When Typhoon Haiyan struck central Philippines on 8 November 2013, it not only caused thousands of deaths but also extensive destruction to homes, infrastructure and livelihoods, leaving thousands homeless and jobless. Almost seven months on, survivors have to contend with a drastic reduction in living conditions and income.
The Philippine Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are scaling up support to help survivors repair or rebuild damaged homes, and re-establish ways to make a living.
“Our Early Livelihood Recovery Programme aims to enhance not just the livelihood capacity of individual families, but of entire communities,” says Jagan Chapagain, IFRC Director of the Asia Pacific zone.
Through the programme, individual households and community groups will receive conditional cash grants to start up income-earning activities. The programme will also provide young people, from the most vulnerable families, with scholarships to begin vocational training at accredited institutions.
The programme has received a boost after KPMG International pledged 450,000 US dollars. The cash injection means at least 600 households in villages affected by Typhoon Haiyan will be reached with livelihoods assistance over the next 15 months.
“While the typhoon survivors have shown remarkable resilience, millions remain in a precarious situation and need long-term assistance to support their recovery,” said Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE, Global Head of Corporate Citizenship of KPMG International. “Together with the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement led by the Philippine Red Cross, we are committed to providing support in the affected communities to help them rebuild their lives.”
Richard Gordon, Chairman of the Philippines Red Cross, said the recovery effort is likely to last many years, but must be driven by affected communities. “Individuals, families, groups and communities affected by disaster know their recovery needs and capacities better, so they will lead their own recovery while we support them in this process,” he said. “Through the collective effort, survivors can become more resilient as they get back on their feet.”