The Evolving Picture of Displacement in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan - An Evidence Based Overview May 2014

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Philippines - A new report from IOM and the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) sheds light on the extent to which Typhoon Haiyan uprooted communities when it hit the central region of the Philippines just over six months ago, and the evolving needs of displaced populations during that timeframe.

While four million people are estimated to have been displaced by the disaster, only 400,000 sought shelter in evacuation centres, with the vast majority fleeing to urban areas, moving in with friends and relatives, or staying in their damaged homes in the days after the disaster, according to the report, entitled “The Evolving Picture of Displacement” and available at

In the first two weeks following Haiyan, some 17,000 people are estimated to have moved out of the affected areas to other parts of the Philippines, mainly Manila. The large-scale movement that took place presents a challenge in tracking the needs of poor, vulnerable people who travelled to the cities and could be at risk of exploitation, indicating that more effective methods are needed for monitoring this substantial group.

Now, more than six months on, more than two million people are still without adequate shelter or durable housing, with over 26,000 living in temporary sites (evacuation centres, tent cities, spontaneous settlements and bunkhouses). Many face prolonged uncertainty about whether they will be allowed to settle back in their former homes – most of which lie in designated “no-safe” zones – and what plans there are for their permanent relocation, with a lack of transparent information a key concern.

"In spite of the wealth of information generated, it has been difficult to form a coherent understanding of the evolving and complex displacement situation [following Typhoon Haiyan] and this is critical to guide policy and prioritise responses on the ground," says Alfredo Zamudio, Director of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, the report’s co-author.

The report presents data gathered by the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) – a tool developed by IOM to gather information on the living conditions and needs of people in displacement sites across affected regions. It is implemented in the Philippines by IOM, as Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster co-lead, in close coordination with the Department for Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

During the emergency response, IOM drew on expertise from SAS Visual Analytics to quickly analyze the data gathered and identify, in near real-time, detailed information on what relief is needed and where.

“We have been working to enhance preparedness by developing practical tools for government officials, humanitarian organizations and affected communities,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “The SAS collaboration provided the right tool at the right time. We, our beneficiaries and partners are all grateful for the partnership and technology.”

For more information, please contact

Conrad Navidad IOM Philippines Email:


Clare Spurrell NRC’s IDMC Email:

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