Restoring Livelihoods Essential to Boost Typhoon Haiyan Recovery

Restoring Livelihoods Essential to Boost Typhoon Haiyan Recovery

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Three months since Typhoon Haiyan slammed the Philippines, humanitarian organization CARE is increasingly concerned too many survivors remain without the means to meet their basic needs.

This month, CARE will expand its emergency programming to focus on helping vulnerable families restore such livelihoods as vegetable farming, rice production, fishing and other income-generating activities.

The disaster, which hit the island nation last November 8 and 9, affected some 5.9 million workers, 2.6 million of whom have been identified as most vulnerable.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Haiyan caused $723 million in total damages to agriculture. This includes $629 million in damages to crops, livestock and fisheries. An estimated 33 million coconut trees were also either damaged or destroyed, affecting more than 1 million farmers.

“This region has long been considered one of the poorest parts of the country. Typhoon Haiyan made this situation much worse,” says Lex Kassenberg, country director for CARE Philippines. “Imagine losing your only source of income and then losing your house at the same time. That’s what too many typhoon-affected families are living with right now, which makes it incredibly difficult to recover.”

As part of its programming, CARE will provide cash assistance to vulnerable families to restart previous livelihoods or diversify into new activities to earn an income. CARE will also work with its local partners to empower families with further training and support.

“The goal of CARE’s livelihood assistance is to enable families to meet their basic needs, while earning additional income for the future,” says Kassenberg. “Restarting livelihoods is essential to help survivors feed their families and rebuild their homes.”

This livelihood programming is meant to complement CARE’s other emergency activities taken since the typhoon struck three months ago. CARE has been working with partners to deliver emergency assistance to a total of 250,000 people in three areas of the Philippines: Leyte, Samar and Panay.

So far, these operations have reached more than 200,000 people. CARE has provided food relief to more than 185,000 people, emergency shelter material (tools, tarps, kitchen sets and other items) to more than 36,000 people, and high quality shelter repair kits including corrugated metal sheeting, tools and other necessary material plus an additional cash supplement to more than 3,800 people.

About CARE:

CARE has worked in the Philippines since 1949, providing emergency relief and helping communities prepare for future 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. Last year, CARE worked in 84 countries and reached more than 83 million people around the world.

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Carpenter Francisco Parado working on the frame of a new house for a family of four who lost their home in the typhoon.