Philippines, Asia Pacific: Typhoon Rai (Odette) - Emergency Appeal No. MDRPH045 - Operational Strategy (13 December 2021 - 31 December 2023)



The Philippines was hit by Typhoon Rai, locally named Odette, on 16 December 2021. Typhoon Rai caused devastation in the islands of Visayas and northern Mindanao affecting more than 3 million people (DSWD-DROMIC) in communities already greatly suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Typhoon-force winds and floods caused widespread damage to shelter, livelihoods, agriculture and infrastructure. Lifelines including power lines, water supply and communication network have been severely damaged, and the repairs are expected to last several months. More than 200,000 houses are damaged, out of which approximately 71,000 suffered total damage and 35,000 classrooms are reported damaged. More than 1.2 million people have been displaced due to Typhoon Rai. The most affected areas are the Dinagat Island, Southern Leyte, Surigao del Norte, Bohol, Cebu and Palawan.

Majority of the people in the affected areas depend on agriculture and fishing for their livelihoods. The poverty rate in the affected areas is above the national average and many people live in rural communities. The six most impacted provinces have up to 46 per cent of people living below the poverty line, who are more vulnerable due to their suboptimal economic resilience. In addition, many of the affected areas are dependent on, such as Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte where Typhoon Rai made its initial landfall with peak intensity of 195 km/h.

The Government of the Philippines has declared a state of calamity in Regions IV-B, VI, VII, VIII, X and XIII and accepted the offer of international humanitarian assistance.

Severity of humanitarian conditions

Priority needs resulting from the devastation caused by Typhoon Rai include food, water, shelter, protection, health, and water sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

1. Impact on accessibility, availability, quality, use and awareness of goods and services

Access to all the affected areas is critically important for needs assessment and provision of humanitarian assistance to those in need. PRC is providing relief assistance in 15 chapters which was prioritized based on the people affected, destruction to lifelines and poverty incidence among the population. Provision of food items is identified as a major need for families staying at evacuation centres and those whose livelihoods are lost or damaged. Due to water interruption, affected communities are having difficulties in accessing clean water for daily consumption. To ensure safe drinking water, there is a need to distribute water and water containers to ensure the safekeeping of the distributed water and conduct sensitization on household water treatment, handling and storage. Hygiene promotion and awareness campaigns as well as hygiene materials are required. Displaced families need basic hygiene kits and hygiene-related information to maintain good hygiene practices and reduce the risk of hygiene-related illnesses. Typhoon Rai has left many without adequate shelter and essential household items, such as blankets, and sleeping mats. Shelter and livelihood support are essential to be provided to the affected population that has lost their homes and/or livelihoods. It is anticipated that market systems are in the heavily affected provinces but lessons in the past operations showed that local market systems are quick to recover especially for food and essential commodities. The market condition will be further assessed as part of the ongoing needs assessments.

2. Impact on physical and mental well-being

Immediate needs have included search and rescue and first aid, as well as provision of face masks to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Health facilities have been damaged and there are further health concerns related to the flood water and interrupted water supply which includes water-, food- and vector-borne diseases. An increasing number of cases of diarrhea and schistosomiasis have been reported. Also, the spread of COVID-19 is a concern exacerbated by the interruption to the vaccinations and large numbers of people staying in shelters together.

Due to disruption of the communication lines, there is a pressing need for Restoring Family Links (RFL). Moreover,
Psychological First Aid and psychosocial support to the affected families, especially children, is an urgent need.

3. Risks & vulnerabilities

Scarcity of resources and the increasing need for humanitarian assistance is a major concern, specifically when access and transportation remain restricted. Parts of Visayas, Mindanao, and Southern Luzon Regions are securitysensitive due to the presence of and operations of non-state armed groups. Furthermore, traveling across municipalities raises security concerns. PRC and IFRC will leverage Movement partners existing civil-military relations and Movement security frameworks to engage military, other security services, and non-state armed groups to ensure access, protection, and security of beneficiaries and humanitarians.

Ongoing in-depth assessment will unravel the full extent of the effects and damage, but the latest figures reported by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and Department of Social Welfare and Development – Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DSWD - DROMIC) are summarized in the table below: