Easing survivors’ double burden key to sustaining Haiyan recovery
May 6, 2014
Six months after super typhoon Haiyan slammed the central Philippines, humanitarian organization CARE is concerned that survivors continue to confront serious struggles, especially in the interrelated areas of shelter and livelihood.
“Some good strides have been made in the transition from an emergency to early recovery phase. Still, too many families in the worst-hit areas continue to live in makeshift shelters, while many of those who have started to rebuild or repair their damaged houses have yet to complete their homes”, says Lex Kassenberg, country director of CARE Philippines.
An estimated 2 million people are still without durable shelter and remain at risk, especially in light of the next typhoon season coming next month.
On Haiyan’s six month mark, CARE is ready to expand its shelter program by providing additional cash assistance to the most vulnerable of its earlier beneficiaries to allow them to complete their shelters by buying materials they still lack like lumber to finish their walling.
CARE has responded actively to the great shelter needs, initially providing emergency shelter materials such as tarpaulins and other non-food items during the first crucial months following the disaster.
In January 2014, CARE moved to distributing shelter repair kit materials to the most vulnerable households in remote areas in Leyte and Panay, reaching 12,255 households or 55,307 people.
CARE’s shelter intervention has provided survivors with the support to start rebuilding their homes. Through the shelter repair kit composed of building materials such as corrugated sheets, specialized nails, hammer, aluminium screen and other items coupled with a cash assistance of USD 68, beneficiaries were able to construct their homes’ foundation and roofing consistent with building back safer techniques.
The last three months, however, saw affected households grapple with the double burden of rebuilding their homes mostly from scratch and restoring their livelihoods at the same time, inevitably dividing their focus and even draining their energy.
In order to ease the twin burdens of the survivors, CARE will gear up its efforts in the recently launched early livelihood recovery programs during the weeks and months ahead.
CARE is targeting 25,000 household beneficiaries across Leyte, Samar and Panay with cash transfers of USD 68. The cash grant will allow beneficiaries to restore their livelihoods destroyed by Haiyan, or venture into new income-generating activities.
“Simultaneously working on shelter and livelihood programs will help CARE strengthen and sustain the recovery process of our beneficiaries”, says Kassenberg.
From its food distribution during the emergency phase to its shelter and livelihood programs, CARE has so far reached more than 300,000 beneficiaries in almost 65,000 households across Leyte, Samar and Panay, surpassing its initial target of 200,000 beneficiaries.
CARE is committed to the Haiyan response in the months and years to come to help rebuild lives.