Typhoon Haiyan: World Vision responds to devastation in the Philippines

By Chris Huber and Holly Frew, World Vision U.S.; with contributions from Aaron Aspi and Crislyn Felisilda, World Vision Philippines.

Typhoon Haiyan, reported by media outlets as one of the strongest tropical cyclones in recorded history, made landfall on November 8 in Samar, central Philippines.

World Vision has an emergency response in progress to help vulnerable children and families affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

World Vision has already assisted more than 145,000 people with emergency supplies of food, clean water, and essential non-food items. Eventually, World Vision aims to help 400,000 people in Cebu, Samar, Leyte, Iloilo, Capiz, Antique, and Aklan.

Millions of people affected by Typhoon Haiyan

Nearly 6,000 people in the central Philippines were killed, and millions more were affected and displaced after Typhoon Haiyan left a wake of utter destruction.

About 9.5 million people were impacted, according to the UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Haiyan wreaked havoc on the country’s telecommunications, agriculture, and transportation infrastructure, delaying recovery and relief efforts.

The greatest immediate needs for typhoon survivors are food, clean water, and temporary shelter.

A massive response

World Vision launched one of its largest relief operations in five decades of ministry in the Philippines to help nearly 400,000 people affected by the disaster.

More than 200 local staff members mobilized to help provide food, blankets, mosquito nets, tarps, hygiene kits, and emergency shelter.

World Vision’s key response areas are:

  • Emergency food
  • Livelihood restoration
  • Child-Friendly Spaces
  • Shelter and nonfood items (blankets, cooking kits, etc.)
  • Water, sanitation, and hygiene
  • Health and nutrition

A place for children to heal

Child-Friendly Spaces — areas where children can play, learn, and begin to recover from their experience in a safe environment — are a large part of World Vision’s unique response to disasters like Typhoon Haiyan.

Child-Friendly Spaces are important for parents, too, giving them “a chance to relax and relate to each other while the children are playing with toys and having fun,” says World Vision’s child protection specialist, Patrick Sooma.

World Vision opened its first Child-Friendly Space on November 20 in Tabugon, northern Cebu. At least 400 children played and took part in activities in tent spaces set up on the grounds of the Somosa Elementary School, which was badly damaged by the storm.

Forty Child-Friendly Spaces are slated to open in the communities hit hardest throughout the central Philippines.

35,000 sponsored children impacted

The storm affected more than 40,000 sponsored children in 20 development project areas where World Vision works, including Bohol, which was badly damaged by last month’s earthquake. U.S. donors sponsor more than 5,600 of those children, in Leyte and Antique.

Josaias dela Cruz, World Vision national director in the Philippines, appeals for a compassionate global response. “Please continue to uphold in prayer our responding staff and the suffering people in the Visayas and other typhoon-stricken areas. Now is the time to join our hearts, extend our helping hands, and work together to rebuild and uplift our fellow people’s lives.”

Help now

Please pray that children would be protected from sickness, fear, accidents, and exploitation. Also pray for ongoing relief efforts, for aid workers who risk their own safety to help others, and for rebuilding projects and long-term plans for recovery.

Sponsor a child in the Philippines. When a disaster like Typhoon Haiyan strikes, sponsorship provides a child and entire community with life-saving basics and resilience in the aftermath.

Make a one-time donation to World Vision’s Philippines Disaster Response Fund. Your contribution will help us deliver life-saving assistance in the aftermath of sudden-onset emergencies in the Philippines, including Typhoon Haiyan.

Learn more

View additional images of the storm’s aftermath and World Vision’s distributions on the World Vision magazine site.

Give to the Philippines Disaster Relief Fund.

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