In the six months since Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines affecting more than 12 million people across nine regions, Food for the Hungry (FH) has worked alongside Filipinos to start rebuilding. If you were one of the many who helped to support our work, here is an update of how you’ve made a difference!
From the Start…
Since Typhoon Haiyan’s devastation on November 8, 2013, FH began supporting the immediate needs of these 15 communities in the Samar Province, beginning with distributing two-week food rations to more than 4,400 households. A total of 5,818 families also received blankets, sleeping mats, kitchen kits, hygiene kits, a flashlight, water containers and a bucket.
In efforts to restart the area’s fishing industry, a boat maker was contracted to build 46 motorized boats and 200 paddle boats, which were distributed in April and May. Other fishing supplies, such as crab nets, ropes and anchors, were given to fisherman to a return to work.
FH also helped 1,880 community members regain their livelihoods by providing cash for work programs that paid men and women to help in debris removal from Typhoon Haiyan and community clean-up activities. Other livelihood programs included supplying rice/vegetable seeds and tools to farmers for growing food for income and household consumption.
To help children, FH opened 35 child-friendly spaces (CFS) to provide protection, education and psychosocial care for children ages 3-17. With many homes and schools destroyed and streets filled with unsafe debris, more than 4,600 children continue to find a safe respite in CFSs to play games, receive counseling and participate in a learning environment until school resumes.
Six Months Later…
Now FH continues to work alongside these 15 communities, moving from relief aid to long-term rehabilitation and rebuilding. FH is working with local leadership teams to oversee community recovery and development programs.
“Our goal in any area where Food for the Hungry is involved is always to work alongside the communities to give them tools and resources, whether material or training or otherwise, so they can take full ownership of their community’s rebirth,” said Beth Allen, FH staff. “In the case of Samar, part of that means helping families rebuild their livelihoods, but it also means helping the communities become better prepared in case of another disaster.”
During the next phase of FH’s involvement, training will be provided to leadership teams in project planning, management, advocacy and governance skills, to support redeveloping agriculture and fishing industries. FH will also form disaster risk management committees creating strategies for various disaster scenarios.
Thanks to support from you and others, the 15 communities in the Samar Province are rebuilding their lives and have hope for a better future.