Philippines Typhoons - 2012

In 2012, Oxfam and its humanitarian partners in the Philippines, the Humanitarian Response Consortium, targetted communities hardest-hit by Typhoon Bopha (known locally as Pablo) on the southern island of Mindanao.

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You can donate to Oxfam Canada's Emergency Response Fund here.

January 26, 2012

Oxfam and partners provide emergency response after Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines

December 21, 2012 - Oxfam and its humanitarian partners in the Philippines, the Humanitarian Response Consortium, are providing an emergency response targeting communities hardest-hit by Typhoon Bopha (known locally as Pablo) on the southern island of Mindanao.

Oxfam Canada is providing life-saving assistance to up to 25,000 typhoon-affected people in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, the two worst hit provinces, to ensure access to clean water, sanitation, shelter, food and other emergency relief items, specifically targeting the most vulnerable, including women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities.

Oxfam Canada’s help to 5,000 vulnerable families is enabled by $500,000 support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) through its International Humanitarian Assistance program.

Oxfam’s key priorities include getting clean, safe drinking water to disaster-hit areas, establishing basic sanitation facilities and providing cash and starting cash-for-work projects to help families buy food, clothing and other shelter needs.

Oxfam’s seven-month emergency response targets 12,000 families.  It is the biggest rural response the agencies have ever mounted in the Philippines.

“The needs are enormous. This impact of this disaster will take a very long time to recover from,” said Paul del Rosario, Oxfam’s humanitarian program coordinator.

“In the short term, we need to get people urgent help – basic shelter and access to safe water and food.  In the medium to longer term, we need to support families with livelihoods. Farming communities have been the worst hit and it could take many years for them to fully recover.”

The Humanitarian Response Consortium, supported by Oxfam, will initially target the devastated towns of New Bataan, Compostela and Laak, in Compostela Valley province; Baganga (where the typhoon first made landfall), Cateel and Boston in Davao Oriental province and Lingig in Surigao del Sur province after carrying out rapid technical assessments.

“Everything that we worked to build up has been destroyed,” said Fatima Espinosa, 36, mother of nine, Kadiwa village, Laak municipality, eastern Mindanao. “If the village captain hadn’t gathered everyone together during the typhoon, we probably wouldn’t be here right now.  Our homes have almost all been destroyed or washed away, except for a very few.   When you see the people in the community now, especially the younger children, it’s really difficult.”

Banana and coconut Farmer Richard Carado, a 39-year-old father of six said: “We will have to work very hard to try to recover from what’s happened.  It will take two years to probably recover…it took that time for all my crops to grow.  It will take two years to get back to how things were.”

Emergency teams immediately sent water treatment supplies, water, hygiene kits and emergency shelter supplies to the affected areas. There have been some logistical challenges with roads, bridges and communication lines affected but items are getting to where they’re most urgently needed.

The teams are also looking at repairing and rehabilitating damaged water systems and setting up waste disposal systems.

Although the Government and communities implemented extensive preparedness efforts which saved lives, CIDA reported about 6.2 million people have been affected, with 1,046 confirmed dead, and more than 2,662 reported injured. A total of 167,295 homes have been damaged, including 65,537 totally destroyed. In addition, the typhoon has damaged a number of bridges and roads. Many areas are still experiencing water and power supply interruptions. In addition, many local hospitals and health centres were badly damaged by the typhoon and are struggling to cope with the number of wounded and sick.

The Humanitarian Response Consortium, supported by Oxfam, is made up of A Single Drop for Safe Water; the Kadtuntaya Foundation Inc.; People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network and Rural Development Institute of Sultan Kudarat.

Donations can be made to Oxfam Canada's Emergency Response Fund.


 

Philippines—Typhoon Washi

December 2011 - More than 1 million people were affected. Thanks to generous donors and support from the Canadian International Development Agency, Oxfam provided life-saving assistance to thousands of families affected by Typhoon Washi that hit Northern Mindanao, Philippines, December 16, 2011. The typhoon caused landslides and flash floods in the middle of the night when most residents were asleep and most vulnerable, killing more than 1,200 people, injuring more than 4,600 and leaving thousands of families homeless.

Oxfam's assitance was designed to reach 35,000 people in the worst-hit cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. The typhoon caused landslides and flash floods in the middle of the night when most residents were asleep and most vulnerable, killing more than 1,200 people, injuring more than 4,600 and leaving thousands of families homeless. More than 1 million people were affected

Whole communities and masses of internally displaced persons were left in need of immediate, life-saving assistance including the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene promotion. In response, Oxfam is providing: 

  • Improved access to safe drinking water for at least 7,000 households
  • Better quality sanitation facilities through the construction of 80 latrine blocks, 40 shower blocks and 20 hand washing and laundry blocks in 20 evacuation centres, transitional sites and communities hosting evacuees
  • Mobilization and materials needed to implement public health campaigns to reduce risk of water-borne diseases

At least half of the beneficiaries are girls and women. Vulnerable groups Oxfam is targeting include urban poor whose homes used to stand along the tributaries of the Cagayan River, which severely overflowed and caused flash floods; families headed by women, wage labourers, and those without access to land. Priority is given to women, children, the disabled, the elderly and the poorest.

Within 24 hours of the crisis, Oxfam and our national partner, the Humanitarian Response Consortium (five local humanitarian organizations),  deployed rapid assessment teams to the two cities that had never experienced large-scale emergencies in the past. There was a severe water shortage, due to damage and contamination, and a need for assistance in coping with the emergency.

Oxfam Canada worked with Oxfam Great Britain, as it has in the past in other countries, in partnership with local organizations selected on the basis of their geographical focus, technical competence and practical experience responding to disasters, particularly with Oxfam.