Typhoon Haiyan will go down in history as one of the most powerful storms in recorded history. It resulted in more than 6,155 deaths with 1,800 people unaccounted for. All told, it affected 16 million people and damage was estimated to be in the billions. typhoon-haiyan-1

Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) left hundreds of thousands of people without permanent shelter. Livelihoods such as fishing and farming and small businesses will need to be rebuilt.

We know from disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy and Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti, and the Indian Ocean Tsunami, that to fully recover takes many years. That’s why CDP is uniquely focused on highlighting the impact of  long-term disaster recovery.

We launched the CDP Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Fund just days following the November 2013 disaster to help with these long-term needs. Donors committed more than $300,000 to long-term recovery through the fund.  In July 2014, we awarded grants to four organizations, all focused on maternal health for women and their newborns. Grantees include:

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

Mercy in Action rebuilt a birthing center in Tanauan that was devastated by the typhoon. The organization’s objectives for this project were 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. This clinic now provides prenatal care to about 1,500 women and supports 250-300 births at the clinic annually. Based on previous history, the clinic’s mortality rates are eight times lower than the national average.

Save the Children used 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 sourced and distributed Birthing Essentials and Care of Newborns (BEACON) boxes to prevent excess maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. Save the Children partnered with local health officials, who took care of each BEACON box, and who communicated back to Save the Children when supplies needed to be replenished.

The Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) worked with women living in Tanauan Leyte to improve their health and resilience. Designed to build the capacity of local women’s groups to support response and prevention in Typhoon-affected Philippines, the Women’s Refugee Commission project fulfilled these four objectives: improved opportunities to organize women for skill and knowledge building related to reproductive health, livelihoods and protection, through safe spaces; conducted 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; implemented community developed action plans to improve access to basic services for women, including reproductive health and protection; and strengthened gender-sensitive policies and programs that deliver health and basic services to women most in need.

For questions about the fund, contact Cecilia Calvo, Director of Development at cecilia.calvo@disasterphilanthropy.org.