Typhoon Haiyan

The Philippines – Three years after Typhoon Haiyan

  • 08.11.2016
  • Typhoon Haiyan

© Swiss Red Cross/Urs Bucher

On 8 November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The islands of Leyte and Samar were particularly hard hit. Leyte’s provincial capital Tacloban also suffered widespread devastation and numerous fatalities. Three years on, the damage is no longer visible in many places and homes have been successfully rebuilt.

On 18 November 2013, Swiss Solidarity held a national fundraising day for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan and received a total of 42.3 million francs in donations. To date, we have used 94 percent of these funds to support 30 projects run by our partner aid organizations. This has enabled us to help some 445,000 people.

Emergency relief

In the initial phase after the typhoon, our partner aid organizations responded with emergency relief. During the weeks and months after the disaster, 42,000 families received food, household items and building materials to repair their damaged homes. Basic homes were quickly rebuilt and the water supply restored.

Reconstructing homes and schools and building evacuation centres

After delivering emergency relief and obtaining government permission for reconstruction, our partner aid organizations were able to start rebuilding more permanent homes.

A total of 6,900 homes were rebuilt and 4,900 homes repaired. Building structure and fabric could be improved in many places thanks to the advice and support of the local population. These houses will be better equipped to survive future storms and earthquakes. In addition to residential buildings, eight schools for 4,300 students are currently being repaired or rebuilt.

The Philippines are often hit by severe storms. This is why we are funding the construction of three evacuation centres, in which the population can seek shelter from future typhoons.

Earning own money again as quickly as possible
Typhoon Haiyan has not only destroyed homes but also many livelihoods. The coconut plantations, the source of livelihood of many farmers, were completely obliterated. It takes years until such a plantation yields sufficient fruit again for people to live off the resulting income. This is why we have supported 30,000 families in accessing alternative income sources. The farmers are now cultivating vegetables, cocoa and other fast-growing crops.

The aid effort in the Philippines is almost completed. The remaining 2.5 million francs will be used to fund an income generation project as well as possible extensions and adjustments to existing projects.

Partner relief organizations on the ground: ADRA, Architectes de l'urgence, Caritas, Handicap International, Salvation Army, HEKS, Helvetas, Medair, Solidar, Swiss Red Cross, Terre des hommes – Child Aid

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    Swiss Solidarity is a foundation, started as an initiative of the Swiss public media SRG SSR | Partnership & collaboration

    • Keystone
    • Swisscom
    • SRG SSR alt




    One picture often says more than a thousand words. Thanks to the partnership with the internationally operating Swiss picture agency Keystone, Swiss Solidarity has free and rapid access to recent pictures at any time. 

    The Keystone picture agency takes a Swiss view of our country and the world. A team of 20 full-time photographers throughout Switzerland as well as international partner agencies ensure that no current event is missed. As the largest picture agency in Switzerland, Keystone has an almost unending store of material on Swiss social history (around 11 million archive images).




    A national fundraising day is unthinkable without the means of Swisscom: In six regional fundraising centers, provided by Swisscom as well, between 120 and 150 phone lines are in use. This meant that, at the Tsunami’s fundraising day, over 70’000 calls were managed. On fundraising days, this service is free of charge.

    The internet as a means of communication is vital for Swiss Solidarity, too. Therefore, Swisscom supports Swiss Solidarity’s web presence year after year with a considerable contribution. Swisscom (formerly PTT) has been an abiding partner for Swiss Solidarity for over sixty years.


    SRG SSR alt

    Swiss Solidarity originated in 1946 from a radio show in western Switzerland – the first fundraising campaign was for the benefit of the orphans of World War II. The idea became more and more successful, and in 1983, Swiss Solidarity was granted the status of a foundation initiated by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG. Today, Swiss Solidarity is a foundation that raises funds for humanitarian relief projects and works with the SRG SSR.

    On national solidarity and fundraising days, Swiss Solidarity demonstrates just what is meant by «idée suisse»: The solidarity and support of Switzerland’s entire population. This is only possible because the SRG SSR idée suisse supports Swiss Solidarity with its free broadcastings. Swiss Solidarity itself is – with a few exceptions – not a relief organization, but rather a solidarity network, cooperating with 25 relief organizations.

    Additionally, the company’s entities SRF, RTS, RTR, RSI are all represented in the foundation board.