News / Asia

    Philippines Typhoon Aid Begins Transition to Long-Term Recovery

    Philippines Typhoon Aid Begins Transition to Long Term Recoveryi
    X
    November 25, 2013 3:25 PM
    Thirteen million people affected. Four million of them displaced, with one million homes destroyed. Two-and-a-half million individuals in need of food aid. And around 7,000 people confirmed dead or missing. That is the toll from the typhoon that hit the central Philippines November 8. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Manila reports on how the government and international agencies are activating the recovery and reconstruction process.
    Philippines Typhoon Aid Begins Transition to Long Term Recovery
    Thirteen million people affected. Four million of them displaced, with one million homes destroyed. Two-and-a-half million individuals in need of food aid. And about 7,000 people confirmed dead or missing. That is the toll from the typhoon that hit the central Philippines November 8. The government and international agencies are activating the recovery and reconstruction process.

    This time-lapse sequence of Tacloban’s airport shows aid arriving and departing from the destroyed city, which is a major hub for delivering food, water and other supplies to more isolated communities.

    It took days to get aid moving at this pace. Philippine and international agencies predict the emergency tempo will need to continue for 18 months.

    Many people may have had the impression “the government was not doing anything” for the first few days, acknowledged presidential spokesman Edward Lacierda. “We are an archipelago. We had to make sure that everything was done in the proper way, not to mention the fact that really this storm surge the effect on Tacloban was quite huge and devastating.”
    VOA reporter Steve Herman is in the Philippines covering rescue and recovery efforts.
    There are concerns that the Philippines' notorious corruption could skim off resources and hamper the long-term recovery. But President Beningo Aquino has made fighting graft a focus of his administration and hopes to reassure donors with top-level oversight.

    Just three government agencies will handle all of the donated funds, and high-ranking officials will track spending and publish accounting reports online.

    The government's recovery plan, supported by the World Bank, is to be submitted Wednesday to Aquino. The bank already has announced it has raised nearly $1 billion to support relief and reconstruction.

    The 67-member-nation Asian Development Bank, headquartered in Manila, is kicking in an additional $500-million emergency loan for reconstruction, according to bank vice president Stephen Groff.

    As the Philippines prepares to rebuild, Groff and other specialists are raising concerns about rebuilding along some shorelines that are vulnerable to destructive storms and the effects of climate change - a quandary other countries in the region faced after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

    “We’ll have to do the assessments," said Groff. "But the answer to that question may very well be, ‘no,’ that some communities may need to be moved. And if you look at what happened in Aceh and some areas around the East Asian tsunami, indeed, some of those communities were relocated. And that is part of a longer term solution at risk mitigation.”
     
    It is not a question of if, but when, the Philippines will get hit with another devastating natural disaster. And the consensus here is that the only good that can come out of this latest national calamity is learning lessons that will help mitigate the destruction from the next one.

    • Typhoon survivors board a Philippine Air Force transport plane in Tacloban, Nov. 21, 2013.
    • A Philippine man carries aid from a U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter in Palo, Philippines, Nov. 20, 2013.
    • U.S. sailors and Marines load supplies onto a helicopter to be delivered in Eastern Sumar Province, Philippines, Nov. 20, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
    • U.S. military personnel carry supplies to be distributed in Eastern Sumar Province, Philippines, Nov. 20, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
    • U.S. sailors work with Philippine armed forces members to transport relief supplies in Ormoc City, Philippines, Nov. 18, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
    • A member of the U.S. Navy hugs a child during a visit to Philippine Army base Camp Downes in support of Operation Damayan, Nov. 18, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
    • A Seahawk helicopter transports international relief supplies in support of Operation Damayan, Ormoc City, Philippines, Nov. 17, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
    • U.S. sailors and Marines work with Philippine civilians to unload relief supplies in Guiuan, Philippines, Nov. 17, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
    • Villagers scramble for aid from a U.S. Navy helicopter in the coastal town of Tanawan, Philippines, Nov. 17. 2013.
    • A soldier carries a baby to board a U.S. military transport plane at the damaged Tacloban airport, Tacloban city, Philippines, Nov. 17, 2013.
    • A U.S. hospital corpsman assists Philippine nurses in treating a patient's head wound at the Immaculate Conception School refugee camp, Guiuan, Philippines, Nov. 17, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
    • Philippine citizens board an U.S. HC-130 Hercules to be airlifted to safety in support of Operation Damayan, Guiuan, Nov. 17, 2013. (U.S. Navy)

    Steve Herman

    A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora