UNDP supports typhoon recovery and resilience in the Visayas

Cash-for-work beneficiaries
Over two days, almost 1,000 participants of UNDP’s emergency employment in Tacloban received their wages via bank account in an initiative that brings together Landbank, SMART and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Workers from 18 barangays (villages) in Tacloban were given mobile phones and ATM cards with which to access their daily wages. Photo: Lesley Wright/UNDP


In the early morning of 8 November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan (locally known Yolanda), made landfall in the eastern Visayas region of the Philippines. With winds up to 250 kph sweeping through the region, accompanied by a storm surge of up to 5m, the typhoon caused wide spread damage and losses. As of 28 January 2014, 6,201 people were reported killed and 1,785 were missing. Along the north-west trajectory of the typhoon, a total of 14.1 million people across nine of the country’s poorest provinces were affected. More than 1.1 m houses were destroyed. The eastern coasts of Samar, Eastern Samar and Leyte were among the worst affected. The city of Tacloban, the fifth fastest growing urban center in the country, recorded the highest loss of lives and property.

The national government, the local government units, national and international NGOs, relief teams from more than 20 countries, and the UN launched a large humanitarian response to the disaster. Although the affected communities have already begun their own recovery efforts with the limited resources available, the magnitude of the disaster is so severe that it will take several years for them to recover fully.

UNDP is working closely with the Government of the Philippines – at the national, provincial and local government levels – to support these recovery efforts.

Our Recovery Programme

UNDP’s programme in support to Typhoon Yolanda Recovery and Resilience in the Visayas region (TRRV) takes into account differential impacts, vulnerabilities and capacities across the affected region and articulates an area-based approach around four programming hubs: Tacloban, Guiuan, Ormoc, and Roxas. It aims to meet some of the immediate early recovery needs of the affected people and to assist with critical recovery interventions to support the country in transitioning from early recovery to rehabilitation, while creating conditions for long-term recovery, resilience and sustainable development.

The programme builds on prior UNDP engagement and partnerships in the affected areas, including extensive work on debris/ solid waste management, disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, support to local governance, rural development and environmental resilience and sustainability. It takes into account the high level of decentralization in the country, the opportunity to partner with an active civil society and the private sector, and the critical role of central line departments in emergency response and recovery.

This three-year programme framework revolves around the following main thematic pillars:

  • Governance: The programme will support coordination arrangements at both national and local levels. Restoration of operational capacity of Local Government Units (LGUs) to manage recovery efforts is a key area of emphasis. The programme will assist LGUs in strengthening accountability and transparency mechanisms for recovery. Recovery Resource Centres (RRCs) in five programming hubs will provide a coordination and communication platform that will bring together the LGUs, line departments, affected communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector and the international organizations. The programme will also assist communities in accessing basic services such as solid waste collection and support for recovery.       
  • Livelihoods: Restoring livelihoods and helping people start rebuilding their lives is at the heart of this framework. This will be done through immediate support in the form of cash for work for debris clearance incorporating recovery/recycling. Immediate assistance will be complemented by support to livelihood diversification efforts such as inclusive market development, value-chain development and development of a competitiveness strategy. Over the medium term, the programme will help develop policies for moving the priority sectors toward sustained growth and expanding the value addition that accrues to typhoon-affected people and enterprise.
  • Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Environment: The programme will focus on improving the early warning systems, emergency preparedness and response capacities in the Visayas. Support will be provided to mainstream disaster risk reduction in key sectors of recovery as well as development planning. A key element of the programme is support to restoration of critical ecosystem services and ecological assets.

The TRRV will contribute to the Government’s Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY). UNDP’s programme will cover a subset of priority municipalities identified under the Yolanda “corridor” or “avenue” by the government. The implementation of activities included under this framework will require US$ 65 million.

Our Results

Highlights of our results as of March 2014:

  • 39,886 vulnerable people have secured temporary jobs clearing debris 36 percent are women. In-line with government policy, the workers earn a minimum wage. They are selected in coordination with local authorities and community leaders to ensure that the job opportunities are available to those that need it most. They are paid weekly, and each person is employed for up to 15 days.
  • UNDP has positioned 65 chainsaws and ten mobile sawmills in four locations: Tacloban, Guiuan, Ormoc and Roxas. With the typhoon having felled or damaged around 33 million coconut trees, there is an opportunity now to turn this debris into livelihoods.
  • 1,858 vulnerable people, with a focus on women, are enrolled in skills training efforts focused on carpentry, masonry, electrical, and plumbing. This will enable them to develop the skills to rebuild and repair their own shelters and other community infrastructure, and to seek jobs in the booming building sector.
  • A UNDP-supported scoping mission on establishing a national aid management tracking system for the Yolanda response has concluded. Drawing on the experiences of Indonesia in using the Recovery Aceh-Nias database, the mission provided recommendations for creating an information management system, which will serve as the government's transparency tool. Work is now underway to operationalize a proposed system.

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Latest UNDP Results
General programme update

as of March 2014

More results
Before and after photos: Our Work 100 days after Typhoon Haiyan
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Related Video

Video: UNDP launches Cash-for-Work in the Philippines

Related Documents
  • Strategic Response Plan (SRP) English
  • SRP Fact Sheet English
  • Gov't. of the Philippines: Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) English
  • Disaster risk reduction makes development sustainable: A Call for Action English