Two years after super typhoon: Filipinos are better prepared for disasters

Two years on from the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, the Filipinos are now much better prepared for disasters. Aid donations via Giro555 have reached hundreds of thousands of people. Most of the money has been spent on shelter, water and sanitation and creating sources of income. To date, almost 90% of the 36 million euros of aid donated by people in the Netherlands has been used. The relief organisations involved will complete the aid programmes funded by Giro555 towards the end of 2015.

According to a progress report published today by the consortium of relief organisations behind Giro555, the relief activities are now fully focused on rebuilding.  Simone Filipini, the chairperson responsible for coordination, says: “A great deal has been achieved during the two years since the disaster. Thanks to Giro555, shelters have been built for 206,641 people, 34,318 people now have access to latrines, 27,790 families have received financial report and 81,741 children can now receive tuition again in repaired or new classrooms.”

Preparing people for disasters

Each year, an average of 20 typhoons unleash their fury on the Philippines. This explains why the aid continuously focuses on preparing people for disasters; in the form of contingency plans for example, providing good means of communication such as radio and reinforcing dikes and dams. New homes and evacuation centres must be capable of withstanding storms. In the near future, the aid will focus on further strengthening the financial position of families who lost their source of income in the disaster in many cases. For example, families receive assistance in setting up and managing a store and are taught how to farm.

Relief organisations praise the resoluteness shown by the Filipinos in rebuilding after the disaster. Filipini: “The resilience and perseverance with which people are building a new life for themselves and looking to the future is staggering, and an excellent example for others to follow.”

36 million euros collected via Giro555

On 8 November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan tore at high speed across the Philippines, creating a disaster that affected the lives of 16 million people. It is one of the most violent typhoons on record. The people of the Netherlands responded on a massive scale. They donated more than 36 million euros in aid via Giro555. Next week, Giro555 will visit schools that collected money 2 years ago to tell the children how those funds have been used. On Sunday 8 November, a memorial service will be held for the victims of the disaster in the Church of our Saviour in The Hague.

What help was offered by Terre des Hommes? 

Terre des Hommes received an amount of 831,193 euros, which was used to finance the distribution of 4300 hygiene and food parcels and, with the help of the local population, to construct 606 homes and 121 toilets, repair 58 classrooms and provide access to clean water for 11,305 people. Terre des Hommes freed 1130 children from child labour and gave 5500 traumatised children socio-psychological assistance and educated them on their rights. The parents and guardians of 150 children were involved in cash-for-work as part of the rebuilding exercise and 561 people received vocational training. All of these preparations were put to the test one year after Haiyan when Typhoon Hagupit tore across exactly the same area. The homes built by Terre des Hommes withstood this storm without damage.

These are the relief organisations behind Giro555: CARE Nederland, Cordaid Mensen in Nood, ICCO & Kerk in Actie, Nederlandse Rode Kruis, Oxfam Novib, Plan Nederland, Save the Children, Stichting Vluchteling, Terre des Hommes, UNICEF Nederland and World Vision.

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