Islamic Relief has helped thousands of people affected by typhoon Hagupit, which hit the Philippines two weeks ago.

More than 1.5 million people have returned to their homes following the typhoon, known locally as Ruby, but areas such as Masbate in the Bicol region and Samar and Leyte in the Visayas are still in need of support.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council estimates that around 18,900 families have still been unable to return home. Islamic Relief has been able to help around 8,200 people by distributing shelter kits to 475 households, water and sanitation kits to 425, and mosquito nets to 475. Blankets and plastic mats have been given to 300 families, and cash for work to 125.

A needs assessment

Romulo accessing clean drinking water.

Romulo accessing clean drinking water.

Among those helped were Carmen, 58, who lives with her daughter and four grandchildren, and Romulo, 54, from eastern Samar. Romulo lives alone and, as a result of polio as a child, is disabled and so struggles to find work. Following the typhoon, Islamic Relief gave Romulo a water and sanitation kit consisting of a towel, jerry can, toothpaste and toothbrush, nail clipper, soap, comb, bleach, oral rehydration salts, laundry salt, and plastic bucket.

He said: “We badly needed these items because the floods caused by Ruby reached up to the second floor of our homes.”

Our team in the Philippines were able to respond quickly by carrying out a needs assessment, and working closely with other organisations and the local government. Time was spent preparing for the typhoon, including organising kits to be distributed if needed. Before the typhoon, we provided transport to help with evacuation, housing people in evacuation centres and supplying them with food, water and bedding.

Over the coming weeks, we plan to provide school materials to more than 1,000 children whose equipment has been lost or destroyed during the typhoon, once they return to school in January. There is also need to set up temporary classrooms for those whose schools have been affected by the typhoon, and child and women-friendly places. More shelter and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) kits will be distributed.

Islamic Relief has been providing aid and relief since typhoon Hagupit struck communities in the Philippines, building on our programmes in the country which include support for communities affected by typhoon Haiyan little over a year ago.