A year on from Typhoon Haiyan

Cheshire Residents raise over £33,000 for the plight of the Filipino people.

A year since Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, Christian Aid and its partner organisations continue to help affected communities and have reached more than 290,000 people with much-needed immediate food and shelter, as well as new means of earning an income.  East Cheshire residents have raised almost £19,000, and West Cheshire and Chester have raised almost £15,500 for this cause, for those in desperate need.
Linda Tiongco, Christian Aid’s Head of Westside Region, helped to co-ordinate the relief effort.  She said: “One year on from the devastation of the typhoon, the Filipino people have started on the long road to recovery.  Our focus now is on assisting families and communities to rebuild stronger homes and livelihoods so that they can better withstand the next typhoon, which will surely come”.
Christian Aid’s Head of Humanitarian, Nick Guttmann, who travelled to the region days after Haiyan hit and recently revisited, said: “Last year, I witnessed utter devastation and immense personal suffering.  Last week, I returned to the same areas and saw massive changes - all the debris has been cleared away, electricity and telecommunications are back up and running, everyone had received some form of support and huge building and reconstruction work is taking place.  It looked completely different”.
“People are doing whatever they can to bring back normality, but many are without work; the coconut harvest is a mere 10 per cent of what it was before the typhoon.  Millions still live in makeshift shelters because it will take years to rebuild over a million homes”, Nick said.
Christian Aid and its partners are working with communities for the long-term, not only with income generation, such as vegetable growing, pig rearing, seaweed farming, and fishing, but also with schooling for children, community kitchens to provide nutritional meals, and psychosocial support for people who still struggle to come to terms with what happened.  Communities and local governments are being encouraged to help themselves to build back better and stronger, to prepare for, and be more resilient against, future disasters.
On Friday 8 November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan – the strongest ever storm to make landfall – hit the Philippines, affecting more than 14 million people, and forcing a further four million from their homes.  An estimated 6,000 were killed. 
Many faced an uncertain future after their ways of earning a living, namely fishing and coconut farming, were destroyed.  In some areas, 95 per cent of coconut trees were demolished and the majority of boats were wrecked.  It will take years for communities to fully recover. 
To date, Christian Aid’s Typhoon Haiyan Appeal has raised more than £2.8 million, with thanks to the generosity of the British public.

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