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One Month after Typhoon Haiyan Shelter Remains a Critical Issue

Source: CARE International Secretariat - Fri, 6 Dec 2013 10:31 AM
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Jocelyn, age 40, is a mother of three. Her home outisde the city of Ormoc was destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines shortly after her husband left her. Photo: CARE/ Peter Caton
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Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

(Manila, December 6, 2013)  -- As the one month anniversary of Super Typhoon Haiyan approaches on December 8, the lack of shelter continues to be a critical issue for millions of people.

Some 14.9 million people have been affected by the typhoon, with 1.2 million damaged or destroyed houses and as many as 4.13 million people displaced now, almost four times as many as those left homeless by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

In response, CARE continues to ramp up its relief efforts to help people begin to recover from  one of the worst typhoons in history. So far CARE has focused its relief efforts on providing urgently needed shelter materials and food, working in close cooperation with its local partner, ACCORD.

Shelter remains one of the most pressing needs. People urgently need to rebuild their homes, yet shelter materials in local markets are scarce and in some places prices have doubled. CARE has distributed shelter materials (including tarpaulins, nails, hammers, axes, shovels, hoes, handsaws and wire) along with kitchen sets to more than 14,000 people, and in the coming weeks, families will be provided with sheet metal and timber, essential for longer-term housing.

CARE’s emergency teams have now provided food packages to more than 38,000 people on the islands of Leyte, Samar and Panay. These food packages include items such as rice, beans, dried fish, canned meat, oil, sugar and salt.

“The road to recovery for families devastated by Typhoon Haiyan will be a long one,” says Lex Kassenberg, CARE Country Director in the Philippines. “Beyond our immediate focus on providing urgently-needed shelter materials and food, CARE is now working with local authorities to plan programs that will help people return to work and an income as soon as possible. This will be critical in reviving the local economy and helping people get back on their feet.”

The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that 5.6 million people’s livelihoods and income sources were destroyed, lost or disrupted because of the typhoon. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Typhoon Haiyan also destroyed one third of the Philippines’ rice growing areas.

CARE is appealing to the public for $20 million to assist 200,000 people in some of the hardest-hit communities. To date, $13.4 million has been raised worldwide.  The funds will provide emergency assistance to people affected by the disaster in the Philippines, as well as support communities as they rebuild in the years to come.

For more information:
Suzanne Charest, Media Officer, CARE Philippines
Tel:  63-919-886-4145

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