ATLANTA — Six months after Typhoon Haiyan slammed the central Philippines, the global humanitarian organization CARE is expanding its efforts to help survivors rebuild their homes and livelihoods.
“Some good strides have been made in the transition from an emergency to early recovery phase,” says Lex Kassenberg, CARE’s country director in the Philippines. “Still, too many families in the worst-hit areas continue to live in makeshift shelters, while many of those who have started to rebuild or repair their damaged houses have yet to complete their homes.”
An estimated 2 million people are still without durable shelter and remain at risk, especially in light of the 2014 typhoon season which begins next month. CARE is expanding its shelter program by providing additional cash assistance to the most vulnerable of its earlier beneficiaries to allow them to complete their shelters by buying materials they still lack such as lumber to finish their walling.
CARE initially provided emergency shelter materials such as tarpaulins and other non-food items during the first crucial months following the disaster. In January 2014 CARE began distributing shelter repair kits to the most vulnerable households in remote areas in Leyte and Panay, reaching more than 55,000 people in more than 12,000 households. Shelter repair kits are composed of building materials such as corrugated sheets, specialized nails, hammers, aluminium screens and other items. Coupled with cash assistance equal to $68, beneficiaries were able to construct their homes’ foundation and roofing consistent with safe-building techniques.
Along with these successes have come additional challenges. In the last three months affected households have begun to grapple with the double burden of rebuilding their homes, mostly from scratch, while also trying to restore their livelihoods. Inevitably this divides their focus and even drains their energy.
In order to ease the twin burdens of the survivors, CARE is gearing up its efforts through its recently launched early livelihood recovery programs. CARE is targeting 25,000 household beneficiaries across Leyte, Samar and Panay with cash transfers of $68. The cash grant will allow beneficiaries to restore their livelihoods destroyed by Haiyan, or venture into new income-generating activities.
“Simultaneously working on shelter and livelihood programs will help CARE strengthen and sustain the recovery process of our beneficiaries”, says Kassenberg.
From food distribution during the emergency phase to its shelter and livelihood programs, CARE has so far reached more than 300,000 beneficiaries in nearly 65,000 households across Leyte, Samar and Panay, surpassing its initial target of 200,000 beneficiaries.
CARE is committed to the Haiyan response in the months and years to come to help rebuild lives.
CARE has worked in the Philippines since 1949, providing emergency relief and helping communities prepare for future disasters. CARE’s past responses in the Philippines have included Typhoon Bopha in 2012 and Typhoon Ketsana in 2009. Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience delivering emergency aid during times of crisis. Our emergency responses focus on the needs of the most vulnerable populations, particularly girls and women. Last year, CARE worked in 87 countries and reached more than 97 million people around the world. To learn more, visit www.care.org.
Winnie Aguilar - Communications Officer, CARE Philippines - +63 917 510 8093 | firstname.lastname@example.org