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Philippines Typhoon Relief

Typhoon Rai (known locally as Odette) made its first of nine landfalls on December 16, 2021 in the Central-Southern region of the Philippines causing severe rainfall, flooding, and mudslides. Rapidly intensifying over a 24 hour period, it had maximum sustained winds of 195 KM/hr and was the strongest storm of 2021 to affect the country.

The super typhoon affected 9.9 million people, killed over 400 people, and left 2.4 million in need of assistance across all sectors, primarily with food, shelter, and livelihoods. There was significant damage to infrastructure, schools, community structures, and farms; 1.7 million homes were damaged, 415,000 homes were destroyed, and according to recent reports in some areas 80% of coconut trees were uprooted entirely, whereas they often sway and remain standing in typhoon force winds. In the beginning stages, the response and recovery efforts were delayed due to the spread of COVID-19 and travel limitations within and into the islands.

Our Work

Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 prevented All Hands and Hearts from sending a Disaster Assessment Response Team(DART) immediately after Typhoon Rai (Odette) made landfall. While waiting for borders to open, AHAH remotely monitored the impacts of the Typhoon and stayed ready to respond. The Philippines’ borders opened to foreign nationals on February 10, 2022, at which point our DART was on the ground immediately seeking the most vulnerable areas to support. Upon arrival, the team quickly began meeting with local organizations that were working in the area and connecting with communities to identify where help was needed the most.

Within days, our team identified the island of Palawan and specifically the island municipalities of Dumaran and Araceli as communities in the most need. Specifically, they identified in every community it has been that the fishers are hardest hit.

Current Activities

Our response program began in late March 2022 and will run for three months. The program will involve conducting partial and full boat repairs of boats damaged by Typhoon Rai (Odette), utilizing community volunteers. A core team, including a fully Filipina female management team, is on the ground purchasing the delivery of necessary tools and materials. They are organizing the work queue based on the assessments and coordinating the volunteers to work under the “bayanihan” model (community members working together), whilst simultaneously working with partners to identify additional capacity building opportunities in the communities.

We will be rebuilding and repairing at least 50 wooden boats called “bangkas” over the next three months, meaning fishers can get back on the water in time for their primary fishing season.

Fishing is extremely important in the lives of Filipinos. With the fifth largest coastline in the world and 80% of the population living in coastal areas, the Philippines is home to 1.9 million small-scale fishers. Despite the significance of fishing throughout these islands, fishers are among the poorest and most marginalized in the country. These fishers and their families rely on bangkas for their food and incomes.


COVID-19 Safety Measures

Review our COVID-19 Safety Measures & Updates to learn about the new operational standards we’re implementing on program to safeguard the people in the communities we serve, volunteers and staff.

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