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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 860,000 people with life-saving support since Typhoon Haiyan devastated large areas of the Philippines on 8 November 2013.

If you have donated to this appeal, thank you - you helped to raise £5 million to help us save lives.

Oxfam Emergency Response is a special fund which allows us to respond rapidly to natural disasters and emergency situations like Typhoon Haiyan. Donate today and help us respond around the world, around the clock.

Donate to Oxfam Emergency Responsel 

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.

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.

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 aftermath of the hurricane, contaminated water was putting people's lives at risk. Our first priority was to provide clean, safe water to drink through tanks, pumps, pipes and by trucking water in. Sanitation was also a key issue. We built toilets, keeping them clean and maintaining the sewage system. We also built washing and laundry facilities and provided essential hygiene equipment.

Helping people get food and earn a living

The devastation Haiyan caused to people's livelihoods was immense - it badly affected their ability to work and earn a living. 74% of the fishing communities in areas affected by the storm lost their main source of income. In the short term, we provided people with emergency income so they could buy food and other essentials, like clothes and materials to repair their homes or recover their businesses. We've supported 107,000 families in the form of cash, vouchers or cash for work. We have given direct help to affected communities in coconut farming, seaweed farming, fishing and rice farming, such as:

  • Training and equipment for 9,000 families who work in coconut farming.
  • Helping more than 2,200 fishing families to repair their boats by establishing boat repair stations and providing training, materials and cash for work.
  • Providing fishing materials to more than 3,000 families who lost all their fishing materials in the storm, such as nets, hooks, crab nets, fish drying equipment.
  • Helped more than 800 families who rely on seaweed farming, by providing materials and training to make essential repairs to equipment. We also offered cash for work clearing debris from the community and mangroves, so that families can afford to buy their own new equipment.

Advocacy and other support

Since Typhoon Haiyan, Oxfam has published several reports to give a perspective on the situation in typhoon-affected regions, and insight and recommendations on how best to continue reconstruction. This includes recommendations for the rehabilitation of the coconut and fisheries industry, relocation and resettlement, and land tenure. Our #MAKEtheRIGHTMOVE campaign calls on the government to get resettlement and rehabilitation efforts right, and immediately put in place their disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation plans.

The emergency phase of our response provided life-saving support to millions. But challenges remain in the transition to long term development.

One year on - summary of Oxfam's reponse (PDF, 1.45MB)

Other ways to help