Philippines Typhoon Appeal

Photo: Tessa Bunney

"Without Oxfam, we would be helpless." Generous donations to Oxfam helped Zosima and Francisco repair their damaged fishing boat and recover their seaweed farming business on Bantayan Island.

Oxfam has reached more than 730,000 people with life-saving support since Typhoon Haiyan devastated large areas of the Philippines on 8 November 2013.

Donate to the Philippines Typhoon Appeal 

If you have donated to this appeal, thank you - you helped to raise £5 million to help us save lives. If you haven't donated yet, please help us support people as they start to rebuild and recover.

The situation in the Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda as it's known locally) wreaked havoc across much of the central Philippines. In total, more than 8,000 people were killed, and more than four million people were forced from their homes.

In the short term, the typhoon left more than 14.1 million people in need of immediate, life-saving assistance. But it also pushed millions of poor people further into poverty and debt. Rice crops, coconut trees and fishing boats were wiped out, leaving people struggling to grow food and earn an income.

Donate to the Philippines Typhoon Appeal

Photo: Jane Beesley

Children fill buckets at an Oxfam tap stand in Tacloban. We worked with the local water department to repair and reconnect the local water supply, getting clean water to more than 200,000 people.

Philippines Typhoon: Oxfam's response

Our immediate response focused on Northern Cebu, Leyte and Eastern Samar. Our teams faced huge logistical challenges - roads were blocked, airports closed, and electricity and water supplies cut off. But, by the end of the first week, people devastated by the typhoon were already receiving life-saving supplies of water, food and shelter. 

We're now focusing on helping people get their livelihoods back, for example by repairing fishing boats or distributing rice seeds.

Photo: Simon Roberts

"Oxfam has given us the equipment, so let us help each other to succeed." Farmers like Crispin Miranda received chainsaws and training so they can clear land of fallen coconut trees, and sell the wood in local markets.

Water, sanitation and hygiene

In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, our priority was to prevent the spread of disease, by providing clean water, toilets and hygiene essentials. This includes:

  • Distributing more than 100,000 hygiene kits, so families can stay free of disease. Kits contain buckets, soap and clean underwear, as well as mosquito nets and sleeping mats.
  • Providing 81,000 water kits, containing a jerry can, bucket and water treatment materials, so families can drink clean, safe water.
  • Building or repairing 7,300 community toilets, so people can keep healthy and clean.
  • Helping communities, schools and hospitals to empty (or 'desludge') their pit latrines, as the pits dug in the immediate aftermath of the disaster have become full.

Helping people get food and earn a living

After the disaster hit, families were desperate for food. If local markets were open, we provided cash grants or cash in return for work such as clearing debris or removing rubbish. Cash gives people choice and control over their lives, and keeps the local economy going. We're also helping people earn a living again, so they can support and feed their families. For example:

  • Rice farming. We moved quickly to get rice seed to 7,700 farmers in Leyte, so they could replace crops destroyed by the typhoon.
  • Coconut farming. We're providing equipment such as chainsaws and training on marketing and business, so farmers can clear fields of fallen coconut trees and earn an income from selling the wood.
  • Fishing. Oxfam is working with fishing communities to rebuild boats and repair nets. We have established boat repair stations and more than 1,200 fishing families have had their boats repaired and registered for insurance.
  • Shelter and resettlement. Oxfam has worked with local partners to survey people affected by government relocation plans and used the findings to call on the government to ensure suitable and sustainable relocation solutions for vulnerable people are found.

Advocacy and other support

  • We're ensuring the needs of women are considered, for example by providing separate women-only washing areas, distributing special hygiene kits for mums of newborn babies, and prioritising pregnant women when providing support.
  • Many people lost ID documents which they need to claim health care and other benefits. We're working with local organisations and government agencies to simplify the claims process, so families get the support they need.
  • We're working with the Philippines government to make sure the recovery is focused on supporting the poorest people. For example, we're helping to improve plans for buildings designed for homeless families, so that they give families and women enough space and privacy.
  • We're also calling on the international community to ensure they make money available for a reconstruction effort that will last several years.

Other ways to help