Even by the area’s stern storm season standards, 2020 has been a terrible year. In the past month alone, five storms have hammered the Philippines, from Typhoon Molave (locally named Quinta) on October 25 to Vamco (Ulysses) last week, which came less than a fortnight after the season’s strongest storm, Typhoon Goni (Rolly).
These storms’ cumulative effect, atop the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the enduring impacts of earlier typhoons, has been devastating. Anticipating worse, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that:
- Typhoon Vamco has affected over three million people in 5,594 barangays (villages/wards).
- 73 people have died; 283,656 people are in 2,205 evacuation centres; and 50 villages remain completely isolated.
- In areas affected by Typhoon Goni, at least 25 people died, over 390 were injured and nearly 83,000 remain displaced.
- Agriculture damage from recent typhoons exceeds US$250 million and infrastructure damage stands at US$165 million.
- Power supply is disrupted in over 250 cities; water supply is affected in 50 municipalities; and communications networks are down in 51 cities.
- Many health facilities have been damaged and COVID-19 patients have had to be transferred out of five quarantining facilities.
Development and Peace — Caritas Canada’s partners conducted a rapid needs assessment by polling local government officials, health workers and community leaders. They report that the most urgent needs are for:
- Construction materials to build shelters and repair damaged houses
- Seeds and seedlings to replace destroyed crops
- Farm equipment to help restart agriculture
- Food aid and sanitation and hygiene kits
- Short-term alternative livelihoods
- Longer-term support to prevent chronic poverty and hunger
Our partners have had a strong, sustained presence in the Philippines. Canadians’ generosity after Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 let them achieve remarkable results, including the construction of the Pope Francis Village. Their work has even helped build grassroots resilience against the pandemic.
Development and Peace has continued working on the ground with a team of professionals called Institutionalising Change through Support for Transformation (ICST). Working with local partners, ICST has facilitated the direct involvement of Haiyan survivors in reconstruction and development.
Along with other humanitarian organisations including Caritas Philippines, these experienced, trusted, connected and proven partners can mount an effective frontline response to the current crisis with your support.