Success Story: An Integrated Approach to Assistance in the Philippines

News and Press Release
Originally published


Following Typhoon Haiyan, USAID supported multisector programs that included DRR to help Tacloban residents rebuild their neighborhoods and increase their resilience against future disasters.

In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan affected 16 million people, caused at least 6,300 deaths, and damaged or destroyed nearly 1.1 million houses across the Philippines. In the coastal city of Tacloban, powerful winds and storm surge devastated seaside neighborhoods, damaged the vast majority of the city’s infrastructure, and left tens of thousands of residents wondering how to rebuild their homes and lives.

In coordination with the Government of the Philippines, USAID quickly identified Tacloban as a priority area for assistance and supported a range of partners to rapidly provide emergency shelter materials and other life-saving aid to typhoon-affected households. At the same time, USAID began discussions with partners regarding longer-term interventions to help communities safely rebuild and increase their resilience against future disasters.

USAID’s partnerships with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Plan International USA (Plan) illustrate USAID’s integrated, neighborhoodbased approach to assistance in Tacloban. USAID supported CRS and Plan to implement multi-year, multi-sector programs that centered on disaster risk reduction (DRR) while simultaneously providing protection, shelter, and water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance to 26 coastal barangays, or wards, severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

Through a combination of repaired and newly constructed houses, apartment rentals, and host family support, CRS and Plan provided transitional shelter assistance to more than 4,500 households in Tacloban with USAID funding. The organizations also engaged communities to restore or build water supply and drainage infrastructure, latrines, and hand washing facilities while concurrently conducting hygiene promotion campaigns and educating residents about genderbased violence, child safety, and other protection concerns.

USAID’s approach to early recovery in Tacloban included a continuous focus on emergency preparedness and response to build community resilience and mitigate the effects of future disasters. CRS and Plan trained nearly 2,900 people on safer construction techniques, established and trained emergency response teams in each of the targeted barangays, and conducted disaster drills that engaged thousands of community members, among many other capacity-building activities.

While many disaster response programs are short-term and focus on a limited number of activities, USAID supported CRS and Plan to implement longer-term programs in Tacloban that encompassed a range of projects that helped neighborhoods devastated by Typhoon Haiyan rebuild their homes, infrastructure, and sense of security. Additionally, the 26 barangays targeted by CRS and Plan are now more resilient and better prepared to face future shocks—one of USAID’s key objectives in Tacloban and throughout the Philippines.