News / Asia

Longer-term Solutions Needed for Philippines Typhoon Survivors

Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan wait for a sack containing food supplies to drop from a Philippine Air Force helicopter in Tolosa, Leyte in central Philippines Nov. 21, 2013.
Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan wait for a sack containing food supplies to drop from a Philippine Air Force helicopter in Tolosa, Leyte in central Philippines Nov. 21, 2013.
VOA News
With emergency aid now flowing to most of the worst-hit areas of the central Philippines, relief groups say the biggest challenge will be to provide longer-term help to the millions affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
 
It has now been nearly two weeks since one of the strongest storms ever to hit land wiped out entire villages with its powerful winds and a tsunami-like storm surge. Although initial aid flow was slow, basic supplies are now available for most of those in need.
 
VOA's Steve Herman has been reporting from Leyte, one of the islands that received the brunt of the storm. On Thursday, he spoke with Jennifer Hardy of Catholic Relief Services, who said many survivors are optimistic, despite the hardships that remain.
 
"Catholic Relief Services did our first distribution in San Joaqin Parish here on the church grounds today, and I heard a lot of hopeful words after that, like 'Now we have something," she said. "Now we won't get wet tonight when we're sleeping.' And there was kind of a change in attitude as people were talking."
 
But the gravity of the situation is never far away. On the same church grounds where relief goods were being distributed, at least 250 bodies have been buried.
 
"We are at the site of a mass grave, so I think the reality of the situation has sunk in to some extent," Hardy said. "But what is still to be determined is how long this recovery effort will take. And that's what I think people, as they go through day by day, they'll be wondering why aren't things better yet."
 
Hardy added that aid groups and government agencies are working hard to deliver the right emergency food and shelter to the right people as quickly as possible. But she stressed that the biggest need may be yet to come.
 
"Right now it's emergency shelter," she said. "So these are supposed to be short-term solutions, and now it's going to be a huge need for longer-term - what are going to be more permanent solutions, or at least transitional solutions for people."
 
These solutions include shelter that goes beyond the tarps and tents given to many of the hundreds of thousands displaced. It also includes addressing long-term food security issues for areas that have had their crops destroyed.
 
Hardy said she has been "amazed at the outpouring of generosity" from the international community, and that Filipinos she has met have also been grateful for the international aid they have received.
 
But groups such as Catholic Relief Services, as well as the United Nations, are warning that the crisis is not over. They say there will be a need for continued generosity once the storm and its aftermath fade from the international headlines.

  • Tacloban airport's terminals were destroyed by the typhoon. Some limited commercial traffic is now utilizing the airport, Nov. 21, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • No part of Tacloban was spared by the typhoon, Nov. 21, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Tacloban's convention center, nicknamed "The Astrodome" was where many evacuees sheltered during the typhoon, Nov. 21, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Survivors lining up to fill water containers near Tacloban City Hall, Nov. 21, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Lines for gasoline at stations that have managed to reopen, Nov. 21, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • The storm surge toppled vehicles, most of which are yet to be moved, Tacloban, Nov. 21, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A woman inspecting bananas for sale on a Tacloban street, Nov. 21, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Piles of debris litter every street in Tacloban, Nov. 21, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Tacloban's commercial infrastructure was wiped out by the typhoon, Nov. 21, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Most residents saw not only their homes destroyed but also their vehicles, Tacloban, Nov. 21, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Children on bicycles watch a military cargo plane ferrying aid take off from Tacloban airport, Nov. 21, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid