Oxfam International Blogs - Philippines http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/tags/philippines philippines fr Yolanda on My Mind: The Odyssey of a Humanitarian Worker http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/81774 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Humanitarian workers are regularly confronted by difficult choices.</strong></p><p>What humanitarian worker hasn't been stuck in a situation where good intentions are not enough, in the face of bad or worse options? As a frontline emergency responder for almost ten years, I have been in situations where every decision or step I made had no easy answers.</p><p>With Yolanda, globally known as <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoon_Haiyan" rel="nofollow">Super Typhoon Haiyan</a>, we had to make the choice of trailing the powerful storm with the belief that people will need life-saving support. In so doing, staff were necessarily thrown in a vast sea of uncertainty. In the affected areas, we had to veritably knock on doors, asking who could offer us a place to stay or lend us vehicles, so that we could reach the hardest hit areas quickly. We had to step forward, then pivot when needed, and then step sideways - always having to trust that doing something is better than doing nothing.</p><h3>Yolanda’s staggering destruction</h3><p>Yolanda swept through eastern provinces of 591 towns and 57 cities in 44 of the country’s 80 provinces. The massive rainfall lasted until the midnight of Friday, and by the following day we flew in three rapid assessment teams to badly hit areas of Eastern Samar, Tacloban City, and, Northern Cebu.</p><p>My team in Davao spent our weekend in the office to monitor the development.&nbsp; Still vexed with what was going on, I came to an international conference in Davao where I was scheduled to deliver a talk.&nbsp;</p><p>Close to about 9 AM, I received a call from the Manila to pick up my plane ticket which would fly me to Cebu around 12 noon, where we established our base of operation, even as we struggled to connect with our assessment teams.</p><p><img alt="Typhoon Haiyan in numbers" title="Typhoon Haiyan in numbers" height="1200" width="1200" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/haiyan-in-numbers_final.jpg" /></p><p><strong>By Wednesday our response was rolling</strong> in Northern Cebu and Tacloban, but the situation in Eastern Samar was still largely unknown. By the following Saturday, I was asked to fly in to Borongan with a couple of staff of Morong Volunteers Emergency Response Team to scope the impact areas.</p><p>The destruction wrought by the strongest typhoon ever recorded in modern Philippine history has been staggering. In its wake, Yolanda had left at least 6,200 dead, 28,600 injured, 550,900 houses destroyed and 589,400 more were damaged.</p><p>The full monetary value of the impact of Yolanda range from USD13 to 14.5 billion. The estimated damage to agriculture was at $225 million.</p><p>From my perspective, this figure appears to be a small fraction of the actual losses but what was clear was that poorest villages bore the heaviest brunt.</p><p>Within the next three weeks, our global humanitarian team were fully set up.&nbsp; I went back to my post in Davao with all the harrowing experiences of the dead and missing, of devastated lives and livelihoods which will haunt me for years.</p><p><img alt="Oxfam response to Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)" title="Oxfam response to Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)" height="1200" width="1200" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/oxfam-response-1200x1200.jpg" /></p><h3>Transitioning from emergency- to long-term recovery responses</h3><p>About a year and a half after Yolanda hit, I was asked to manage the transition of our emergency response to long term recovery. At that time, only a tiny fraction of displaced families has been relocated to permanent shelters on safer grounds.&nbsp;</p><p>Minimum liveability standards – e.g., safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, affordable electricity services, proximity to health and education services and livelihood opportunities – still seemed to be beyond reach.</p><p>Displaced families were still uncertain over when and where they would be moved, as they have lived the lives of beneficiaries rather than stakeholders in finding lasting solutions.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Their perspectives were not represented</strong> in decision making processes that affected their lives in a profound sense. This, while they endured individual and community living which was marked by increasing insecurity and instability, with less access to income-generating opportunities, disrupted schooling and mobility, minimal protection from the elements, and minimal privacy and practical necessities for one’s bodily integrity, including sexual and reproductive health and well-being.</p><p>Indeed, the sheer scale of devastation brought about by Yolanda would challenge any government. With its complexities, Yolanda also forced aid agencies like Oxfam to confront the question that has animated the aid sector for a long time, which is, whether or not there is such a thing as ‘natural’ disasters.&nbsp; For sure there are unnatural events which could greatly challenge the ability of even some of the strongest countries.&nbsp;</p><p>What is clear is that disasters become inevitable if preparedness is lacking.</p><p><img alt="Typhoon Haiyan - rebulding homes" title="Typhoon Haiyan - rebulding homes" height="1084" width="1200" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="3" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/sharequote-1-final.jpg" /></p><h3>Building local leadership and capabilities</h3><p>The list of things to do on preparedness, which Oxfam has now been investing in heavily, include building local capabilities – of local governments and local NGOS – to mount a speedy and sizeable response.</p><p>Fully capable local humanitarian actors will ensure that the emergency response will be ‘as local as possible and only as international as necessary’.</p><p>It will also help keep international organisations like Oxfam stay focused on reinforcing and not replacing local systems, where we can deploy our expertise on compliance to humanitarian standards.</p><p><strong>Yolanda also forced us to <a href="https://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/blog/2013/12/after-haiyan-crucial-steps-in-the-path-to-recovery" rel="nofollow">re-think</a></strong><a href="https://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/blog/2013/12/after-haiyan-crucial-steps-in-the-path-to-recovery" rel="nofollow"> some of our strategies</a> on development programming which could potentially shrink our humanitarian footprint.</p><p>Top of this is a rational land use planning system which will move vital infrastructures, economic investments, and vulnerable communities away from geo-hazard areas.</p><p>To this I add that investing in sophisticated early warning system which could stretch the lead time for civil and military apparatuses to be able to kick off their contingency plans.</p><p><img alt="Typhoon Haiyan - preserving people&#039;s dignity" title="Typhoon Haiyan - preserving people&#039;s dignity" height="1093" width="1200" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="4" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/sharequote-2-final.jpg" /></p><h3>The role of the private sector</h3><p>Incentivising the entry of private sector into insurance markets should a matter of public policy priority so that losses could be mitigated when a discrete event like Yolanda becomes inevitable.&nbsp;</p><p>An increase on insurance coverage/penetration is inversely correlated with public spending for rehabilitation and recovery or reduces the tax burden on the people.</p><p>Damage to school buildings, public market, rural health clinics, bus terminals and similar infrastructural investments meant that recovering losses require painful tradeoffs in terms of what other basic services would have to be foregone such as primary health, education, and similar investments in development.</p><p>For private sector in particular, business continuity planning needs to be part of its operations to minimise disruptions which discrete events invariably entail which oftentimes reverberate into the rural economies.</p><h3>Are we ready for the next one?</h3><p>Steps such as land use planning, early warning system, risk transfers, and business continuity planning are what falls into the cracks between the highly compartmentalised zones of humanitarian and development discourses, where you have emergency preparedness and response on one hand and macroeconomics (e.g., fiscal stability, employment, and, inflation) on the other.</p><p>Today, as we celebrate the fifth anniversary of Yolanda, it is necessary to confront the difficult question: are we ready for the next one?</p><p><em>This entry posted on 8 November 2018, by Dante Dalabajan, Senior Manager of Oxfam in the Philippines where he manages a team of advisors and specialists on humanitarian and development programming, campaigning, and aid response.</em></p><p><em>Top photo: Scene from Oxfam Assessment Team while surveying the impact of Typhoon Haiyan, just days after it hit in Samar, Philippines. Credit: Jire Carreon/Oxfam</em></p><p><strong>Read more<br></strong></p><p><strong><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/tags/philippines">Blogs about Oxfam in the Philippines</a><br></strong></p><p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies" rel="nofollow"><strong>More on Oxfam's humanitarian work</strong></a></p><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Yolanda on My Mind: The Odyssey of a Humanitarian Worker</h2></div> Thu, 08 Nov 2018 14:12:38 +0000 Guest Blogger 81774 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/81774#comments Philippines: Mothers of Marawi hopeful after months of fear http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/81481 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Last year, residents of Marawi in the Philippines faced two major disasters: In May, they were uprooted by a violent siege and seven months later, they faced a deadly typhoon. Oxfam is supporting a consortium of local organizations who are helping families stay healthy and safe in the wake of these crises, rebuild their lives and prepare for future disasters.</p><h3>Mothers caught in conflict keeping their families safe</h3><p>It is difficult for a mother to see her children in any kind of pain. The mothers of Marawi City, Philippines however, have witnessed their children endure crisis, only to be hit by another while still reeling and away from home.</p><p>When single mother Nashima Potawan, 47, heard gunshots and bombings during the siege last spring, she immediately hurried each of her four children to different parts of their house. "<i>I brought one of my children to the bathroom. Then, I held the youngest. I brought the other one to the living room and the other in the bedroom. So if ever a bomb would come, there will be survivors. Not all of us would die,</i>” Nashima said.</p><p>In another part of the city, Bailo Bazar comforted her three children who were shaking in fear. She was struggling to stop the youngest from crying. “<i>My youngest child was crying, and my uncle said, ‘Stop him from crying. We must pretend that we are not at home so we should not be making noises.</i>” While the women were struggling to take care of everything and everyone, members of the Maute Group were asking men and boys to come out of their homes and join the fighting.</p><p>After a grueling day of waiting and hiding, both Nashima’s and Bailo’s families evacuated to Madalum, a nearby municipality, where many families stayed for months to stay safe.</p><h3>Natural disaster strikes</h3><p>As they approached their seventh month away from home, Typhoon Vinta struck just days before Christmas, leaving many casualties and millions worth of damage. Madalum, the newfound home of many families, including Nashima’s and Bailo’s, was one of the hardest hit, with landslides and flashfloods wiping out everything in its path.</p><p><img alt="This is an area where houses once stood. Typhoon Vinta caused landslides and flashfloods, completely wiping out everything in its path." title="This is an area where houses once stood. Typhoon Vinta caused landslides and flashfloods, completely wiping out everything in its path." height="526" width="936" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/pcc_philippines_flooded.png" /></p><p><em><span>This is an area where houses once stood. Typhoon Vinta caused landslides and flashfloods, completely wiping out everything in its path.</span></em></p><p>“<i>I saw rocks and high levels of floodwater which were taller than an average person. My son said, “Mother, I am afraid.’ And I said, ‘We should endure this, because the flood will soon subside. Let’s wait until we can get out of here,</i>” Nashima recalled.</p><p>Then they saw just how quickly the water was rising, and she decided to bring her children to the gymnasium, which was later designated as an evacuation center for the typhoon survivors.</p><p>“<i>If I did not decide to go to the evacuation center, the floodwater would have risen immensely. It would have killed us,</i>” Nashima said.</p><p>Bailo’s family, on the other hand, was trapped on the roof of their house as the waters rose rapidly. She honestly thought that this time, they would not survive. Fortunately, the water did not reach their roof, and a few hours later, rescuers came and brought them to a safe place.</p><h3>Climate change and poverty add to risks, but local leaders are there to respond</h3><p><span>Even before the disasters struck, Nashima and Bailo belonged to already vulnerable communities, living in one of the poorest provinces in the country. In fact, according to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, seven out of ten families in province are poor and that number has been consistently rising. Without the resources to rebuild, Nashima and Bailo’s families were still living in the evacuation center one month after the storm, and eight months after the siege.</span></p><p>Along with this growing poverty, climate change is putting island nations like the Philippines at increasing risk of flooding and weather-related crises. This means that there is more need than ever for local and national organizations who can step up and provide vital leadership to respond and prepare for future disasters.</p><p>The Humanitarian Response Consortium (HRC) is a group of Filipino organizations that Oxfam helped found in 2010 to provide rapid, high-quality and dignified relief to disaster-affected communities.</p><p><img alt="The HRC is conducting a profiling of the affected communities. This will help the local government units create an accurate and updated database which will help in further relief assistance." title="The HRC is conducting a profiling of the affected communities. This will help the local government units create an accurate and updated database which will help in further relief assistance." height="2304" width="3456" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/pcc_philippines_hrc_marawi_story_-_hi-res_photo_2.jpg" /></p><p><em><span>The HRC is conducting a profiling of the affected communities. This will help the local government units create an accurate and updated database which will help in further relief assistance.</span></em></p><p>This past year, they supported families forced from their homes by conflict and natural disaster with access to safe water, latrines, shelter materials, communal kitchens, hygiene kits, and more. They also provided legal assistance to help people obtain IDs, which are crucial for safe travel and for accessing government benefits. Oxfam supported the HRC’s distribution of hygiene and kitchen essentials for more than 1,500 families, and emergency financial assistance to about 700 families.</p><p>At times of disaster,&nbsp;Humanitarian Response Consortium quickly assesses and responds to what communities need most in close coordination with government responders. They are helping local governments compile a complete and accurate database of the affected communities, so they can distribute further assistance for the typhoon survivors. This collaboration between organizations like Oxfam, these local organizations and government is key to provide the best possible resources and response for mothers like Nashima and Bailo, so they can rebuild their lives and feel better prepared to face future disasters as they arise.</p><p><em><em>This entry was posted on 18 April 2018.</em></em></p><p><b>See what <a href="https://philippines.oxfam.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Oxfam In The Philippines</a> is doing</b></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Philippines: Mothers of Marawi hopeful after months of fear</h2></div> Wed, 18 Apr 2018 11:01:07 +0000 Guest Blogger 81481 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/81481#comments One year after Haiyan hit the Philippines: #MaketheRightMove http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/23713 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>In the dark of night, the winds howled and the waves crashed. In the Philippines, they called it Yolanda, the super-typhoon that ripped through the central islands of the country before dawn on November 8, 2013.  Winds swirling at close to 200 mph dumped volumes of rain and whipped the sea, making it rise 25 feet high before coming down to pound houses to smithereens and snuffing out thousands of lives.</p> <p><strong>Daybreak revealed a broken country</strong>, and a people's fighting spirit. By noon that day, millions of people across nine regions of the Philippines had been thrown into chaos. I remember writing with dread that people would struggle with clean water, food, shelter, privacy, security and fear of the unknown.  Humanitarian actors tried mightily to help meet these needs but one month later, on December 2013, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Philippines reported that "food and other urgent support is not sufficiently reaching remote areas due to logistical challenges."</p> <p>I also remember that while my heart was with my fellow Filipinos, I had to watch Yolanda  as it tracked towards Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos.  I prayed that, as it had already taken too much from my country, that it would dissipate and disappear over the sea from where it came.</p> <h3>Total devastation</h3> <p><img alt="Joy and her husband in front of what’s left of their home. Dec 2013. Photo: Lan Mercado/Oxfam" margin-right="5px" src="http://blogs.oxfam.org/sites/default/files/blogimages/joy-haiyan-320.jpg" height="320px" width="320px" align="left" /><strong>Looking back a year later,</strong> the statistics are no less heart wrenching: more than 6,000 people killed and 4.1 million displaced. To date, 475,000 people are still living in unsafe or inadequate shelters and nearly 25,000 people are still in evacuation centers. Joy, a village health worker from an interior barrio in northern Cebu, was one of those left homeless. I was doing Oxfam’s recovery assessment and Joy helped me talk to families whose houses had been destroyed and livelihoods ruined, who were poor before and even poorer after losing the assets they built up over many years during the storm. I asked Joy to show me her house and she brought me to a pile of sticks. Right before Yolanda hit, Joy had paid PhP15k of her savings from selling vegetables to have electricity installed in the house that she and her husband built, only to lose everything.</p> <p><strong>Yolanda will not be the last storm</strong> that will devastate the Philippines and other countries in Asia, the most disaster-prone region of the world, according to the United Nations Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). Over the past 20 years, Asia has borne almost half of the estimated global economic cost of all disasters, amounting to almost $53 billion annually. Climate-related disasters are compounding the risks for people and will keep coming.</p> <h3>Opportunities for transformation</h3> <p><img alt="Bito, 7, playing on the beach in San Jose, Tacloban, Philippines. Photo: Simon Roberts/Oxfam" margin-left="5px" src="http://blogs.oxfam.org/sites/default/files/blogimages/bito-philippines-child-portrait-320x427.jpg" width="320px" align="right" /></p> <p><strong>A year ago, I saw opportunities for social transformation</strong> in Yolanda’s wake. Today, I do know that most governments in Asia have established policies around disaster and climate change preparedness. However, plans are being implemented with varying success. Oxfam’s latest reports, <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/research/asia-climate-change-cant-afford-wait"><em><strong>Can’t Afford to Wait</strong></em></a> and<em> <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/research/haiyan-shadow-storm"><strong>In the Shadow of the Storm</strong></a></em> confirm that greater political will, more resources and better coordination are required to protect vulnerable groups from the threats of disasters, including those caused by climate change.</p> <p>In the case of the Philippines, Oxfam found that while the Philippine government has shown leadership in the humanitarian response and rebuilding efforts, plans have not translated to real impact because of a lack of money and coordination in local communities. And, in order for the investments to work, they must include displaced people in decision making and take their needs into account. For example, new housing should not be built far from jobs like fishing and agriculture, or families will not be able to resume their work and self-sufficiency.</p> <h3>Meeting the climate challenge</h3> <p><strong>Yolanda and other large-scale disasters in Asia have taught us</strong> that we all must pitch in. Regional cooperation is crucial and we have the chance to ask our leaders to step up and address this critical issue. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) can do a lot more to boost financing for national climate adaptation. As a community of nations, we ought to stand together and collectively secure the financial support we need from developed countries at the upcoming international climate meeting in Lima, Peru in December 2014.</p> <p>One year ago, <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-12-11-one-month-after-typhoon-haiyan-rebuilding-just-resilient-society"><strong>I wrote</strong></a> that we must make each life that was lost count. I had hoped that Yolanda would serve to transform us as individuals and as a country, or we are cursed to be haunted by ghosts. One year later, there are glimmers of change, but certainly not enough. Yet, we cannot give up. On the contrary, our continued efforts must be the force to steer international and regional institutions, national and local governments, and citizens to #maketherightmove towards climate justice and resilience.</p> <p><em>Lan Mercado is the Deputy Regional Director in Oxfam in Asia, a passionate campaigner and Filipina.</em></p> <p><em>Photos:<br />1. (Top) Oxfam water facility, after Typhoon Haiyan. Anibong district, Tacloban, Philippines. September 2014. Photo: Simon Roberts/Oxfam</em></p> <p><em>2. Joy and her husband in front of what’s left of their home. Dec 2013. Photo: Lan Mercado/Oxfam</em></p> <p><em>3. (Bottom) Bito, 7, was part of a group of children playing on the beach in San Jose, Tacloban, wearing superhero costumes made from tarps, empty relief goods, and trash bags. Photo: Simon Roberts/Oxfam</em></p> <h3>What you can do</h3> <p><strong>Watch and share: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/multimedia/video/2014-we-are-war-climate-change-and-hunger-yeb-sano">Yeb Saño, Climate Change Commissioner in the Philippines, makes an urgent plea: "We are at war with climate change and hunger"</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Read: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/philippines/philippines-typhoon-haiyan-our-response">More on Oxfam's response to Typhoon Haiyan</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Join: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/node/5266">the campaign to stop climate change making people hungry</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/1856">Follow the Oxfam team at the COP20 UN climate talks in Lima, Peru</a></strong></p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>One year after Haiyan hit the Philippines: #MaketheRightMove</h2></div> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 11:12:50 +0000 Lan Mercado 23713 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/23713#comments Let the anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan stir the world to high ambition on climate change http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/23732 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>It’s been one year since super-Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines, a disaster that devastated thousands of lives and left millions of people homeless</strong>. It was the strongest typhoon to make landfall since records began, causing a huge storm surge that ripped through coastal neighbourhoods and agricultural lands, damaging millions of coconut trees, thousands of fishing boats and destroying more than one million tonnes of crops.</p> <p>The immense devastation left in Haiyan’s path was a wake-up call to the world – yet another deadly warning of what we can expect unless we take the right action on climate change. The next two big international meetings on climate change - in Lima at the end of this year, and in Paris at the end of 2015 - must be a turning point in the level of ambition to fight the biggest crisis of our lifetime.</p> <p><strong>There are many issues to resolve</strong> in the year to come. One of them is money. This month, governments have an opportunity to face up to the real cost of climate change, by pledging generously to the <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/223702306466613078/" rel="nofollow"><strong>Green Climate Fund</strong></a> (GCF).  Discussions about paying the price for climate change have reached a stand-off, in which wealthy countries won't put money on the table until there are clear plans from developing countries for spending that money. With the right level of political will, with a clear understanding of the needs, and with enough money pledged, there is hope for a global climate deal that would ensure all countries take a fair share of the responsibility for climate change.</p> <p><strong>Nowhere is this more urgent than in Asia</strong> - the most disaster-prone region in the world, and home to two-thirds of the world’s most undernourished and food-insecure people. In 2013, <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2014-11-06/learning-typhoon-haiyan-asian-governments-failing-respond-climate" rel="nofollow"><strong>78 percent of people killed by disasters lived in Asia</strong></a> even though only 60 percent of global disasters occurred here. Over the past 20 years, Asia has borne almost half the estimated global economic cost of disasters triggered by natural phenomena, amounting to almost $67 billion USD annually. Harvest losses alone related to flooding in Southeast Asia have an estimated annual value of $1 billion USD. <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/research/asia-climate-change-cant-afford-wait" rel="nofollow">If no action is taken</a></strong>, four countries—Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—could suffer a loss equivalent to 6.7 percent of GDP annually by 2100, more than double the global average loss, according to the Asian Development Bank. This is an abrupt reversal for many economies across Asia, which has seen an average GDP rate of 6 percent increases every year since 2012.</p> <p>It’s true that both in the Philippines and across Asia, most governments have policies to reduce the risk of disasters and help people adapt to life in an unsafe climate.  But the <strong>implementation of those policies is still being hampered</strong> by a range of challenges including lack of money, lack of political will and a lack of accurate data on actual risks and vulnerabilities. Without greater investment in climate and disaster-resilient development, the impact of disasters on the scale of Typhoon Haiyan-scale disaster could fast become the norm, not the exception in the region.</p> <p><strong>Governments and regional institutions in Asia must show leadership</strong> in <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/research/asia-climate-change-cant-afford-wait" rel="nofollow"><strong>stepping up to the challenge</strong></a> of rising disaster and climate risk.  This means increasing political commitment and investing adequate resources - funds, human resources, and program support - in improving local and national capacity to protect communities from the impacts of climate change and disasters. And the international community must dig much deeper to find the necessary funds to mitigate and help countries adapt to climate change.</p> <p>When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines last November, the global response was immense and rapid. Thanks to the efforts of the Philippine Government and local and international humanitarian agencies, millions of affected people were reached with life-saving support. Assisted by generous donations from supporters like you, <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/philippines/philippines-typhoon-haiyan-our-response" rel="nofollow"><strong>Oxfam’s own response</strong></a> was able to reach almost 900,000 people, by providing clean water and sanitation, addressing immediate shelter needs, and supporting communities to help recover their livelihoods.</p> <p><strong>The world will always help people</strong> pick up the pieces of their ruined lives when disasters have struck. But imagine what we could achieve if we put the same energy and sense of urgency into building peoples' resilience to climate disasters before they happen.</p> <p>There is no doubt about the scale of the challenge. <strong>But we must remain resolute and hopeful.</strong> To quote the Philippines ambassador to the UN, Yeb Sano: “Can humanity rise to the occasion? I still believe we can.” Governments meeting in Berlin at the pledging conference for the <a href="http://unfccc.int/cooperation_and_support/financial_mechanism/green_climate_fund/items/5869.php" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Green Climate Fund</strong></a> on November 20th should have his words ringing in their ears.</p> <h3>What you can do</h3> <p><strong>Watch and share: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/multimedia/video/2014-we-are-war-climate-change-and-hunger-yeb-sano" rel="nofollow">Yeb Saño, Climate Change Commissioner in the Philippines, makes an urgent plea: "We are at war with climate change and hunger"</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Read: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/philippines/philippines-typhoon-haiyan-our-response" rel="nofollow">More on Oxfam's response to Typhoon Haiyan</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Join: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/node/5266" rel="nofollow">the campaign to stop climate change making people hungry</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Let the anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan stir the world to high ambition on climate change</h2></div> Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:21:25 +0000 Winnie Byanyima 23732 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/23732#comments After Haiyan – moving in the right direction? http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/10655 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <h3>Moving away from seashore to be safe </h3> <p>“When we returned to our house, there was nothing left.  It was like a desert.  Everything had been washed away.  Our boat was smashed to bits”, he recalled.  But with no other land or options, Lionel was forced to fashion a temporary shelter, using corrugated iron, plastic tarpaulin and whatever else he could find.  But several weeks afterwards, he and others in his village learnt that they would have to move once again because the government had announced a 40 metre “no-build” zone policy.</p> <p></p> <p>The idea is to move tens of thousands of people further away from the seashore to safer areas.  </p> <p>On paper, it makes good sense in a country which receives around 20 typhoons every year.  In reality, a blanket 40 metre “no-build” zone is impractical and unrealistic. </p> <p>In March the government back-tracked and announced it would instead do local hazard mapping and analysis to identify communities that will need to be relocated from areas deemed to be unsafe. Under the new guidelines, an estimated 200,000 people are now at risk of resettlement.  </p> <p>However, the practicality of giving people alternative land and housing, and ensuring people are properly consulted in the changes that will profoundly affect their lives, is still fraught with difficulties.</p> <h3>Life before the typhoon was already a struggle</h3> <p>Before the typhoon, life for Lionel was already a struggle.   He used to fish with five others in a boat that is now completely destroyed.  On a good day, he could earn around 500 pesos [about $11/£6].  On bad days, he’d come back empty handed.</p> <p>Lionel, like many other people Oxfam interviewed in a survey of 453 individuals in three typhoon-hit provinces in Eastern Samar, Leyte and North Cebu, doesn’t object to moving – but only if he receives support from the government. </p> <p>“If the government will provide us with more assistance or help us with some business support, I’ll agree to relocate because where we are living is dangerous and we are scared of living so close to the shoreline”, he said.  “I saw the big waves during the typhoon and that terrified us.”</p> <p>“My biggest fear is another typhoon.  I’m afraid there will be another typhoon.  And because we have not been <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/right-move?utm_source=oxf.am&amp;utm_medium=cUm&amp;utm_content=redirect" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">relocated and properly re-housed</a></strong>, I feel very unsafe.  The children cry when it rains and when storms come.  They hide.”</p> <p>But Lionel, like thousands of other people who may be resettled , has only heard rumours and small snippets of information about what relocation might involve.  </p> <p></p> <p>And while he would like to live somewhere safer he also worries about where he might be re-housed, how far it will be located from the coast – and how that will affect his ability to return to fishing.</p> <p>“I worry we will sink into poverty because our livelihoods haven’t been restored”, Lionel told me at a community meeting organized by Oxfam. “I have no work right now.  I’m very worried, especially for my children because I don’t know how we’ll eat.”</p> <h3>Feeling confused and concerned about the relocation process</h3> <p>Many local government units are just as concerned about the relocation process.  Limited budgets mean it’s hard for them to make the large-scale land purchases necessary to create permanent relocation sites.   Some aren’t willing to hold consultation meetings with communities at an early stage, saying they are not fully aware of what their roles and responsibilities will be and that they don’t want to communicate incorrect information.</p> <p>But that’s also leading to a lot of confusion and concern among populations who are likely to be affected by the policy.  </p> <p>81 per cent of people interviewed by Oxfam stated they are not aware of their rights regarding permanent relocation. Very few had received information about relocation, and only seven per cent of individuals interviewed said they have been consulted by a government official – at the government, municipal or barangay level - regarding the relocation process.  </p> <p>The worry is that not only does this deny people’s rights to basic information, it could also lead to <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2014-04-29/philippines%E2%80%99-plan-relocate-thousands-haiyan-survivors-will-fail-un?utm_source=oxf.am&amp;utm_medium=cUP&amp;utm_content=redirect" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">failed relocations</a></strong> because communities have not been consulted and local authorities have not taken steps to understand and meet their expectations.</p> <p></p> <p>In the future, it could mean that the risks facing vulnerable populations might actually increase, rather than decrease, because of lack of political will, resources and planning.  Rather than strengthening communities’ resilience to disasters, failing to take into account their concerns, including providing security of tenure and adequate livelihood opportunities, could actually make them more at-risk.</p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong>Download the report <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/right-move?utm_source=oxf.am&amp;utm_medium=cUm&amp;utm_content=redirect" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The Right Move? Ensuring durable relocation after typhoon Haiyan</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Read the press release </strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2014-04-29/philippines%E2%80%99-plan-relocate-thousands-haiyan-survivors-will-fail-un?utm_source=oxf.am&amp;utm_medium=cUP&amp;utm_content=redirect" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Philippines’ plan to relocate thousands of Haiyan survivors will fail unless government focuses on jobs too</a></p> <p>See what Oxfam is doing in The Philipines to <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/philippines-typhoon-haiyan" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan</a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>After Haiyan – moving in the right direction?</h2></div> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 07:47:19 +0000 Caroline Gluck 10655 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/10655#comments I’ve seen how climate change makes people hungry - We must act now http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/10638 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Typhoon Haiyan, the biggest storm to ever make landfall, devastated my homeland. Three days later I attended the opening of the <strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-11-12-climate-talks-philippines-rep-announces-fast-people-affected-typhoon-haiyan">UN climate change talks in Poland</a></strong>. With a deep sense of anxiety about the fate of my family and friends, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SSXLIZkM3E" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>I pleaded</strong></a> with delegates to recognize that vulnerable countries, such as the Philippines, cannot cope with the overwhelming impacts of climate change alone.</p> <p>One of the most serious risks we face is escalating hunger. No civilization can flourish without food – many have perished with the crash of food and water systems.</p> <h3>Climate change means hunger</h3> <p>Climate change is already making people hungry. It will change what we all eat. Extreme weather events such as <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/haiyan" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Typhoon Haiyan</strong></a>, unpredictable seasons, increasing temperatures, and rising sea levels are already causing chaos for farmers and fisherfolk. Food prices are going up. Food quality is going down. By 2050, 50 million more people – equivalent to the population of <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/223702306465330382/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Spain</strong></a> – will be at risk of going hungry because of climate change.   </p> <p>Typhoon Haiyan devastated my country. Thousands of people perished and millions more lost their homes and livelihoods. My own family witnessed the storm up close. Today, millions of my people live in damaged homes and continue to rely on emergency relief to survive. The overall losses in the agriculture sector could come close to $1 billion. </p> <p>But the story doesn’t end there. The prospect of a serious global food crisis looms because of climate change. And it’s the world’s poorest and most food insecure countries that are least prepared and most at risk. </p> <h3>So what can we do?</h3> <p>We need urgent support to adapt to stop millions more people from going hungry in the next two decades as a result of climate change. This need not break the bank. Poor countries’ adaptation needs are estimated to be around $100 billion a year - equivalent to just 5% of the wealth of the 100 richest people in the world. </p> <p>We also need urgent and ambitious emissions reductions to avoid a runaway global food crisis that could have grave repercussions for our children. Our gluttony for dirty energy stands in the way of a global solution to the problem of climate change and food. We must end this fossil-fuels gluttony.</p> <p>Worldwide, people are already fighting climate change. But too few governments and big businesses are taking the threat seriously enough. We must act together to pressure them, and make changes in our own lives, to <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/food-climate-justice/stop-climate-change-making-people-hungry" rel="nofollow">stop climate change making people hungry</a></strong>. </p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong>Oxfam's Report, Hot and Hungry - <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/grow/node/36350" rel="nofollow">How to stop climate change derailing the fight against hunger</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Together, we can win the fight against hunger -<a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/food-climate-justice/stop-climate-change-making-people-hungry" rel="nofollow"> Join us</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Photo gallery -</strong> <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/adapting-climate-impact-food" rel="nofollow">How communities adapt to climate impacts on food </a></strong></p> <p><strong>Read the blog -</strong> <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/14-03-25-why-system-for-managing-worlds-food-climate-needs-to-be-more-like-my-car"><strong>Why the system for managing the world’s food and climate needs to be more like my car</strong></a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>I’ve seen how climate change makes people hungry - We must act now</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/14-03-26-he-visto-como-el-cambio-climatico-deja-la-gente-hambrienta-debemos-actuar-ya" title="Estamos en guerra con el cambio climático y el hambre. Una guerra que no nos podemos permitir perder." class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> <li class="translation_fr last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/14-03-26-jai-vu-comment-le-changement-climatique-rend-les-gens-affames-nous-devons-agir-mainte" title="J&#039;ai vu que le changement climatique rend les personnes souffrant de la faim - nous devons agir maintenant" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 11:00:01 +0000 Yeb Sano 10638 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/10638#comments The art of saying "Thank you" http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/10590 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>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. </p> <p>However, in the Philippines, post <strong><a href="http://oxf.am/wZR" rel="nofollow">Typhoon Haiyan</a></strong>, people and communities have turned saying thank you into a whole art form. Soon after aid agencies responded to the crisis we started to see signs by the roadside, often these were signs saying ‘Please help with food and water’ but these were soon followed by signs saying, <strong>‘Thank you for the food and water.’</strong> </p> <p></p> <p>As the weeks have gone by more and more signs have appeared by the side of the road. Some are hand written, some are printed banners, some are written on boards, some are written on houses.</p> <p>Some list the agencies that have assisted that particular community or family but mostly they are thanking everyone who has come and offered assistance whether from other parts of the Philippines or other countries.</p> <p>The signs haven’t just appeared in one location but have sprung up all over the areas that were hit by Typhoon Haiyan. Some included Christmas and New Year greetings. Others include messages with <strong>Bangon</strong> (‘rise up’) and <strong>Tindog</strong> (‘stand up’) to encourage and boost the morale of families, friends and neighbours. A Filipino colleague explained, ‘The ‘thank you’s are not just about the material things people have received but more about the sense of solidarity they’ve felt with and from the national and international community. It’s really from the heart.’</p> <p>I’ve never been anywhere where this has been so spontaneous and widespread.  I didn’t think we needed to be thanked but seeing all those signs and being thanked by so many people we have come to know and often by complete strangers whilst waiting at the airport, in the supermarket, checking into the hotel, has been very special.</p> <p>To the people of Leyte, Samar and Cebu I would like to say ‘<strong>Maraming salamat po!</strong>’</p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong>Oxfam's response: </strong><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/philippines-typhoon-haiyan" rel="nofollow">Philippines Typhoon Haiyan</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Blog: <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-11-19-learning-lessons-philippines">Learning the lessons of humanitarian response in the Philippines</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>The art of saying &quot;Thank you&quot;</h2></div> Fri, 07 Feb 2014 10:24:47 +0000 Jane Beesley 10590 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/10590#comments The simple saw helps the Philippines recover the ‘tree of life’ http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/10566 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Typhoon Haiyan caused widespread damage to livelihoods. Among the worst affected, was coconut farming with millions of trees being uprooted, damaged or destroyed.</p> <p>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.</p> Coconut seeds starting to germinate. <p>The land needs to be cleared, as damaged coconut trees are prone to pest infestations, but access is not always easy. Because of the need for shelter materials the team decided that providing sawmills would be a relevant response.</p> <p>Working through existing local farming associations or cooperatives Oxfam is providing portable sawmills, chainsaws, protective clothing, a start up grant, insurance (for health and safety) and training in the management and operation of a lumber producing income generating project.</p> <p>This is not a ‘cash for work’ program but an entrepreneurial approach where we are helping to facilitate the establishment of community based businesses.</p> <p></p> <p>So far, six saw table saws have been purchased and four organizations have been identified. Two farming coorperatives have each now received a saw mill and three chainsaws and are expected to start tree clearance and lumber production soon. The Shelter Cluster in Leyte is very interested in this initiative for replication in other areas as well as being a source for building material.</p> <p>To sum up, Oxfam is running a simple and inexpensive (approximately $7-8,000 per association) project with multiple outcomes including clearing land, income generation for Yolanda survivors, and the production of shelter material.</p> <p>Given recent heavy rains in many Haiyan-affected areas across the Philippines, there is an urgent need to use the fallen trees before they become rotten. We are aiming to expand this project as quickly as possible.</p> <p></p> <p>Oxfam is initially hoping to reach 500,000 people affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Our priority is to reach the most vulnerable families with safe water and sanitation facilities to help protect people from public health risks.</p> <p>You can support <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/haiyan-response" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's Haiyan relief and recovery efforts</a></strong> in the Philippines.</p> <p><em>All photos: Jane Beesley/Oxfam</em></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong>Video: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/typhoon-haiyan/philippines-first-step-recovery-tanauan" rel="nofollow">The joy of Haiyan survivors as they receive Oxfam hygiene kits</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Photos: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/typhoon-haiyan/rice-seed-distribution-tacloban" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's rice seed distribution</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>The simple saw helps the Philippines recover the ‘tree of life’</h2></div> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 13:24:16 +0000 Jane Beesley 10566 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/10566#comments Après le typhon Haiyan, aux Philippines : un Noël pas comme les autres http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/13-12-23-apres-typhon-haiyan-philippines-noel-pas-comme-les-autres <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Sur l’île de Bantayan, au nord de Cebu, j’ai trouvé un ukulélé de fabrication artisanale.</strong> Quand j’ai commencé à en jouer, les gens autour de moi se sont mis à chanter le célèbre chant de Noël « We wish you a merry Christmas ». Je ne sais pas vraiment qui d’entre nous était le plus surpris ! Aux Philippines, on fête Noël en grand. Dans la ville de Cebu, un panneau annonce pas moins de « douze semaines de fêtes de Noël ». Ca ne plaisante pas ! Noël est généralement l’événement le plus important de l’année. Mais cette année n’est pas une année comme les autres.  </p> <p><strong></strong></p> <p><strong>A Santa Cruz, au sud de Tacloban, seuls quelques bâtiments tiennent encore debout.</strong> Des cocotiers jonchent le sol, déracinés, ou coupés en deux. Lorsque le village a été submergé, au moment du passage du typhon Haiyan, une centaine de personnes s’est entassée dans une petite salle située à l’étage d’un bâtiment communautaire. D’autres ont survécu soit parce qu’elles avaient déjà quitté le village soit parce qu’elles ont réussi à s’agripper à l’un des arbres qui ont tenu bon face à l’assaut de la tempête. Leurs bras étroitement enroulés autour des troncs. Au cœur de la tempête, ils criaient, s’encourageaient, s’appelaient pour grimper plus haut dans les arbres, se donner la main les uns aux autres et tenir bon tous ensemble. Je ne sais combien ont survécu. Au moins 300 personnes ont perdu la vie. La plupart ont perdu leur maison, leurs biens, leurs moyens de subsistance.</p> <p><strong>Désormais abrités sous des tentes, ils ne possèdent bien souvent plus que quelques biens de première nécessité</strong> reçus à l’occasion de distributions d’aide humanitaire – de la nourriture, des kits d’hygiène, des matelas, des jerrycans, des ustensiles de cuisine. Alors que je marchais au milieu de décombres, j’ai pourtant eu la surprise de voir, à l’entrée d’une petite échoppe de fortune, un grand Père-Noël, un sapin de Noël et des guirlandes. On aurait dit la grotte du Père Noël ! « Nous avons trouvé ces décorations dans les décombres. Nous les avons nettoyées et accrochées, explique Rowen, 25 ans. Nous tenions à fêter Noël, d’une manière ou d’une autre. » </p> <h3>Un Noël pas comme les autres</h3> <p>Rowen, comme toutes les personnes avec qui j’ai discuté, estime que <strong>« la fête de Noël cette année sera différente des autres années »</strong>. « Nous sommes heureux parce que nous avons survécu alors que d’autres n’ont pas eu cette chance. Nous fêterons bien Noël, mais dans la simplicité, cette année ». La plupart des gens expriment de la reconnaissance pour « la chance » qu’ils ont eue… J’ai entendu plus d’une fois dire : « nous fêterons Noël cette année dans le calme mais nous partagerons cette chance avec les autres ». D’habitude, de nombreuses fêtes sont organisées, on mange en abondance et on dépense beaucoup d’argent. </p> <p>L’un des chauffeurs d’Oxfam m’a raconté que de nombreuses personnes aux Philippines ont décidé, au lieu d’organiser des fêtes ou de dépenser tant d’argent, d’<strong>envoyer leurs économies pour venir en aide aux personnes touchées par le typhon Haiyan.</strong> Un autre chauffeur m’a confié : « Ce genre de choses vous fait apprécier ce qui compte vraiment dans la vie. C’est cela que je célèbrerai et pour lequel je rendrai grâce, ce Noël-ci. » Tous deux viennent de Tacloban.  </p> <h3>Se remettre debout</h3> <p></p> <p>Je vois ces mots, encore et encore, griffonnés sur des murs en ruines ou sur des pancartes, spécialement faites à cette intention : « bangon » et « tindog », « se lever » et « se mettre debout ». Deux mots qui résument bien l’esprit de ces gens. En cette période de Noël, à travers les Philippines et plus particulièrement dans les zones dévastées par le typhon, <strong>les gens se lève et tiennent bon, debout, déterminés</strong> à se soutenir mutuellement et à aider leurs communautés à se remettre de l’une des pires catastrophes qu’aient connue les Philippines.</p> <p><strong>Mais l’ampleur des dégâts est considérable.</strong> Pour une reconstruction durable, à long terme, les individus, les communautés et les Philippines dans leur ensemble ne peuvent rester seuls. </p> <p>De nombreuses personnes aux Philippines passeront ce Noël <strong>sans leurs proches, sans leur maison, sans toit, sans emploi. Mais malgré tout pas sans espoir</strong>. </p> <p>Je passerai pour ma part Noël à Tacloban, cette année. Où que vous soyez, je vous souhaite un joyeux Noël, sain et sauf et en paix.</p> <h3>Sur le même sujet</h3> <p><strong>Rapport d'Oxfam : </strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/fr/policy/typhon-haiyan-actions-menees-principaux-enseignements-reconstruction-philippines" rel="nofollow">Typhon Haiyan : Actions menées et principaux enseignements pour la reconstruction des Philippines</a></p> <p><strong>Vidéo (en anglais) : <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/fr/node/34681" rel="nofollow">Typhon Haiyan aux Philippines : le premier mois d'intervention d'urgence par Oxfam</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/fr/emergencies/typhon-haiyan" rel="nofollow">Typhon Haiyan aux Philippines : l'action d'Oxfam</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Après le typhon Haiyan, aux Philippines : un Noël pas comme les autres</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_en first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-12-23-philippines-christmas-after-typhoon-haiyan" title="Philippines: Christmas after Typhoon Haiyan - rise up, stand up" class="translation-link" xml:lang="en">English</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/13-12-23-navidades-en-filipinas-despues-del-typhoon-haiyan-levantarse-y-ponerse-de-pie" title="Navidades en Filipinas después del Typhoon Haiyan: levantarse y ponerse de pie" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Mon, 23 Dec 2013 16:47:07 +0000 Jane Beesley 10564 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/13-12-23-apres-typhon-haiyan-philippines-noel-pas-comme-les-autres#comments Philippines: Christmas after Typhoon Haiyan - rise up, stand up http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/10562 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>On Bantayan Island, North Cebu, I find a home made ukulele.</strong> 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.</p> <p><strong>In Santa Cruz, just south of Tacloban, few buildings remain.</strong> Coconut trees lay uprooted or snapped in half. When the typhoon and storm surge came, one hundred people crowded into the small upstairs room of a community building. Others survived because they’d already left the village or managed to cling to trees that withstood the onslaught. Their arms wrapped tightly around the trunks. As the storm surge rushed in they shouted to each other to climb further up the tree, to lock their hands together and not let go – I don’t know how any of them survived. At least 300 people lost their lives. Most people lost their home, their belongings and livelihood.</p> <p><strong>Now in tents, the few belongings most have are basic items from relief distributions</strong> – food, hygiene kits, mats, jerry cans, kitchen sets. Walking through what looks like a demolition site I was surprised to see a small makeshift stall with a large Santa, Christmas tree and festive decorations strung along the front. It looks like Santa’s grotto. ‘We found these Christmas decorations in the debris so we washed them and put them up,’ explains Rowen (25); ‘We wanted to celebrate Christmas in some way.’</p> <h3>A different Christmas</h3> <p>Rowen, like everyone I speak to says, ‘<strong>Christmas celebrations this year will be different from other years.</strong> We’re happy because we’ve survived but sad because others haven’t. We’ll celebrate Christmas but in a simple way this year.’ Most people are grateful for ‘the good fortune’ they’ve had. I frequently hear, ‘We’ll celebrate Christmas in a quiet way this year but we’ll share our good fortune with others.’ Normally there are a lot of parties, a lot of food eaten and a lot of money spent.</p> <p>One of Oxfam’s vehicle drivers tells me that many people across the Philippines have decided not to have parties, or to spend so much money; instead they will send what they have saved to support people who have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Another driver tells me, ‘Something like this really makes you appreciate what really matters in life. This is what I’ll be celebrating and giving thanks for this Christmas.’ Both men are from Tacloban.</p> <h3>Rise up, stand up</h3> <p><strong>Again and again I see two words</strong> written like graffiti on the remains of walls and buildings or purposely written on signs – ‘bangon’ and ‘tindog’ meaning ‘rise up’ and ‘stand up’. I think these two phrases sum up the spirit of the people. This Christmas across the Philippines, especially areas devastated by the typhoon, people will be rising and standing up determined to support their communities and each other to recover from one of the worst disasters to hit the Philippines. But the size of the devastation is so great. For long term recovery the individuals, the communities and the Philippines cannot stand alone.</p> <p>This Christmas many people in the Philippines will be spending it without their loved ones, without roofs, without their homes, without jobs, but they are not without hope.</p> <p>This year I will be spending Christmas in Tacloban but wherever you are I wish you a happy, peaceful and safe Christmas.</p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong>Oxfam's report: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/typhoon-haiyan-one-month-lessons" rel="nofollow">Typhoon Haiyan: The response so far and vital lessons for the Philippines recovery</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Watch the video: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/video/2013/philippines-typhoon-haiyan-oxfam-one-month-response" rel="nofollow">Philippines Typhoon Haiyan: Oxfam's take on the first month of response</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/typhoon-haiyan" rel="nofollow">Philippines Typhoon Haiyan: Oxfam's response</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Philippines: Christmas after Typhoon Haiyan - rise up, stand up</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/13-12-23-navidades-en-filipinas-despues-del-typhoon-haiyan-levantarse-y-ponerse-de-pie" title="Navidades en Filipinas después del Typhoon Haiyan: levantarse y ponerse de pie" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> <li class="translation_fr last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/13-12-23-apres-typhon-haiyan-philippines-noel-pas-comme-les-autres" title="Après le typhon Haiyan, aux Philippines : un Noël pas comme les autres" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Mon, 23 Dec 2013 05:00:10 +0000 Jane Beesley 10562 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/node/10562#comments