Philippines Red Cross Ceaseless Recovery & Renewal 2 Years After Yolanda

5:23:00 AM

Two years after Haiyan (local name Yolanda), the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has helped tens of thousands of affected families to get back their livelihoods, built safer, more disaster resilient homes and classrooms, and given people access to improved health and sanitation facilities and services.

As of end of October, 884,228 people have benefitted from PRC’s Haiyan Recovery Program which includes services ranging from shelter, livelihood, cash relief assistance, water and sanitation, hygiene promotion, and rehabilitation of classrooms.

More than 66,000 families now have safer, more disaster resilient homes in typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) affected areas, as the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has already completed 86 percent of its target number of homes to be built in its shelter project under its typhoon Haiyan recovery program.  

As of date, a total of 66,011 families were provided shelter out of the target 80,203, which is targeted to be completed until the end of 2016. This is the largest ever shelter assistance that the Red Cross has provided in any post-disaster operations locally and globally, in terms of number of houses built and amount of shelter assistance provided. 

“What we are doing is not just building shelter for the families affected. More importantly, we are giving them back their dignity, which is why families are involved from the beginning in the process of building their homes,” said Richard Gordon, chairman and CEO of the PRC.

“The success of our Haiyan operations would not have been possible without the support of our partners in the Red Cross Red Crescent (RCRC) Movement and private partners who have generously contributed to help alleviate the suffering of those whose lives have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Because of the massive destruction caused by Haiyan, there was also a massive outpouring of support that came to us that helped restore people’s lives and dignity,” said PRC chairman Richard Gordon.

In building shelter, the PRC involves the community in all aspects of the building process. The beneficiaries themselves were part of the consultations regarding designs and plans for the shelters that the Red Cross and its partners were to build for them. Beneficiaries are even involved in the actual building of the houses. 

Houses built trough the PRC housing project were built employing the “build back better” principle for disaster resilience and have been proven to withstand some of the strongest typhoons that came after Yolanda. 

To date, PRC’s Haiyan Recovery program has built 66,011 homes out of the target 80,203 or 86 percent of the target number of houses to be built, amounting to around 2.2 billion pesos. The Red Cross Haiyan shelter program is spread across nine Haiyan-affected provinces: Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Iloilo, Leyte, Palawan, and Western Samar.  

The housing project is supported by PRC’s partners in the International Red Cross Red Crescent (RCRC) Movement, composed of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and several National Societies. 

During the emergency phase, the Red Cross was able to provide emergency cash relief assistance to 90,779 families, the biggest ever cash transfer programming operations in the RCRC Movement history after an emergency or disaster. A total of PhP 281,529,400 or USD 6,256,208 was disbursed to affected families in a matter of four months from December 2013 to March 2014. Unconditional cash relief given per family ranged from PhP2,000 to PhP5,000.

RCRC National Societies involved in the Haiyan housing project include Finnish Red Cross, Spanish Red Cross, German Red Cross, Hong Kong Red Cross, Taiwan Red Cross, French Red Cross, Japanese Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross, British Red Cross, American Red Cross, Australian Red Cross, Netherlands Red Cross, Palang Merah Indonesia (PMI) or Indonesian Red Cross, Qatar Red Crescent Society, Swiss Red Cross, and Bahrain Red Crescent. 

PRC’s private partners that have contributed to the housing project include Air Asia, HSBC, CUBE, Citibank, and AusAID.

Provision of shelter was augmented with livelihood assistance in the form of livelihood cash grants that beneficiaries used to start a new livelihood source or restart their lost livelihood. As of date, 59,218 families out of the target 62,289 households or 95 percent of the target number of beneficiaries, have been provided with livelihood assistance through conditional cash grants. The total amount of livelihood assistance to date is P592,180,000.

Aside from housing and livelihood, PRC also focused on health, sanitation and education. Through the Haiyan recovery operations, there are now 32 schools with improved access to water and sanitation facilities and 38 health facilities that have been repaired and reconstructed, which will cater to 222,618 individuals based on the population of the area.  

The education sector was not left behind as the Red Cross also focused on restoring classrooms so students can go back to their classes. As of date, 410 classrooms have already been rehabilitated and reconstructed, of which 39,165 students have benefitted. There were also 5,083 students who have received school kits from the Red Cross.

PRC chairman Richard Gordon also talked about the latest updates on how Philippine Red Cross will make saving lives of the people in need much more efficient and fast especially if they need to send relief goods or help to OFWs who are experiencing domestic violence. 

Watch the video of the Presscon here:

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