Philippines

While recovery efforts are expanding, acute humanitarian needs remain in affected areas

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In the Philippines, isolated and disadvantaged communites who survived Typhoon Haiyan are still in need of relief aid. Larger response gaps persist in Western Leyte, which requires more attention than Tacloban and surrounding municipalities. Food distributions are ongoing and remain a priority need. Food prices remain inflated and thousands of people still don’t have the financial means to buy food or have sufficient access to markets. As the emergency phase transitions into early recovery, increasing emphasis is being placed on cash for work and cash transfer programmes. The Philippines Red Cross and the IFRC operation to distribute non-food relief continues to be scaled up as thousands of survivors have lost their household possessions. Hygiene kits, mosquito nets, jerry cans and shelter kits are still distributed on a regular basis (Download Operation Update infographic 13 February 2015).

Aside, disease prevention and ensuring access to clean water, adequate sanitation and medical services are a top priority for the Red Cross. The Philippines Red Cross continues to run first aid posts and Emergency Response Unit from Canada, Norway and Japan offer basic health care in the affected areas focussing on maternity care, the treatment of typhoon-related injuries and chronic conditions e.g. high blood pressure, diabetes etc. According to the Health Cluster, diarrhoea cases have been rising in several areas of Ormoc and Leyte since 30 November. Several samples have tested positive for rotavirus. Humanitarian organisations are concerned that response capacity would be insufficient in case of outbreaks.

Support for self-recovery is fast becoming the priority

Repairing or re-building housing and helping to restore people’s lost livelihoods is a significant part of the Red Cross recovery programme. While emergency shelter materials such as tarpaulins are still needed, support for self-recovery is fast becoming the priority. The vast majority of families have already started rebuilding and repairing their homes, however most of them require help. We provide shelter and tool kits to support that process. The focus is not only on providing materials but also on technical help to ensure homes are built back safer and stronger. The Government has begun constructing bunkhouses for people living in evacuation centres or informal settlements.

The typhoon hit people’s livelihoods hard and agricultural communities were among the worst affected. Farmers, especially those who rely on coconut plantations and rice for their income, saw their crops and trees wiped out. Cash transfer programmes are vital to kick-start these economies again and enable them to buy materials to rebuild their homes and buy seeds for the next planting season, such as rice crop, which is currently happening. Unconditional cash grants supported by IFRC began on 12 December 2015 on Panay Island and Leyte province. The distribution of 50,000 cash grants is planned before the end of the year.

Funding Gap. The IFRC needs more funds to cover both emergency and long term recovery needs.

We urge governments and members of the public to continue supporting the Philippines Typhoon Haiyan appeal directly or through their National Societies. We are grateful to partners and donors for their overwhelming response so far. On 12 November 2013, the IFRC launched a preliminary emergency appeal for 72 million Swiss Francs (USD 78.5 million, 58.4 million Euros) to provide 100,000 families with food, clean water, shelter and other essential relief over a period of 18 months. As of 16 December, the appeal was 78.7% covered, amounting to 54.1 million Swiss Francs. 52.2 million Swiss Francs (75.9%) has been committed in hard pledges while soft pledges amount to 1.9 million Swiss Francs, 2.8%. A revised emergency appeal is being launched this week reflecting the increasing needs of the survivors moving towards recovery funding requirements will increase significantly. More information and contacts

Follow @philredcross for updates on Philippine Red Cross preparedness and response actions. Hashtags for Typhoon Haiyan are #Haiyan and #YolandaPH