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Philippines

Typhoon Rai survivors rebuild their lives

Humanity & Inclusion teams continue to assist people affected by Super Typhoon Rai, which slammed into the Philippines on Dec. 16.

Millions of people have been directly affected by Super Typhoon Rai (locally called Odette), which has left many without shelter, electricity, access to earning a living, or clean water. The passage of the typhoon, combined with 18 months of crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, has generated a major humanitarian crisis in the impacted part of the Philippines.

Following the onslaught of Typhoon Rai, Humanity & Inclusion deployed two teams to assess urgent humanitarian needs in the field. The organization is now assisting disaster-affected people in the provinces of Surigao City and Bohol, both devastated by the storm.

The violent typhoon caused much more damage than initially expected, and 405 people were killed. More than 10 million people are affected. Approximately 1.7 million houses were damaged or destroyed and nearly 25 million acres of crops were ravaged in seven regions. Millions of families have lost their homes or live in extreme poverty, and 2.2 million workers have no income or have been directly affected, according to a recent OCHA report.

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Prioritizing disaster response

Humanity & Inclusion focuses its efforts on the most affected people, prioritizing people with disabilities and individuals in particularly vulnerable circumstances. This includes aging individuals and people with health complications, who are often left out of humanitarian responses or unable to access aid.

Humanity & Inclusion’s teams provide them with cash transfers to meet their basic needs. Staff also distribute hygiene kits containing soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, sanitary towels, a bedpan, fabric masks and 5-gallon water jug to help to respond to situations where there is no longer access to running water or sanitation facilities.

Emergency shelter kits

Teams are also distributing emergency shelter kits in the Bohol province, including sheets, tools other home-repair equipment. The organization also supplies households with solar-powered lamps, mosquito nets, bedding and cooking supplies. Humanity & Inclusion is working in partnership with Shelter Box, an international disaster relief that provides emergency shelter and other aid items to families who have lost their homes to disaster or conflict, and in conjunction with local authorities.

“I can repair my home myself if I get construction materials,” says Raul Evardo, a stroke survivor, husband and father of two, whose house was blown away by the typhoon.

Evardo stayed behind in his village while his wife and children went to Buenavista city where they work and study. Once the electricity is reconnected and he has dealt with his most pressing problems, he plans to start welding again and find a job. He hopes to build a more robust house and put this nightmare behind him.

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