Over 25 Donors Collaborate to Support the Philippines through the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Fund

Aug. 25, 2014: The Center for Disaster Philanthropy awarded four grants from its Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Fund, all of them focused on maternal health, funding programs and projects aimed at ensuring the safe birth and delivery of Haiyan-affected women and their newborns. Grantees includes Direct Relief, Mercy in Action, Save the Children, and The Women’s Refugee Commission.

The Fund was created through the generous contributions of over 25 funders that pooled their philanthropy in order to increase their impact.  Participants included a wide range of donors, including  a corporate foundation, two family foundations, and several donor advised funds.

Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) crashed across the islands of the Philippines on Nov. 8. 2013. The storm was a category 5, with wind gusts up to 235 miles per hour, causing massive landslides and flooding. The storm caused 6,201 deaths, injured at least 27,665, and destroyed more than 1 million homes. More than one thousand are still missing. Four million people were displaced.

“Typhoon Haiyan was the worst disaster of 2013 in the entire world. We are pleased to support what emerged as a growing need—the ability to support the health of women and the more than 10,000 newborn children that are expected in the coming months. Many birthing clinics and medical centers were destroyed and many have not yet rebuilt.  In other cases, staff were displaced. Our mix of grantees supports maternal health in a variety of ways,” said Robert G. Ottenhoff, President and CEO of CDP.

Grantees include:

Direct Relief will work to ensure safe newborn deliveries in the Philippines by equipping midwives with essential supplies to ensure safe births among Typhoon-affected populations. Midwife kits will be distributed to 100 trained and skilled midwives working in local health centers throughout remote regions in the Philippines; consumable products in midwife kits will be restocked; and Direct Relief will work with the Integrate Midwives Association of the Philippines to identify additional midwives in need of resources.

Mercy in Action will rebuild a birthing center in Tanauan that was devastated by the typhoon. The organization’s objectives for this project are four-fold: rebuild and bring back to the community a trusted birth center, run by licensed Filipina midwives; maintain lower than the national average mother and infant mortality rates in the Typhoon-affected region; provide free, clean, safe, and attended birthing services to pregnant women; and, provide free prenatal care of high-risk populations without access to maternal health care. Once rebuilt, Mercy in Action anticipates that this clinic will provide prenatal care to about 1,500 women and support 250-300 births at the clinic annually. Based on previous history, the clinic will see mortality rates that are eight times lower than the national average.

Save the Children will use its CDP Typhoon Haiyan funds to improve access to clean birthing supplies and materials in typhoon-affected communities and communities at risk of such disasters. The organization will source and distribute Birthing Essentials and Care of Newborns (BEACON) boxes to prevent excess maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. Save the Children will partner with local health officials, who will take care of each BEACON box, and who will communicate back to Save the Children should supplies need to be replenished.

The Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) will work with women living in Tanauan Leyte to improve their health and resilience. Through this project, designed to build the capacity of local women’s groups to support response and prevention in Typhoon-affected Philippines, the Women’s Refugee Commission It seeks to fulfill these four objectives: improve opportunities to organize women for skill and knowledge building related to reproductive health, livelihoods and protection, through safe spaces; conduct workshops with women within DAMPA’s federation (Damayan ng Marlitand Pilipinoong Api, Inc. – meaning solidarity of Poor Oppressed Filipinos), to identify risks and vulnerabilities during disasters, as well as local solutions to reduce identified risks; implement community developed action plans to improve access to basic services for women, including reproductive health and protection; and strengthen gender-sensitive policies and programs that deliver health and basic services to women most in need.

For more details, contact Karen Saverino, Director of Communications, karen.saverino@disasterphilanthropy.org