The Philippines: Aid organizations step up efforts to help families affected by Typhoon Bopha

24 Jan 2013

Typhoon Bopha affected more than 6.2 million people, claiming over a thousand lives and displacing at least 800,000 people. Credit: OCHA
Revised response plan seeks US$76 million to help people rebuild homes and lives in Mindanao.

UN agencies and humanitarian organizations appealed today for more funding to help families affected by Typhoon Bopha, which swept through the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines last December, causing massive destruction to homes and basic infrastructure. 

The revised Bopha response plan is seeking US$76 million, a 17 per cent increase from the $65 million requested on 10 December at the onset of the disaster. Aid organizations are working with the Government to reach more people, especially those who remain homeless and need more support to rebuild their homes and lives.

Heavy rains and flooding affected more than 6.2 million people, claiming over a thousand lives and displacing at least 800,000 people. Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley provinces bore the brunt of the destruction that left three coastal towns flattened.  

“The typhoon was the most deadly storm globally in 2012, and reportedly the most powerful storm to hit southern Mindanao in more than 100 years,” said Humanitarian Coordinator Luiza Carvalho. “The need for assistance now and in the months to come is enormous.”

Forty-nine year-old Floresil Lino, whose home was destroyed, now lives in a newly constructed bunkhouse in barangay (village) Chisbangas in Davao. Mr. Lino, who worked in a coconut field before the typhoon, is now unable to provide for his family because the flooding destroyed many fields.

“I don’t know where to start. I need to work, possibly in coconut fields because that is what I know,” he said. He added that he hoped the government would help him rebuild his house and get back on his feet.  

Under the new plan, the Government and aid organizations will implement more than 40 projects that will help 923,000 of the people who were affected most, over the first six months of this year. The projects will deliver urgently-needed emergency aid as well as address food insecurity and the need to rehabilitate agricultural land. Humanitarian agencies will also make efforts to help the Government build stronger disaster preparedness and response plans through better early warning mechanisms and pre-positioning of relief stocks.

“The Philippines is the third most disaster-prone country in the world and the importance of disaster preparedness and early warning cannot be overstated,” added Ms. Carvalho.

So far, aid efforts have reached tens of thousands of people with food assistance, shelter, water and hygiene kits. Many families have also participated in cash-for-work programmes, which allow them to earn money while helping to rebuild their communities.     

More>> Typhoon Bopha Humanitarian Response (Source: Reliefweb)