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The Philippines

 In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, Solidar Switzerland established a project in the Philippines. Having struck the country in November 2013, the storm claimed over six thousand lives, leaving many thousands more injured. Over one million homes were damaged or destroyed, leaving 4.1 million homeless. Some sixteen million people were affected by the disaster and require our continued support. 

Having assessed needs in a location no other aid organisation had reached, Solidar Switzerland provided emergency relief to people on the fairly remote island of Panay.

Emergency aid on Panay island
Across the island of Panay, Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda partially or completely destroyed at least 300,000 homes. Our first priority was to provide emergency shelters and to distribute materials so people could begin to rebuild their houses.

Solidar Switzerland set up a project in Roxas City in the island's north-east, which includes the town of Estancia and several offshore islands. Many buildings had been swept away completely. Our first step was to provide shelter for people who had taken refuge in schools and community centres. Next, Solidar distributed shelter kits – sheets of corrugated iron, nails, tools and other materials – to 2,500 poor families in seventeen villages. 12,000 people benefitted from these kits and have been able to rebuild their homes.

Longer-term recovery
Late May 2014 saw the end of the emergency aid stage. Since then, the focus has been on longer-term recovery. 2,500 families received technological and engineering advice and support. If required they also received materials to repair their damaged homes, making them as stormproof as possible.
We also provided support to 500 extremely poor families whose homes were completely destroyed. We assisted in the construction of storm and earthquake resistant foundations. These families are now in a position to extend their more permanent structures as they see fit.
120 tradespeople received storm awareness education and training in how to build storm-resistant structures. This ensures that qualified workers will be involved in the longer term recovery and construction of safer buildings.

Solidar Switzerland will remain on site for another two years, assisting in the construction of sustainable homes and shelters.

Thank you for your donation!

Christian Gemperli is Solidar Switzerland's desk officer for the Philippines.