Typhoon Rai - HI staff assessing a family's needs in Bohol Province | © Karmela Indoyon / HI
HI teams continue to assist people affected by Super Typhoon Rai, which slammed into the Philippines on 16 December.
Millions of people have been directly affected by Super Typhoon Rai (locally called Odette), which has left many without shelter, electricity, access to earning a living, or clean water. The passage of the typhoon, combined with 18 months of crisis linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, has generated a major humanitarian crisis in the impacted part of the Philippines. Following the onslaught of Typhoon Rai, HI deployed two teams to assess urgent humanitarian needs in the field. The organisation is now assisting disaster-affected people in the provinces of Surigayo City and Bohol, both devastated by the storm.
The violent typhoon caused much more damage than initially expected. More than 10 million people have been affected; around 1.7 million houses were damaged or destroyed and 10 million hectares of crops were ravaged in seven regions; 405 people were killed. Millions of families have been rendered homeless or live in extreme poverty, and 2.2 million workers have no income or have been directly affected.
HI Philippines assists disaster-affected people in several ways.
HI focuses its efforts on the most affected people, with particular attention to people with disabilities and vulnerable individuals. This includes older individuals and people with health complications, who are often left out of humanitarian responses or unable to access aid.
HI’s teams provide them with cash transfers and hygiene kits to enable them to meet their needs. Hygiene kits containing soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, sanitary towels, a bedpan, fabric masks and a jerrycan with a capacity of up to 20 litres of water help to respond to situations where there is no longer access to running water or sanitation facilities.
HI also distributes emergency shelter kits in the Bohol province, including sheets and tools along with home-repair equipment. The organisation additionally supplies solar-powered lamps, mosquito nets, bedding and cooking supplies. HI works in partnership with Shelter Box2 and in close conjunction with the local authorities.
“I can repair my home myself if I get construction materials. There’s nothing left here," says Raul Evardo, a stroke survivor, husband and father of two, whose house was literally blown away by the typhoon.
Raul stayed behind in his village while his wife and children went to Buenavista city where they work and study. Once the electricity is reconnected and he has dealt with his most pressing problems, he plans to start welding again and find a job to earn his living. One day, he also hopes to build a more robust house and put this nightmare behind him.