Responding to typhoons in the Philippines


With help from UNDP, the residents of San Isido, like Sylva Consultado, 33, can focus on restarting their livelihoods rather than worry about food security. Photo: Anna Mae Lamentillo and Lesley Wright, UNDP Philippines

UNDP’s has been working for several years with all levels of government and the people of the Philippines in preparing for disasters likeTyphoon Haiyan which made landfall on 8 November 2013. With record winds and sea surges, the storm caused massive damage and casualties in 9 regions of the Philippines, affecting almost 15 million people and displacing 4 million.

In the immediate aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, UNDP and partners launched an Early Recovery Programme, which began with emergency employment cash-for-work in debris and waste removal in the most affected areas.

Highlights

  • Since the India Ocean Tsunami of 2004 to Typhoon Yolanda a little over a year ago, UNDP has promoted many types of disaster risk management policies and practices in the Philippines and across the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Evacuation routes, shelters and early warning systems are some of the key areas that UNDP has worked on developing with national and local governments.
  • More than half a million people were moved to safety in shelters with adequate food and water during Typhoon Hagupit, in December 2014.

Within the span of a month, many of the main streets were cleared of storm debris, which enabled relief workers full access to reach typhoon-affected residents, and kick start the recovery and rebuilding process.

With support from the European Union, UNDP undertook the construction of transition housing for families living in tents, and encouraged the use of coco-lumber (from coconut trees which fell during the typhoon, leading to clearing of lands for replanting and inter-cropping) for the construction.

These homes are designed to be resistant to disaster, as was witnessed during Typhoon Hagupit which made landfall on 6th Decembert 2014. UNDP will now see how this coco-lumber-for-housing can be fast tracked to also contribute to rapidly repairing homes damaged by Ruby

Our objective even before Haiyan and now Hagupit has been to support national and local governments in vulnerable regions develop stronger protection systems so that they can, together with communities, take responsibility for protecting peoples’ lives and livelihoods, and to reduce the damage from disasters.

Our experience in dealing with disasters and the robust evidence we have gathered from how to deal with disasters has allowed us to invest heavily in developing and sharing innovative solutions to reduce risk and help local and national governments create and implement the best disaster management policies, that are proving useful now.

UNDP, along with other UN agencies, has supported the local situation assessments leading to early evacuations, particularly in the Eastern Visayas Region. Along with the rest of Typhoon-affected communities, more than half a million people have been moved to safety and are in shelters with adequate food and water.

The evacuation routes, shelters and early warning systems are some of the key areas that UNDP has worked on developing with national and local governments. Understanding hazard maps is also a critical area of work as it allows residents to understand the hazards and risk that affect their homes, livelihoods and lives. The fact that majority of affected areas had zero casualty is a testament to the work that has been done so far.

Since the India Ocean Tsunami of 2004 to Typhoon Haiyan a little over a year ago, UNDP has promoted many types of disaster risk management policies and practices in the Philippines and across the Asia-Pacific region.

Proceeds from the 11th Match Against Poverty, which took place on 4 March 2014 at the Stade De Suisse National Stadium in Bern, Switzerland, also helped support recovery efforts in the Philippines.

 

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Photo gallery
  • Police vans outside police station in the city of Borongan
  • n evacuated family in #Borongan, waits as #Philippines braces for the typhoon
  • A family waits inside a shelter in Borongan, Philippines after being evacuated ahead of Typhoon Hagupit/Ruby
  • Kids playing on bags of rice being unloaded at an evacuation shelter in Borongan, Philippines ahead of Typhoon Hagupit/Ruby
  • Borongan residents wait in one of the evacuation shelters set up to receive the one million typhoon-affected people who have fled coastal regions in the Philippines ahead of Typhoon Hagupit/Ruby, two days ahead of the Typhoon's landfalls.
  • Evacuated residents wait for rice distribution

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