ChildFund’s Asia Region Communications Manager Julien Anseau reports from Palo, a hard-hit community, just a few miles south of Tacloban City.
Help Children in the Philippines
ChildFund Responds to Typhoon Haiyan Emergency
While we cannot begin to imagine the fear children experience during a time of major crisis, we can be ready to protect them from unthinkable suffering in the aftermath.
ChildFund’s Relief and Recovery Fund for the Philippines will
Enable ChildFund to mobilize teams of specialists.
Supply food, safe water, blankets, shelter and other emergency aid to children and families as quickly as possible.
Repair and restore homes, schools and vital social infrastructure such as water, sanitation and hygiene systems to prevent disease.
Provide Child-Centered Spaces and psychosocial support to help children cope and recover confidence after an emergency.
Your gift TODAY is a lifeline that gives children help when they need it most, and 100 percent of all funds donated will be used in response to the devastation left behind by Super Typhoon Haiyan.
Download an overview of ChildFund’s response strategy.
Response and Recovery Efforts Fully Underway
As of Nov. 29, the National Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) estimated that Typhoon Haiyan had impacted 10.9 million people and displaced nearly 4 million. The agency has confirmed 5,632 recorded deaths, 26,136 million injured and 1,759 people missing. More than 1.1 million homes are damaged. The total estimated cost of storm damage has reached US$699.1 million.
ChildFund continues to focus on the hard-hit areas of Ormoc City, Tacloban City, Palo and Tolosa in Leyte; Bantayan Island in Northern Cebu; and Roxas City in Capiz, providing food and non-food items to children and families and setting up Child-Centered Spaces.
Overview of Communities
Roxas City, Capiz:
ChildFund has set up two Child-Centered Spaces in evacuation centers in Roxas. As in other locations, as CCS activities have been implemented, staff are observing, recording and reporting child protection issues. The Barangay Council for the Protection of Children in Banica district is very active, and protection/ referral mechanisms are in place, making child-protection-related concerns easier to refer for action. In Barangay Culasi, however, mechanisms require strengthening.
CCS facilitators have observed that the children in Banica appear to be underweight. They also report poor hygiene and sanitary practices among children and a lack of parental supervision for long periods. Many children are essentially being left to care for themselves. To prevent potential health consequences, CCS facilitators plan to instruct children in good grooming, personal hygiene and sanitary practices. Potable water supply is a recurrent challenge. The primary water source for the district is some distance away. Neither of the two CCS sites in Roxas has sanitary latrines.
Many of the schools in the area were damaged or are structurally unsound post-typhoon. Classes have resumed for 6- to 14-year-olds but have not normalized yet either in structure, schedule or attendance. Representatives from the different provinces have shared that school attendance rates are as high as 60 percent to 70 percent in some areas. For schools in hard-hit areas though, attendance rates can be as low as 10 percent. There are many likely reasons for low turn-out, including unusable school facilities or children have no food to bring to school, are expected to assist the family in some way, or what school supplies they had were lost or damaged in the typhoon. Teachers have reported to work, but they lack reference materials for both themselves and students. Schools that lost roofs need tarps and other building materials; those that are totally damaged will need temporary learning space pending more permanent solutions to continue their classes.
ChildFund has set up three CCS locations in Ormoc. Two are housed in functional classrooms, while one large CCS tent has been erected at the evacuation center at Linao Central School. With the assistance of IsraAid, one CCS facilitator training workshop has been conducted as part of our effort to grow the pool of CCS volunteers. The City Social Welfare Development Officer (CSWDO) provided 55 boxes (35 bottles per box) of bottled water for children participating in CCS activities.
Roxas City, Capiz:
Our team has observed that many people only stay at the evacuation centers at night. During the day, they are returning to their homes and attempting to repair their houses with whatever materials they can find. The power remains out in the entire municipality, but the cellular network is now restored. Potable water is running low.
Access to Ormoc, which was initially difficult to reach, has become less challenging. Although the situation is improving, basic survival items – food, potable water, shelter and access to medical treatment – are still needed.
ChildFund staff and and our local partner organizations are receiving reports of new concerns now, such as domestic violence and exploitative child labor. For example, children are seen vending small items in the street such as cigarette lighters, working well into the night. Bullying behaviors, especially among older children, have been observed, and emotional distress is evident in many children.
Schools are expected to reopen in early December. However, with school buildings extensively damaged, this will be a challenge. Schools are in need of repair to be safely occupied, and learning and teaching materials must be replaced. No target date has been set for resuming pre-school and day care activities, making Child-Centered Spaces all the more critical.
ChildFund’s local partner office in Ormoc was severely damaged in the storm and is in need of repair. ChildFund is providing material support to repair the office and restore its usefulness in support of our efforts.
Tacloban, Tolosa, Tanauan and Palo, Leyte:
Many children lack appropriate parental care and supervision while caregivers are in search of supplies and busy repairing homes. A high risk of waterborne disease exists, as all groundwater in the area is contaminated. The primary source of potable water is from relief goods or from fire trucks distributing water at evacuation centers.
In all areas, hygiene and sanitation facilities are a concern since most facilities are destroyed or damaged. In Tacloban and Palo, evacuation centers have latrines, but due to lack of water supply and the high usage, the facilities are unsanitary.
Across the four municipalities, all schools are reporting destruction or damage. Whether classes can resume in January 2014 remains in question. Students and teachers will need access to food and water as well as instructional materials, chairs and tables and temporary classrooms.
One CCS is operating in Tacloban; two are set up in Tolosa, with Catholic Relief Services providing water and sanitation for the site. In Palo, three CCS are operating, with more volunteers being trained to assist.
Bantayan Island, Northern Cebu:
ChildFund has deployed two CCS on hard-hit Bantayan Island. The CCS in Barangay Tika is conducting two sessions each day with 150 participants each. Staff report observing groups of unaccompanied children roaming the streets at night. ChildFund has consulted with authorities on the island in an attempt to refer these children to care and protection mechanisms.