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.
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