Barely recovering from the devastation of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on 15 October 2013, which had left 5,000 people homeless and 50,000 houses damaged, the people of Cebu and Bohol were further hit by super Typhoon Haiyan (local name: Typhoon Yolanda). Typhoon Haiyan, considered the world’s strongest typhoon ever to make landfall, slammed into Guiuan, Eastern Samar early in the morning of 8 November packing a sustained wind of 235 kph and gusts of 275 kph. Haiyan made subsequent landfalls in Tolosa (south of Tacloban City), Leyte Province; Daanbantayan and Bantayan Island, Cebu Province; Conception, Iloilo Province; and Busuanga, Palawan Province. It left a wide path of destruction and debris in its wake over 9 provinces, with estimates of casualties and damage fluctuating considerably in the immediate aftermath. Damaged roads, fallen trees and debris severely limited access to people in need immediately after the crisis.
The numbers are staggering; the UN-OCHA estimate 14.16 million or 15% of the total population have been affected; 3.62 million people displaced; 1.1 million damaged houses. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported 5,600 dead, 26,231 injured and 1,761 missing. There are currently over 226,000 people living in 1,068 evacuation centres. Large numbers of people have been leaving the devastated area with over 17,000 being airlifted to Manila.
ACT members in the Philippines Christian Aid (CA), ICCO Cooperation, Lutheran World Relief (LWR),
Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) plan to assist the most vulnerable and resource poor people affected by the typhoon through the following assistance: food and non-food items, WASH, shelter, psycho-social support, education, livelihood restoration/development, cash for work, disaster risk reduction (DRR), capacity building and climate change advocacy.
ACT Alliance has registered its appeal projects in the UN flash appeal also for its members NCA, NCCP, LWR, ICCO Cooperation and Christian Aid. Church World Service (CWS) and DanChurchAid (DCA) have registered their projects independently. Altogether, nine ACT Alliance projects have been registered and all of them have been approved and published.