1 . Over the course of less than 24 hours on November 8, 2013, Typhoon Yolanda cut a swath of destruction across the central part of the Philippines, severely affecting areas in eastern, central, and western Visayas, and beyond to the northern part of Palawan. The typhoon precipitated a storm surge in the seas around the coastal towns of Eastern and Western Samar and Leyte that led to grave loss of life and massive damage to private and public assets.
2 . The Government, working in close cooperation with international development partners, rapidly mounted an unprecedented humanitarian response to deliver relief assistance to more than four (4) million people displaced by the typhoon. While the immediate humanitarian response is likely to continue for some time, the Government recognizes the critical importance of starting recovery and reconstruction as soon as possible.
3 . The Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) is the Government’s strategic plan to guide the recovery and reconstruction of the economy, lives, and livelihoods in the affected areas. The objective of the plan is to restore the economic and social conditions of these areas at the very least to their pre-typhoon levels and to a higher level of disaster resilience. Outputs will include housing; infrastructure, facilities, and utilities; employment opportunities; assistance with livelihoods especially vulnerable workers in the agriculture and service sectors; and support for cross-cutting social and environmental objectives.
4 . RAY provides the first synthesis of the overall economic impact of Typhoon Yolanda based on the best available data and information. The plan presents an estimate of the total economic damage and loss caused by Yolanda; its impact on the macroeconomy, poverty, incomes and employment; an assessment of short- and medium-term recovery and reconstruction needs; and a framework for implementation, including sequencing of interventions, and key policy assumptions. The implementation strategy that underpins RAY is Introduction phased, cumulative, and flexible. It is designed to take rapid action to address critical immediate needs, and to develop and implement a full set of recovery and reconstruction interventions over the short to medium term.
5 . Section I of this document provides an overview of the disaster, the human impact, and the immediate humanitarian response of the Government and the international community. Section II describes the socioeconomic condition of typhoon-affected areas prior to the disaster. Section III presents an estimate of the overall economic impact of the disaster by using the internationally-recognized methodology for estimating damage and loss1, as well as an initial calculation of overall recovery and reconstruction needs. Section IV presents estimates of the economy-wide and regional-level impacts of the disaster on poverty, incomes, and employment. Section V provides an overview of the plan with an outline of the guiding principles, programming priorities, and policy implications for RAY implementation.