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Join us Tuesday, March 18, 2014 1:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time for a webinar on the recovery efforts following Typhoon Haiyan... Read more »
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Towards the end of 2011, the Philippines were ravaged by several typhoons, killing 1,500 people and leaving millions without homes, water systems, and food crops.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has proposed a several billion dollar flood control plan, which promises a “permanent solution” to the continuing challenges caused by typhoons.
Torrential downpour floods the Philippines again this year, affecting more that 2.4 million people.
Every year, an average of 20 typhoons hits the Philippines. But in late September/early October 2011, back-to-back storms exponentially increased damage and destruction. Typhoon Nesat directly impacted 35 provinces on September 27. Five days later, Typhoon Nelgae further damaged 17 of those 35. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported more than 4 million people affected; destruction of homes, water systems and food crops; and more than 254,400 people displaced or requiring further help by mid-October. At that time, 101 typhoon-related deaths had been reported, with dozens of people still missing.
But the worst was yet to come; a severe tropical storm hit on December 17. Tropical Storm Washi killed more than 1,400 people and displaced 430,500. As of January 2012, 815 villages from seven regions had been declared devastated, and estimated damages to infrastructure and agriculture went well into the tens of millions. The fast storm delivered between seven and eight inches of rain, compared to an average rainfall of two inches each December.
A “typhoon” is a tropical cyclone/hurricane in the Indian or Western Pacific oceans. (Washi was not designated a typhoon because of its wind speed measurements.) Because of its location and geographical characteristics—the Philippines is comprised of 7,107 islands, has numerous fault lines and active volcanoes—such storms aren’t the country’s only challenge. The United Nations considers it one of the most disaster-prone countries worldwide.
The storms—known locally as Quiel, Pedring, and Sendong—brought some of the worst flooding the country had seen in decades, particularly in high-density areas such as Manila (and, in the cast of Tropical Storm Washi, in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan). The damage has been widespread, and full recovery will not be quick.
In addition to the ongoing need for immediate aid, opportunities are ripe for long-reaching mitigation and prevention strategies with private funds. As of February 2012, just over a quarter of the $39 million in requested aid had been covered.
Philanthropic opportunities for donors interested in the supporting the short- and long-term recovery typhoon-affected areas in the Philippines are: