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Looking Back: Typhoon Yolanda

Give2Asia reports back to the public on projects funded in response to disasters.

In 2013, Typhoon Yolanda (also know as Typhoon Haiyan) struck the Philippines and was the deadliest typhoon in the country’s history. Over six thousand people lost their lives and over 1 million people’s homes were damaged, displacing over 600,000 people. Here is how Give2Asia’s local partners engaged in the response.



Disaster Strikes the Philippines

On November 7th, 2013 Typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines with gusts of up to 235 mph. While the Philippines is no stranger to the power of tropical storms, it was not prepared for the devastating effects of Typhoon Yolanda, which was one of the strongest storms ever recorded. The fact that the Philippines is comprised of over 7,000 islands leaves the country particularly vulnerable to strong winds and storm surges. In the Philippines, a vast number of inhabitants live in areas with poor infrastructure and housing, which made Typhoon Yolanda especially dangerous. In the wake of Yolanda’s destruction, thousands lost their lives, 4.1 million people were left displaced from their homes, and 6 million workers were left without means to support their livelihood.

Typhoon Yolanda caused severe damage to some of the Philippines biggest sources of income, destroying coconut farms all over the islands, leaving over a million coconut farmers without a means to support themselves as they’ve had to wait years for their farms to recover. The typhoon also greatly affected local fisheries, which is one of the Philippines most important sectors, employing 1.6 million people.

Many families lost everything during Typhoon Yolanda and were left struggling once the storm was over. The lack of options for transitional and permanent housing prolonged the displacement for many families, many of which are still trying to recover.

Actions Taken: Recovery Projects Funded Through Give2Asia

Give2Asia knows how important the mid- to long-term recovery phases can be following natural disasters like Typhoon Yolanda. Generous contributions from the Give2Asia donors funded multiple projects in response to Typhoon Yolanda. Two of these projects focused on the community of Maliwaliw, which was one of the hardest hit during the storm.


Project 1: Building Back Better in Maliwaliw: Family-Driven House Construction 2015 Grant

The hope in training builders on how to construct disaster-resilient houses is that it will improve the community’s resistance to future natural disasters in a sustainable and cost-efficient way. Housing is a crucial step in allowing families in Maliwaliw to focus on other essential matters like livelihood and the education of their children. So far with the help of our partner, Build Change, 31 of 49 houses have been built with the rest of the houses in various stages of construction. By having Build Change teach local community members carpentry and construction skills, the project offered these community members an opportunity to apply these skills by volunteering their labor hours.  The community’s volunteer hours helped the project reach more families than would have otherwise been possible, and also ensures that the community members can sustainably maintain what has been built in Maliwaliw.


Project 2: Building Lives and Livelihood of Typhoon Haiyan Affected Families in Maliwaliw, Salcedo, Eastern Samar

One of the livelihood projects that the Guiuan Development Foundation supported established sites for beekeeping. As the fishing grounds in Maliwaliw will take years to recover, these beekeeping sites will provide alternative sources of livelihood for families affected by the typhoon. Before the typhoon, no one in the community knew how to raise bees for honey production. Now, 10 local women have been trained on raising bees and a new business venture has been established in the community.

With the support of the Guiuan Development Foundation, the Maliwaliw community will continue to invest in alternative sources of livelihood. These community-based projects both bring the Maliwaliw community together and bring it closer to recovering from the effects of Typhoon Yolanda.

Final Disaster Overview

Typhoon Yolanda had a devastating effect on many communities in the Philippines. Give2Asia’s network raised funds and helped communities like Maliwaliw recover from Typhoon Yolanda and prepare for future natural disasters. These funds have helped build new disaster-resilient homes, trained contractors and builders, and supported livelihood programs. Give2Asia’s donors have helped build more resilient communities by investing in long-term recovery efforts.

We hope that ongoing investments in disaster preparedness will reduce the impacts of future disasters in vulnerable countries like the Philippines. There are many projects in need of funding which focus entirely on disaster preparedness. Please review them through our Disaster Preparedness Catalog and consider funding one of these initiatives to contribute to the future well-being of vulnerable regions in Asia.


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