US donor focusing on Guiuan for Yolanda rehabilitation

Rappler.com
Give2Asia has raised $1.5 million for long-term recovery efforts through corporate contributions and crowdfunding campaigns for Yolanda victims

DEVASTATION. A Filipino father walks with his children in front of makeshift homes in the Yolanda-devastated village of Pagnamitan, Island of Calicuan, Guiuan, Eastern Samar. Photo from EPA/ Dennis Sabangan

MANILA, Philippines – A San Francisco-based social enterprise announced on Thursday, January 30, that it will focus its post-Yolanda (Haiyan) rehabilitation efforts on the typhoon-ravaged town of Guiuan in Eastern Samar.

Give2Asia, a group which supports charitable organizations in 24 Asian countries, has raised $1.5 million for long-term recovery efforts through corporate contributions and crowdfunding campaigns since the super typhoon made landfall in November 8, 2013.

The announcement was made by Give2Asia chairman Dr.Ta-lin Hsu at a press conference in Atherton, California.

“By investing in one municipality as hard hit as Guiuan, Give2Asia can foster collaboration between the local government, non-governmental organizations operating there, and international donors,”

“We believe this is a win-win scenario that meets local needs through promotion of effective NGOs with local expertise without the concern of corruption and waste,” Hsu added.

Home to around 12,000 households, Guiuan was the first municipality struck by Yolanda. Over 10,000 homes were destroyed while another 1,600 houses were partially damaged. Overall, 54,000 people were affected by Yolanda in the municipality alone.

Guiuan’s major sources of livelihoods – fishing and coconut farming – were also lost.

More help needed

Prior to the super typhoon, Eastern Samar was the country’s 3rd poorest province while being vulnerable to regular typhoons.  

Give2Asia staff, who recently visited the typhoon-hit areas, observed that the havoc wreaked upon Guiuan “remains staggering” even after 3 months.

Around 1,400 tents, serving as temporary shelter, were destroyed when a tropical storm recently passed near Guiuan emphasizing the immediate need for adequate long-term shelter.

The Guiuan municipal government is bracing for the departure of the many relief-focused international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) that are conducting livelihood needs assessments and re-convening local cooperatives of fishermen, farmers and small businesses.

Philippines-based Medical Action Group (MAG), and local Guiuan Development Foundation, Inc. (GDFI) are also working on re-establishing health systems, environmental protection, and sustainable livelihoods.

Long-term recovery

Give2Asia program officer and disaster response lead Uyen Tran stressed the role of local citizens and their expertise in the recovery process.

“In the 10 years Give2Asia has been responding to natural disasters, we have learned that for long-term recovery to happen, it is best to work with local organizations,” she said.

Discussions on long-term recovery, shelter and livelihood partnerships in Guiuan include the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD), Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), and Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF).

Give2Asia’s strategy is to support recovery by partnering with local groups based within affected communities and to engage in multi-year programs to support rebuilding, economic recovery, psychosocial programs and other needs that may arise following a disaster. – Rappler.com


Contributions to the Typhoon Yolanda Recovery Fund go to support immediate relief and long-term recovery efforts of affected communities. Organizations or individuals interested in supporting through advised grants to local charitable organizations should contact Give2Asia by emailing info@give2asia.org.

Give2Asia reports back to donors on every dollar spent. Learn more about Give2Asia’s disaster response strategy at give2asia.org/disaster.

For more information, please contact: John Oronte at joronte@give2asia.org or at (415) 967-6300.