Three Months After Haiyan, 14 Million Filipinos Still Need Help
It’s been three months since Typhoon Haiyan pummeled the Filipino coastline, and some 14 million citizens here still require emergency assistance. Many elements of basic infrastructure, like access to clean water and sanitation services, have been destroyed—as has the population’s ability to meet a majority of their basic needs.
"Right now we’re finishing the last of our emergency distributions—mainly food and hygiene kits—and we’re working on restoring essential services to stimulate the markets and promote livelihoods. We’re also providing nutritional and psychosocial support, and giving access to water and sanitation in evacuation centers and in private shelters. Different areas have been hit differently, so it’s important for us to identify and meet the specific needs of each population."
—Chiara Saccardi, Philippines Emergency Team Leader, Action Against Hunger
A country constantly at risk
The Philippines is battered by between 15 and 25 major weather events each year, with both the recurrence and intensity on the rise. After Haiyan, Tropical Depression Agaton destroyed the few remaining crops, increasing food insecurity among farmers and those who rely on them. "After Agaton we feared the worst last month with Tropical Storm Baysang, but it only caused a small amount of damage,” Chiara explained. “It reinforced the importance of our work on disaster preparedness. People knew how to act and when to evacuate.”
An earthquake that struck the island of Leyte on January 26th also caused no significant damage or casualties, but also stressed the need for disaster risk reduction efforts to strengthen the country’s preparedness levels for possible floods and landslides. Our approach continues to focus on helping people and institutions be better prepared for a high-magnitude disaster, and be able to take measures to reduce its impact.