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Shelter Response Underway in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan

By Jane Tingley (Intern, IHC)
November 18, 2013

Last week, as live reports from Tacloban and Cebu City started to dominate the news waves, attention was focused on fulfilling the immediate health needs to those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.  However, as aid workers have begun to distribute food and medical care, new concerns over shelter are becoming a growing concern.  On November 16th, the UN Office for the coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimated that 1.02 Million homes were destroyed in the Typhoon, with the most devastated areas loosing up more than 80 percent of their housing.

While many agencies have been responding to the crisis, the Shelter Cluster has been coordinating efforts between different NGOs and reporting preliminary findings from assessments and actions being undertaken in affected regions. The Global Shelter Cluster (GSC) supports country-level shelter clusters and other non-refugee coordination mechanisms by providing predictable, effective and timely shelter coordination services in order to improve humanitarian response. The current focus of the Shelter Cluster is on immediate shelter assistance, which includes tents, tarpaulins, and basic tools and fixings to repair damaged or makeshift shelters.  The Shelter Cluster is calling on donors to donate both emergency shelter materials and household non-food items.  In addition to donations to support construction, the Shelter Cluster is trying to mobilize experts in the field to provide technical assistance and training in the implementation of “build back safer” projects.

As aid efforts transition from crisis to recovery, some reports have begun to highlight resilient communities, which have already begun reconstruction projects, and are holding classes in local schools again.

Below are some resources that provide updates to humanitarian aid operations currently underway in the Philippines:

ReliefWeb: ReliefWeb is a specialized digital service of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Shelter Cluster: The Shelter Cluster website includes assessments, capacity maps, technical and communication materials, and coordination updates.

InterAction: InterAction’s Crisis List provides updates on members’ response efforts, searchable by response type

Financial Tracking System: The FTS is a global, real-time database which records all reported international humanitarian aid (including that for NGOs and the Red Cross / Red Crescent Movement, bilateral aid, in-kind aid, and private donations).

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