Typhoon Haiyan: Three Months Later

Four Months On: CARE's Emergency Work

Publication info


Your support in action

In response to the catastrophic storm that tore a path through the central Philippines on November 7 and 8, CARE has reached over 317,000 people with emergency assistance to date.

  • We completed distribution of emergency shelter kits, reaching over 125,000 people with shelter supplies and repair kits.
  • We provided kitchen sets, mosquito nets and other non-food items to replace those lost in the storm to 23,300 people.
  • We've provided almost 30,300 people with cash assistance to help them rebuild livelihoods lost in the storm
  • We've reached 252,000 people with food assistance.

Meeting immediate food needs

With close to 5.6 million people in need of lifesaving food aid, and 4.9 million children at risk of malnutrition, CARE began to deliver food to families on November 14, only a few days after the typhoon. In general, our food packets contain items, such as rice, corned beef, sardines, salt, sugar, monggo bans, cooking oil and dried fish. These items were chosen based on local diets and tastes, and the portions are adequate enough to feed a family of five for at least two weeks. 

Where markets have reopened, CARE has procured items locally, which helps revitalize the local economy. For example, in Penay, we have spent nearly $175,000 purchasing food and providing cash for the purpose of buying food, further assisting the regional recovery effort. 

Shelter from the storm

The typhoon tore the roofs off warehouses, churches and schools - and damaged or destroyed over 1 million homes. For many survivors, and the 4.1 million people who were displaced, finding safe shelter is an essential starting point to recovery. 2.6 million people still remain without durable shelter and are at risk in case of future severe weather.

That is why CARE is providing shelter assistance to families whose homes are heavily damaged or destroyed. These shelter repair kits include corrugated sheets, specialized nails, wire, mosquito screen, tools and other useful items meant to help people rebuild their homes to be stronger and sturdier. In addition, families have received an additional 3,000 pesos (roughly $68) to pay for labor and buy extra items they may need to rebuild.

Building back safer

Beyond distributing high-quality shelter repair kits, we're empowering families to repair and rebuild their homes stronger to face the next storm. This long-term "build back safer" approach involves training local carpenters and community members on improved building techniques to make homes sturdier, holding information sessions and having roving teams of local building experts available to offer helpful advice. 

Empowering local communities

As we respond to the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan, CARE and our partners are working closely with local communities to help them better prepare for the next disaster. 

Also, CARE is working with a number of local partners in our programming, as these partners best understand the needs of the local communities. At the same time, it is our goal to help develop the capacity of these partners so they can take more responsibility in the management of programming and strengthen their ability to respond to future disasters. 

Looking ahead: Helping people meeting their own needs

As local markets open and food is more available, CARE will look to scale back our food distribution and shift our focus to livelihood support. The goal is to help people meet their own food needs and earn additional income in the months ahead. 

The typhoon was devastating for local livelihoods. Some 5.9 million workers were affected, with their sources of income destroyed or disrupted. For example, the destruction of coconut trees - more than 33 million were damaged or destroyed - will have a serious impact on people's ability to earn a living, not only now but for years to come as it takes six to nine years for new coconut trees to become productive. Restoring livelihoods and helping people explore new opportunities for earning a living is essential.   

Working closely with our local partners, CARE is now helping vulnerable families with financial support to restore their livelihoods in vegetable farming, rice production, fishing and more, with the goal of helping families meet their basic needs while earning additional income. 

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People standing in line to receive items they lost in the typhoon - mosquito nets, blankets, flashlights, batteries, pots and pans. The distributions are carried out by CARE and our local partner ACCORD. At every distribution, there is a suggestion box and the whole community goes through the notes and discusses what can be done better next time. Often the little notes placed in the box read, "I love you" and "Thank you!"