Humanitarian aid has saved lives of hundreds of thousands, yet more assistance needed for full recovery

Humanitarian aid has saved lives of hundreds of thousands, yet more assistance needed for full recovery

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Holly Frew

CARE has reached more than 318,000 people with food, shelter and livelihood support. Women play powerful role to help families get back on their feet

MANILA — (Nov 7, 2014) — One year after one of the strongest storms ever recorded hit the Philippines, hundreds of thousands of people have started rebuilding their homes, yet communities continue to need support to fully recover their livelihoods.

“It is commendable how swift the local communities have started the construction of their destroyed houses despite the enormous challenges”, says Alexandra Maclean, CARE’s Country Director in the Philippines. “Typhoon Haiyan left nearly four times as many people homeless as the Indian Ocean tsunami. It hit one of the poorest regions of the country, wiping out coconut farms, rice fields, fishermen’s equipment and people’s businesses.”

In total, more than 16 million people are affected by Haiyan’s impact, twice the population of London or New York City.  

Women are at the forefront of communities’ rebuilding efforts. They have taken on new roles to lead the recovery of their families and their villages.

“It is exciting to observe the strong role many local women have taken on. CARE empowers women entrepreneurs by providing financial assistance so they can restore their small businesses such as groceries stores, vegetable gardens, rice farms or food stalls,” said Maclean.  “At the same time, we train women in techniques to build back safer houses and they pass on this knowledge within their communities, helping others to have a safe roof over their heads. Women are determined to get back on their feet and it is our role to help them do it.”

Dina Quano is a young mother of two, who received shelter materials and a cash grant from CARE. With the help of CARE, she rebuilt her house, expanded her piggery and restored her farm.  

“The disaster was harsh, but surviving it has also inspired me to dream again. I want to finish my education, so I could find better work and my kids can be proud of me,” Quano said

Over the past twelve months, CARE and its local partners reached 318,000 people with life-saving food, shelter support and financial assistance for livelihoods. “Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we have exceeded our initial target. We are now in the crucial phase to help people get a stable income again and protected them from future natural disasters”, Maclean adds. “At the same time, 95,000 families are still living in unsafe makeshift shelters during the current typhoon season. We need more durable solutions to protect people’s lives and help them earn a living.”

CARE is committed to support local communities for the next two years, yet need more funding is needed to ensure they fully recover from Haiyan’s long lasting impact.

“CARE has raised $27 million from the public, corporate and government donors for its emergency response to survivors of typhoon Haiyan. Yet we are still $3 million short of our fundraising goal of $30 million,” Maclean says.

Almost $15 million have been spent on food, shelter, household supplies and livelihood cash grants and the remaining funds will cover the costs for rebuilding stronger communities up to 2016.

Media contact:

Holly Frew, Emergency Communications Officer,, +1.770.842.6188



About CARE: CARE has worked in the Philippines since 1949, providing emergency relief and helping communities prepare for disasters. CARE’s past responses in the Philippines have included Typhoon Bopha in 2012 and Typhoon Ketsana in 2009. Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience delivering emergency aid during times of crisis. Our emergency responses focus on the needs of the most vulnerable populations, particularly girls and women.


CARE reached 300,000 with life-saving aid, and is focusing on helping families rebuild their lives. © PHOTO: Tom Platzer/CARE