On November 8 2013, Typhoon Haiyan -- the strongest storm ever to make landfall -- slammed into the Philippines. Sustained winds of up to 195 mph tore across the islands, with a storm surge of up to 25 feet leaving a massive trail of destruction. In its wake, Haiyan (or Yolanda, as it’s called in the Philippines) left more than 6,000 people dead or missing, destroyed over 1.1 million homes, and affected 14 million people, 6 million of them children.
A year later, the people of the Philippines are still reeling: more than 20,000 are living in temporary housing, and many more are living without electricity and other basic needs. This week, the Climate Relief Fund is stepping up to assist these people, and so can you: please donate here and 100% of your donation will go to local relief efforts.
On the anniversary of this climate disaster, it’s important to reflect on how climate change is already impacting communities around the world, and to remember that our first responsibility is to help those on the front lines. When we face the wreckage left by Haiyan, it’s easy to fall into despair. Donating to on-the-ground recovery groups is one way to respond with hope. And it’s an important act of solidarity with the people most affected by climate change, many of whom have done the least to cause the problem. That’s why the Climate Relief Fund raises money to help people impacted by climate disasters, and directs 100% of these funds to local organizations doing relief and long-term recovery.
Our Philippine Relief Partner
The Climate Relief Fund has identified a fantastic partner in the Philippines -- the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC) -- that is rebuilding houses, restoring water systems, and helping some of the most underserved communities get back on their feet. And because they’re local, and have been working in disaster recovery since 1984, we know they’ll be there for the long haul. As part of the Consortium for People’s Development, CDRC works with other organizations in the Philippines to make lasting improvements to the lives of people across the country.
The Philippines are especially vulnerable to climate disasters
About 20 typhoons approach the Philippines every year, and many Filipinos live in areas that are subject to coastal flooding. Many of these people are poor and have limited resources. To address some of these issues in a larger context of global climate change, Philippines Climate Commissioner Yeb Saño is leading a 40-day Climate Walk across the Philippines to spur action. The walk ends on November 8 in Tacloban--the “Ground Zero” of Haiyan.
While international attention after a storm like Haiyan only lasts a few weeks, rebuilding takes years. “Millions of victims who were already in very poor and vulnerable conditions even before the Typhoon Yolanda continue to endure barely survival conditions ... they face a future of being put in a 'new normal' of an even lower level of existence than they had before,” says Sonny Africa, Executive Director of IBON, a Philippines development organization.
You Can Help
On this anniversary, we ask for your support to help the people of the Philippines continue on the road to recovery. Please make a donation today.
Tacloban: one year after devastating Typhoon Haiyan (The Telegraph)
Typhoon Haiyan (Wikipedia)
Image credit: jelynnc (flickr) Ngolos E. Samar survivor of Typhoon Yolanda