Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan Work in Philippines Turns to Recovery

Typhoon Haiyan

Volunteers and staff working with food items at Philippine Red Cross HQ. Photo: Jarkko Mikkonen/Finnish Red Cross

I was struck by the teamwork of the American Red Cross and the Philippine Red Cross, working together to deliver relief supplies with speed and efficiency, but also with love, respect and kindness...

Six months after Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, the global Red Cross network continues to help families rebuild as part of an ongoing and coordinated effort to ensure people have the right help at the right time.

The storm tore through the Philippines in November of 2013 with record strength winds and high storm surges. Approximately 16 million people across 40 provinces were affected by Typhoon Haiyan and more than 1 million homes damaged or destroyed.

Red Cross volunteers have been caring for people even before Typhoon Haiyan made landfall. Prior to the arrival of the storm, the Philippine Red Cross worked closely with local disaster authorities to support preemptive evacuations to safer shelters. The Philippine Red Cross also disseminated early warning messages and safety tips in areas along the path of the typhoon.

When the storm made landfall, the global Red Cross network assisted survivors by delivering food, tarps, mosquito nets, clean water, medical care and other vital assistance to people in need. They also were able to reconnect over 23,000 families and ensure people had access to psychological and emotional support. As of April 2014, more than 1.3 million people have received assistance from the Red Cross.

“I was struck by the teamwork of the American Red Cross and the Philippine Red Cross, working together to deliver relief supplies with speed and efficiency, but also with love, respect and kindness,” said Harold Brooks, senior vice president, International Operations, who has been to the Philippines twice since the typhoon.

AMERICAN RED CROSS RESPONSE EFFORTS The American Red Cross has played a major role in helping support the global response by lending people, expertise and equipment to the massive effort. The American Red Cross has spent or committed $56.8 million, which is nearly two-thirds of the $85.7 million in donations for the typhoon work. It also has deployed 46 disaster specialists who have provided a wide range of support for sheltering activities, relief distribution, longer term recovery planning, as well as technical expertise in mapping, telecommunications and information technology.

With financial and technical support from the American Red Cross, the global Red Cross network has distributed cash grants to more than 59,000 families affected by the typhoon. These grants are empowering families to make their own decisions about how to rebuild.

Today, the American Red Cross is helping affected communities with short-term recovery, paving the way to long-term reconstruction. As part of this effort the Red Cross will focus on some of the most critical needs including helping people rebuild homes with more storm-resistant materials and techniques. They will also assist people who lost jobs and livelihoods due to the typhoon by replacing or repairing lost or damaged assets, such as fishermen’s boats and nets, and farmer’s tools.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.