Urgent needs remain six months after super typhoon
The humanitarian situation is stable in areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan, but ongoing support is needed to help millions of people to obtain adequate shelter and rebuild livelihoods
Tacloban: Six months after Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) struck the Central Philippines on 8 November, the humanitarian situation has stabilized across the affected regions. The progress remains fragile, however, as millions of survivors require ongoing assistance. The most pressing needs are related to shelter and restoring people’s livelihoods.
“Thousands of people lost their lives on 8 November. At this six-month marker, our thoughts are very much with the survivors who suffered the loss of so many friends and loved ones,” said the UN Resident and Humanitarin Coordinator ad interim for the Philippines, Klaus Beck, speaking on behalf of the Humanitarian Country Team and Humanitarian Coordinator, Luiza Carvalho.
“After the super typhoon hit, our massive scale-up in delivery saved many lives and staved off what could have degenerated into a much worse humanitarian crisis,” Beck said. “The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) for the Philippines is now prioritizing programming for shelter and livelihoods, while continuing to assist the most vulnerable people with assistance and protection services.”
Support for the Government’s early recovery efforts was foreseen in the HCT’s Strategic Response Plan (SRP), which covers the 12 months following the typhoon. Of the $788 million required for the SRP, only 56 percent has been received. The typhoon affected 14 million people and destroyed or severely damaged more than a million homes.
“Millions of people whose homes were lost or damaged now live in inadequate shelter, leaving them extremely vulnerable,” Beck said. “We have helped 133,000 households to build back. We provided tools and other materials, as well as training – including mitigating storm risks.” Support to assist an additional 380,000 households is now critical.
Klaus also noted that the risk of disease outbreaks, so far largely contained by the response, remains a major concern. Funds are urgently needed to sustain progress on vector borne-disease control and preparedness.
“Our achievements in the first six months of the response showed what is possible with generous donor contributions,” Beck said. “The Filipino people in the affected areas deserve our continued support.”