalités réparties dans sept provinces. En étroite collaboration avec des partenaires et des collectivités locales, les équipes assurent des programmes en nutrition et en soutien psychosocial, dans les domaines de l'eau, l'assainissement et l'hygiène, de la sécurité alimentaire et des moyens de subsistance.

Contact presse : Karima Zanifi - 01 70 84 72 37 / 06 70 01 58 43– Action contre la Faim, 35 ans de lutte contre la faim

World: Shared Lessons on Post-Disaster Recovery

6 November 2015 - 7:13am
Source: Asian Development Bank Country: Philippines, World

Post-disaster support is expected to remain an important area of ADB's operations over the medium term, reflecting the trend of rising disaster losses.

The ADB Regional Knowledge Forum on Post-Disaster Recovery on 20–21 October 2015 in Manila provided a venue to exchange lessons from post-disaster recovery programs with central and local government officials from the Philippines, who are in the midst of implementing Typhoon Yolanda recovery interventions. The forum was attended by over 80 government leaders and decision makers, development partners, and civil society representatives.

Deliberations at the forum repeatedly emphasized the importance of the following in the post-disaster recovery process:

  • horizontal and vertical coordination
  • iterative planning
  • flexibility in implementation
  • speedy delivery
  • maintenance of a culture of urgency
  • community and private sector engagement
  • strengthening of local capacity
  • active and constant communication
  • managing of expectations.

World: Linking Post-Disaster Recovery to Development

6 November 2015 - 7:10am
Source: Asian Development Bank Country: Philippines, World

Full recovery and reconstruction from a disaster such as Typhoon Yolanda takes years and long-term commitment. This summarizes lessons learned in formulating and carrying out the recovery as well as efforts to link recovery to development.

Typhoon Yolanda (internationally known as Typhoon Haiyan), a Category 5 typhoon, made landfall in the Philippines on 8 November 2013 and affected more than 16 million people. The post-Yolanda emergency response phase has since gradually transitioned to early recovery and further to long-term reconstruction. Recognizing that the full recovery and reconstruction from a disaster of this scale takes years and requires a long-term commitment, the Government of the Philippines led a series of strategic actions starting from the assessment of damage and losses to inform the planning and budgeting of the recovery plan to the implementation and monitoring of the plan to set the stage for a long-term successful recovery. These actions aimed at seizing the opportunity provided by the recovery process to address the underlying factors of vulnerability, strengthen resilience, and achieve higher development outcomes for the affected areas of Visayas, which even before the typhoon, was facing critical development challenges.

Philippines: Philippines: Typhoon Koppu Situation Report No. 7 (as of 6 November 2015)

6 November 2015 - 6:20am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines


  • Government-led relief efforts are transitioning to recovery operations three weeks into the response to Typhoon Koppu.

  • Flooding is receding in all affected areas according to the Philippine Red Cross.

  • There is no report of disease outbreaks to date.

  • The Philippines Humanitarian Country Team concluded its collective response to Typhoon Koppu although member organisations will continue to support respective government counterparts particularly in agriculture and health.

Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan, Two Years Later : As the two year anniversary approaches on Sunday, the Philippines stands more resilient to disasters

6 November 2015 - 6:09am
Source: Action Contre la Faim Country: Philippines

by Elisabeth Anderson Rapport

  • During the past two years the efforts of the humanitarian community, the local authorities, and the Philippine population have unearthed important lessons about disaster risk reduction in the country with the second worst exposure in the world.
  • After the initial emergency response to save lives, work continues to restore their livelihoods (mainly coconut farming and fishing) in the affected areas, a process that may last up to ten years.
  • The Philippine population has given a lesson in resilience to the world, after what has been considered the worst disaster in the country's history.

Two years later, we have the hindsight to analyze lessons learned from the disaster that was the most virulent in recent Philippine history. Typhoon Haiyan, with its wind gusts exceeding 180 miles per hour, caused more than 6,000 deaths and severely affected the lives of 15 million people. Despite its devastating effects, the consequences could have been greater had it not been for the effectiveness of the humanitarian response and the resilience of the Filipino population.

"The collaboration between the authorities and the humanitarian community was essential to minimize the effects of the typhoon. The rapid implementation of a contingency plan allowed us to quickly centralize the response in neighborhoods and communities. However, after an initial emergency response, the focus of the humanitarian community turned to the implementation of sustainable solutions for future disasters, " says Benedetta Lettera, who was our Head of Base in Tacloban after the disaster.

Action Against Hunger immediately mobilized our teams already present in the country and managed to reach ground zero 72 hours after the disaster occurred.

"[It] caused enormous logistical challenges to humanitarian access and support, especially in rural communities." said Lettera.

By working closely with partners and local authorities, we put in place programs focused on nutritional counseling, water, sanitation and hygiene, and food security and livelihoods. Nearly one million people were treated by our teams in 46 municipalities in seven provinces. Two years later, our current programs are mostly focused on disaster risk reduction and adapting to severe weather patterns.

Money transfers to recover livelihoods

The Philippines contends with an average of 25 typhoons a year, and is considered the country most exposed to natural disasters save for Bangladesh. After Haiyan, survivors had to resume their lives with virtually no resources. Therefore, strengthening their livelihoods was essential for disaster recovery -- especially for the most vulnerable population, since 40% of the victims they were living under the poverty line. Action Against Hunger utilized cash transfers after Haiyan, a type of response that has become one of the most effective post-emergency interventions; the most affected families received money -- unconditional for some, and for others in exchange for working to clean up debris in affected areas. This boosted the local economy, and also gave Filipinos the opportunity to decide on their own investments for recovery.

"This money gave us hope and an opportunity to turn around our lives," said Sherel Shroud, 26.

Now she runs a small shop which does well enough to support her family's daily needs. In total, we have distributed 26,000 Philippine pesos to 10,000 families affected during 2014 and 2015.

Managing risk to prevent a repeat

After the first impact, the population itself has led the recovery process during the past two years. The reconstruction was carried out with an integrated risk management program, to prevent something like it from happening again.

"We have built latrines and water infrastructure with stronger materials and at higher altitudes, and we have developed contingency plans for how to improve alerts and how and where to evacuate communities...typhoons that have hit after Haiyan have been examples of how the population's preparation is crucial for mitigating and minimizing damage, " according to Didier Verges, who runs disaster risk management for us in the Philippines.

The international community must remain vigilant

We must not forget that there are still needs among the most vulnerable population.

"The second anniversary is an occasion to be grateful for what has been recovered in the country and to remember those who have not yet been recovered. There are thousands of people still trying to return to their old routines and thousands who are still looking for a permanent home," said Javad Amoozegar, Country Director for Action Against Hunger in the Philippines.

In an area so prone to suffering the effects of natural disasters, the international community must not lower our guard against the consequences of severe weather events.

To learn more about our response in the Philippines, check out our detailed Press Kit.

Philippines: Two years after Haiyan, Save the Children says ‘job is not yet over’

6 November 2015 - 5:11am
Source: Save the Children Country: Philippines

Humanitarian agency vows continued rehabilitation support to children and their families

Two years after supertyphoon Haiyan, Save the Children says ‘job is not yet over’ and vows to continue its rehabilitation assistance to some of the worst-affected children and families who are still reeling from heavy loss of property and livelihoods. The supertyphoon, which struck on November 8, 2013, affected more than 14 million people, including at least 5 million children, and left nearly 8,000 dead or missing.

Save the Children Director, Ned Olney, said: “Clearly, the job is not yet over. We knew from the start that this was going to be a long process of rehabilitation. The world has not seen this kind of damage from any typhoon in recent history. No media coverage can fully describe what happened that harrowing day.”

Olney added: “Although tremendous effort has been put in to help survivors, continued support is critical at this stage to ensure Haiyan won’t leave a devastating legacy for thousands of families and their children. Our worry is that families may no longer be able to send their children to school and provide for their families once the assistance stops. Improving livelihoods is essential for long term recovery”

Two years into the response, Save the Children has reached nearly 900,000 people, including half a million children in partnership with communities, civil society, donors and the government. The children’s agency has distributed families food and water; provided medicines and primary health services through our mobile health clinics; repaired classrooms, health facilities and water systems; and provided shelter and livelihood assistance to farmers, fishermen and out-of-school youth to help them provide for their families.

Felipe Malinao, 35, received assistance from Save the Children’s livelihood program in Kananga, Leyte after the typhoon damaged his crops and killed his livestock. Felipe used the livelihoods cash grant to buy a carabao and three goats which he can use for farming and selling. Felipe said: “I can use my carabao to plow and cultivate a bigger area to plant my crops. When the time is ripe, I can barter the male carabao I bought with a female so it could produce offspring that I could share to my children.” Felipe shares that he hopes to use his income to buy food and send his kids to school.

The children’s agency has provided skills training for out-of-school youth so that they could find job or start up their own business.

Geovelyn, 21, enrolled in Save the Children funded welding program in Tacloban after she quit school when her mother, 3 sisters and relatives died during ‘Haiyan’. Jovelyn said: “I had to quit school to be close to my family. I felt so guilty that I wasn’t able to do anything for them since I was in another town that time.” After finishing the progam, Geovelyn got a job as staff at the same training facility.

Moreover, Save the Children says that rehabilitation should not stop at building homes and restoring livelihoods. To ensure welfare of children in times of disaster, Save the Children is renewing the call for the Congress and Senate to immediately pass the “Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act” which calls for a comprehensive plan to protect children’s rights before, during and after a disaster.

Olney said: “Children are always the most vulnerable when disasters strike. If there is anything ‘Haiyan’ taught us all, it is that improving protection for children before during and after emergencies is essential to saving lives. Passing the child protection in emergencies bill ensures that we learn from our experience to mitigate the impact of future emergencies on children.”


For all media queries, and interview opportunities, please contact April Sumaylo, National Media Manager, at 09173011240 or

Notes to Editor: Save the Children was established in the Philippines in 1981 and today it is one of the largest child rights organizations in the country. We are part of the Save the Children global movement present in 120 countries.

Save the Children was one of the first humanitarian agencies on the ground when Haiyan struck central Philippines, delivering aid quickly and efficiently even though roads, airports and other vital infrastructure had been damaged. We remain the largest aid agency in some of the hardest hit areas.

As part of its rehabilitation program, Save the Children has teamed up with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Oxfam to launch the “Decent Work” campaign to inform workers and employers of worker’s rights to decent work with social protection benefits. The campaign targets workers from informal sector including farmers, small-scale agricultural workers, fisherfolks, laborers and out-of-school youth.