08/05/2014 – Today marks the six-month anniversary since Typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda hit the Philippines, killing thousands and displacing millions, as one of the strongest tropical cyclones every recorded. Recent monitoring by EU field staff showed that despite all efforts there are still gaps in aid coverage; in particular, shelter assistance to landless populations and to people living in unbuilt zones proves to be challenging. The EU therefore remains in the front line in providing life-saving humanitarian aid and early livelihood recovery support to millions after the super typhoon cut a path of destruction through the island nation.
The assistance is shifting from relief to early recovery with particular focus on transitional shelter and recovery of people’s livelihoods. More than a dozen large projects, funded by the EU, are underway in hundreds of affected communities with further seven new projects recently started. They are implemented by humanitarian partner organisations such as: the International Organization for Migration (IOM), World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Spanish and German Red Cross societies, as well as two consortia of international NGOs led by Save the Children and PLAN-International. Such organisations are providing shelter, livelihood recovery, water and sanitation assistance.
Marking the anniversary, EU-funded humanitarian organisations are putting together a special event in Manila to celebrate the recovery made so far and send a call for the continuation of the much-necessary efforts. The event, titled ‘The Road to Recovery: Rebuilding with Communities after Typhoon Haiyan’ is supported by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO). It will feature a photo exhibition, concert, panel discussion and film screening. The event coincides with Europe Day; an opportunity for us Europeans to remind ourselves our common value of solidarity with the people of the world.
On 2-3 May, another event organised by EU-funded PLAN International, brought together aid workers, local leaders and community members to recognise and celebrate the community’s resilience and innovation in the typhoon's recovery phase.