One year on from one of the strongest storms ever recorded, international aid organisation CARE Australia says the recovery in the Philippines has been outstanding.
Typhoon Haiyan, which made landfall on 8 November last year, killed more than 6,300 people, and left nearly four times as many people homeless as the Boxing Day Tsunami. It hit one of the poorest regions of the Philippines, wiping out thousands of coconut farms, rice fields, fishing boats and family businesses. More than 16 million people were affected, twice the populations of London or New York City.
Over the past 12 months, CARE and its local partners have reached more than 318,000 people with life-saving food, shelter support and financial assistance to rebuild their incomes. Over 250,000 people received 1,115 tonnes of emergency food and almost 60,000 people received emergency shelter supplies such as tarpaulins, tools and kitchen sets. More than 500 carpenters have now been trained by CARE to help with reconstruction of homes and 135,000 people received cash grants to help them re-build businesses. This work will continue until at least 2016.
CARE’s Sandra Bulling, who was one of CARE’s first aid workers on the ground in the brutally-hit city of Tacloban and who is now back on the ground in Philippines, said that given the scale of the destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan, what had been achieved in just one year was outstanding.
“One year ago, I arrived into a town that had essentially been wiped off the map. Thousands of lives were lost, palm trees had been snapped like toothpicks, ships were lying on their side hundreds of metres from the coast. Nothing had been spared,” said Ms Bulling.
“Yet just 12 months on, the progress that has been made is remarkable. Homes are being rebuilt stronger and safer, and lives are getting back on track. The stark difference between then and now is a true testament to the resilience of the people of the Philippines.”
CARE Australia raised nearly $1.5 million as part of its Typhoon Haiyan Appeal, one of the biggest responses to an international disaster since the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.
“One year ago, thousands of Australians dug deep to support the people of the Philippines, and they deserve a sincere thank you for their outstanding support to the recovery effort,” said CARE Australia’s Manager Humanitarian and Emergency Response, Adam Poulter.
“Yet while lives are being rebuilt in Philippines, sadly emergencies of a similar magnitude continue to unfold across the Middle-East, in South Sudan and now in West Africa. We will continue to fight for those whose lives have been torn apart by these events, and we hope Australians will continue to join us.”
To learn more about CARE’s work to support the rebuilding of the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, visit www.care.org.au/typhoonhaiyan. To donate to CARE’s Global Emergency Fund, which helps communities around the world prepare for and respond to disasters, visit www.care.org.au/global-emergency-fund.