Assisting Communities Affected by Typhoon Hagupit

Lessons learned in the wake of super Typhoon Haiyan help our teams respond to communities affected by Typhoon Hagupit
The flooded streets of a town hit by Typhoon Hagupit. Photo: ACF-Philippines
The flooded streets of a town hit by Typhoon Hagupit. Photo: ACF-Philippines

Earlier this month, Typhoon Hagupit struck the Philippines in many areas that are still vulnerable from the devastation left by Typhoon Haiyan last year. Fortunately, Action Against Hunger and local authorities used lessons learned during the response to Typhoon Haiyan to save lives and reduce the damage.

Early evacuation saved lives

In the days leading up to Typhoon Hagupit, the Philippine government initiated early evacuations, relocating 717,000 people to nearly 2,000 evacuation centers in seven affected regions. During the height of the typhoon, we provided drinking water to four of those evacuation centers in Tacloban, assisting more than 13,000 people. Javad Amoozegar, our Country Director in the Philippines, explains how disaster risk management played an integral role in our emergency response:  

“It is clear that preparedness measures, including those established following Typhoon Haiyan last year, helped to save lives. Warning systems and preventive evacuation obviously helped much to reduce casualties. Our assessment teams were quickly deployed in the field to plan the distribution of hygiene kits, clean water, and food. And now, it’s essential to restore sanitation infrastructure to avoid as much risk of spreading diseases and malnutrition.”

– Javad Amoozegar, Country Director, Action Against Hunger, Philippines

Responding to growing needs

Despite the early efforts of our teams and local authorities, the damage from Typhoon Hagupit is extensive. Our teams deployed in Eastern Samare and Masbate have found fallen trees, razed homes, and downed power lines. According to our logistics team, the areas that are inaccessible right now due to hazardous conditions could have been hit even harder than the areas we’ve surveyed.

Access to food is also a serious concern. In the short term, emergency food rations provided by local authorities have been exhausted. In the long term, food security in Masbate has been threatened—according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, 150,000 residents have lost their crops. We are planning to assess the food security needs of affected communities.

As the people of the Philippines face compounded challenges after Typhoon Hagupit, Javad Amoozegar is confident in our team’s ability to respond to their growing needs:

“From the lessons we learned after Typhoon Haiyan just last year, we can better support people in need of need food, water, health care, access to sanitation and materials for emergency shelter. Our field staff is ready to act immediately and has a deep understanding of the context. To date, we have worked with more than 600,000 people during the rehabilitation of areas devastated by the super typhoon Haiyan, and we will do the same for the people affected by Typhoon Hagupit.”

– Javad Amoozegar, Country Director, Action Against Hunger, Philippines

We are working closely with the government and local partners to support the most vulnerable families with clean water and improved sanitation, nutritional support, psychological care, livelihoods restoration, and disaster risk management. With your support, we can continue our lifesaving work in the Philippines. 

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About Brianna Collins

Brianna Collins

Brianna leads our web and print design team, and helps to tell Action Against Hunger's story across multiple channels. Connect with Brianna on Google+.