UNDP heralds progress from emergency to recovery six months following Typhoon Haiyan

07 May 2014

imageAs part of its recovery programme, UNDP is tackling the time-sensitive issue of recovering as many of the damaged coconut trees as possible to be used for shelter and promote livelihood. (Photo: Anna Mae Lamentillo / UNDP)


Tacloban, Philippines
: Six months since one of the most destructive disasters hit the Philippines, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says the transition is well underway from emergency to recovery.

"In six months since Typhoon Haiyan, we arrive at the crucial time where recovery takes shape,” says Luiza Carvalho, UNDP’s Resident Representative and UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Philippines. “Humanitarian work draws down and the Government of the Philippines and local government units, that have received a devastating shock, move forward with the objective of building back better.”

Progress from global humanitarian support to the nationally-led recovery is embodied in an event held by UNDP six months to the day that Haiyan struck. In Eastern Samar Province, UNDP is bringing together nine of the hardest hit municipalities with the national government to align local government recovery plans with the national Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Plan and its funding channels.  With this crucial step, these devastated municipalities can fully begin the road to recovery.

“It is important that this momentum for a quick start is not lost, and UNDP is thus fully committed to support both national government and LGUs in strengthening their lead in this important recovery process,” Ms Carvalho said.

Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines 8 November, 2013 killing over 6,200 people and displacing 4 million people. In the hardest hit areas in the Visayas, UNDP responded immediately
in helping affected areas respond to their immediate emergency needs like food, medicine and shelter relief through debris removal, emergency employment and stop-gap governance support.

Now six months since Haiyan, UNDP is fully engaged in the transition from emergency to recovery; helping the Visayas region build back better.

Among UNDP’s priority areas of work are helping local government restore frontline services; linking local government units with national Government recovery and development support; providing long-term livelihoods opportunities for some of the region’s poorest people through small grants and skills building; and increasing resilience of government, communities and individuals through disaster risk reduction projects.  


Key Results

  • Through emergency employment and heavy equipment, typhoon debris have been cleared, over 500,000 cubic metres in Tacloban alone, enabling the recovery of 15 hospitals, 744 schools, 620 daycare centers, 622 municipal buildings, municipal and barangay roads spanning 1,746 kilometers, drainage spanning 970 kilometers and other essential infrastructure like clinics, bridges, churches and gymnasiums (over 600).

  •  42,168 people have secured temporary jobs in UNDP’s early recovery programme in the Visayas – almost 35 percent are women.

  •  UNDP provides technical and financial support to Tacloban’s city dumpsite, Santo Nino, which has improved its operations and minimized environmental damage associated with emergency disposal resulting from the typhoon. UNDP has also helped Ormoc City to improve landfill operations at its municipal facility.

  • The development of the Strategic Priorities for Recovery and Disaster Preparedness of Samar Province, with technical support from UNDP, enables local governments to access national recovery funding support and also facilitates learning from Haiyan to increase resilience in the face of future hazards.

  • With the provision of six mobile saw mills, funds for emergency employment, and partnership building between coconut farmer co-operatives, the Philippine Coconut Authority and international agencies and NGOs, UNDP is tackling the time-sensitive issue of recovering the as many of the damaged coconut trees as possible in western Leyte and Capiz. This project begins in the farmers’ fields with collection and transportation support, straight through to the processing and distribution of the lumber back into the open market, shelter programmes, and into the hands of the farmers who lost their livelihoods from the typhoon.

For more information, please contact:


In Tacloban: Lesley Wright, Communications Specialist, UNDP Philippines, lesley.wright@undp.org, +63 917 506 7375
In Manila: Philip Castro, Communications Officer, UNDP Philippines, philip.castro@undp.org, +63 2 901 0223
In Bangkok: Cherie Hart, UNDP Regional Communications Advisor, cherie.hart@undp.org +66 8 1 918 1564
In New York: Damian Kean, UNDP Communications Officer, damian.kean@undp.org, +1 212 906 6871