In the aftermath of one of the most devastating storms to hit the Philippines, Islamic Relief was on the ground providing life-saving aid.

Typhoon Haiyan is thought to have been one of the most powerful tropical storms to ever make landfall, anywhere on earth. When it barrelled into the Philippines on 8 November 2013, it was around 300 miles wide.

A little girl, Eden Fe, stands outside a ruined house.

A little girl, Eden Fe, stands outside a ruined house.

More than 630,000 people fled their homes as the storm – known locally as Yolanda – struck the eastern provinces of Leyte and Samar, and went on to wreak devastation across six central Philippine islands. Around 1,425 emergency evacuation centres were set up at the height of the storm.

With wind speeds thought to have topped 195 mph – with gusts of up to 235mph – the typhoon whipped up waves as high as fifteen feet and also caused flooding and landslides. Aid agencies such as Islamic Relief were met with challenges such as blocked roads and damaged airports, as they worked to reach vulnerable communities in the archipelago.

Over one million homes are estimated to have been damaged, with almost 549,000 completely destroyed. Thousands of people died and a further 27,000 were reported injured in the category five storm.

Many families remain displaced today

Around 14.1 million people in nine regions were affected, including about 5.4 million children – many of whom still face serious protection, health and safety risks. Many Filipino families remain displaced today, typically living in makeshift shelters amidst their ruined homes, or still sheltering in emergency centres and public buildings that survived the storm.

With their homes destroyed and their livelihoods in tatters, Filipino families are faced with the enormous task of meeting their basic needs, as well as beginning to rebuild their lives and communities. The need for shelter remains a priority for many, as humanitarian organisations like Islamic Relief begin to push for longer-term recovery intervention.

Islamic Relief staff prepare tents for distribution in the Philippines.

Islamic Relief staff prepare tents for distribution in the Philippines.

Islamic Relief remains on the ground in the Philippines

Almost 20,200 families received food aid through Islamic Relief, and our tents provided 1,500 families with protection from the elements. Three thousand families received tarpaulins and 2,000 others, shelter repair kits – allowing them to improve their temporary shelters.

Altogether, we have reached more than 133,495 Filipinos so far, mostly in high priority areas in northern Cebu.

We thank you for your support, for your help for the people here in our island of Bantayan, for all the barangays (village areas).”
Pastor Fernando, Bantayan, the Philippines.

As part of our determination to help the people of the Philippines to ‘build back better’, we are also building disaster-resilient shelters for hundreds of the most vulnerable families.