typhoon Haiyan

Oxfam Assessment Team survey the impact of Typhoon Haiyan, just days after it hit in Samar, Philippines. Photo: Jire Carreon/Oxfam

Blog: Yolanda on My Mind: The Odyssey of a Humanitarian Worker

Five years since Super Typhoon Haiyan, the worst storm ever to hit the Philippines, here are the critical lessons learned. Through your generous support, we've been to reach more than 850,000 people with humanitarian aid. How amazing is that - thank you!

Photo: Cyclone Pam hits Vanuatu, via 350 on Flickr

Blog: Vanuatu’s impassioned plea at Sendai – why the world needs to take bold action on disaster risk reduction

This morning, the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) opened in Sendai, Japan. His Excellency Mr. Baldwin Lonsdale, the President of Vanuatu delivered an emotional opening statement, a wake-up call for the international community - the current status quo in disaster risk reduction efforts is failing the world’s most vulnerable nations and communities.

Oxfam water facility, after Typhoon Haiyan. Anibong district, Tacloban, Philippines. September 2014. Photo: Simon Roberts/Oxfam

Blog: One year after Haiyan hit the Philippines: #MaketheRightMove

When super-typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, it devastated the country, killing 6,000 people and displacing 4.1 million others. Yet Lan Mercado, Deputy Regional Director in Oxfam Asia, saw opportunities for social transformation in Yolanda’s wake. Have they materialized?

Rebuilding Tacloban's waterfront after Typhoon Haiyan. Photo: Oxfam

Blog: Let the anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan stir the world to high ambition on climate change

It’s been one year since super-Typhoon

Felisa with a sign announcing the construction of permanent housing

Blog: After Haiyan – moving in the right direction?

When typhoon Haiyan hit the central Philippines last November, killing more than 6,000 people and destroying millions of people’s houses and livelihoods, people like fisherman Lionel Advincula, from Barangay Bislig in Tanauan municipality, Leyte province, found themselves having to make some tough choices.

One of the most pressing priorities for the father-of-nine was to find shelter and to rebuild his damaged house.  It stood just 20 metres from the coast and was totally destroyed.

On the road, Northern Cebu. Photo: Vincent Malasador/Oxfam

Blog: I’ve seen how climate change makes people hungry - We must act now

Typhoon Haiyan, the biggest storm to ever make landfall, devastated my homeland. Three days later I attended the opening of the UN climate change talks in Poland.

A sign of the incredible resilience of the Philippines, after Typhoon Haiyan.

Blog: The art of saying "Thank you"

We might feel aggrieved when we’ve gone out of our way to do something for someone and receive no word of thanks afterwards. I’m sure most of us have felt that way and have been equally guilty of failing to say ‘thank you’ at some time. But working as part of Oxfam’s emergency response team my colleagues and I don’t expect to receive any thanks from the people we work with. It’s our job and it’s their right to receive help during the worst of times - when a disaster has devastated their lives, families, homes, communities, countries. 

The simple saw helps the Philippines recover the ‘tree of life’

Blog: The simple saw helps the Philippines recover the ‘tree of life’

Typhoon Haiyan caused widespread damage to livelihoods. Among the worst affected, was coconut farming with millions of trees being uprooted, damaged or destroyed.

One coconut farmers association estimated the damage to be around 98%. Dubbed as the “tree of life”, it takes between five to seven years for a coconut tree to become productive so recovery will take a long time.

A small makeshift stall with a large Santa, Christmas tree and festive decorations strung along the front.

Blog: Philippines: Christmas after Typhoon Haiyan - rise up, stand up

On Bantayan Island, North Cebu, I find a home made ukulele. When I play it the crowd of people around me start singing ‘We wish you a merry Christmas’. I’m not sure who’s the most surprised. Christmas is big in the Philippines. In Cebu City there’s a sign ‘The twelve weeks of Christmas’. They’re not joking. Christmas is normally the biggest event of the year, but this is not a normal year.

One month after Typhoon Haiyan: Rebuilding a just and resilient society

Blog: One month after Typhoon Haiyan: Rebuilding a just and resilient society

This post was written by Lan Mercado, Oxfam’s Deputy Regional Director in Asia. She served as Oxfam’s Country Director in the Philippines from 2001-2009. It was written with contributions from Shaheen Chugtai, Deputy Head of Oxfam’s Humanitarian and Security Issues Team, and research from Paht Tan-Attanawin, Oxfam Project Officer.


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