Two Years After Yolanda: PRC’s Haiyan Recovery Program

Philippine Red Cross is more than just providing blood to those who are in need. They play a big role in disaster, relief and operation. A couple of weeks ago, we remembered the tragic brought about by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the Philippines. We recognize individuals, NGO and government agencies' efforts to help the provinces hit by typhoon Haiyan, one of them is Philippine Red Cross.

Back in 2000, I went to Nueva Vizcaya and joined a group of graduating nurses to serve a community in the province. Unlike disaster and relief operations, we did community nursing. Philippine National Red Cross was then our home. The team was very professional, skilled and dedicated to their line of duty. I also learned extensive first aid training from Red Cross in Manila.

Back to Haiyan, Red Cross provided immediate need from medication, food, medical needs to typhoon aftercare support like livelihood projects to make them recover. Red Cross even provided moral support to the victims to give strength and hope. They set up food trucks for victims and give relief when they leave the evacuation center.

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 benefited 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.

“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.

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.

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.