3 November 2014 - A year since Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, Christian Aid and its partner organisations continue to help affected communities and have reached more than 290,000 people with much-needed immediate food and shelter, as well as new means of earning an income.
On Friday 8th November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan – the strongest ever storm to make landfall – hit the Philippines, affecting more than 14 million people and forcing a further four million from their homes. An estimated 6,000 were killed.
Many faced an uncertain future after their ways of earning a living, namely fishing and coconut farming, were destroyed. In some areas, 95 per cent of coconut trees were demolished and the majority of boats were wrecked. It will take years for communities to fully recover.
Christian Aid and its partners are working with communities for the long-term, not only with income generation, such as vegetable growing, pig rearing, seaweed farming, and fishing, but also with schooling for children, community kitchens to provide nutritional meals, and psychosocial support for people who still struggle to come to terms with what happened. Communities and local governments are being encouraged to help themselves to build back better and stronger, and prepare for, and be more resilient against, future disasters.
Christian Aid’s Head of Humanitarian, Nick Guttmann, who travelled to the region days after Haiyan hit and recently revisited, said: “Last year, I witnessed utter devastation and immense personal suffering. Last week I returned to the same areas and saw massive changes - all the debris has been cleared away, electricity and telecommunications are back up and running, everyone had received some form of support and huge building and reconstruction work is taking place. It looked completely different.
“People are doing whatever they can to bring back normality but many don’t have jobs, the coconut harvest is a mere 10 per cent of what it was before the typhoon. Millions still live in makeshift shelters as it takes years to rebuild over a million homes.”
To date, Christian Aid’s Typhoon Haiyan Appeal has raised more than £2.8 million, with thanks to the generosity of the British public.
If you would like further information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson please contact Jo Rogers on 0207 523 2460 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950
HAIYAN COMMEMORATION – SPOKESPEOPLE AVAILABLE
Christian Aid’s Head of Humanitarian, Nick Guttmann is available for interview in London. He was in the Philippines (Tacloban, Eastern Samar, Leyte and Iloilo) immediately after Typhoon Haiyan struck, and has recently revisited the area to see how communities are recovering.
Christian Aid’s Linda Tiongco is available for interview in Manchester. Linda was also in the Philippines during the aftermath of Haiyan, and has previously lived in the Philippines.
Christian Aid’s Melanie Hargreaves (UK-based) and Ted Bonpin (Philippines-based) are currently in the Philippines (visiting Eastern Samar, Tacloban and Iloilo), and are available for interview.
Melanie is revisiting affected communities one year on, meeting people who are now starting new jobs to earn an income, have received immediate food and shelter support in the aftermath and much-needed psychosocial support to recover from witnessing, and living through, Typhoon Haiyan. She will also be joining the Filipino COP delegate Yeb Sano on the last day of his 1000km climate walk into Tacloban on Saturday 8th November (commemoration date of the typhoon).
Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire
5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk