MANILA, Philippines – More than 3 months after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) slammed through the Visayas, at least 2.8 million people have received food and nutrition support from the World Food Programme (WFP) with the help and support of the Philippine government, NGOs, and other UN agencies.
The road to long-term recovery is still a long way to go, but by providing food and cash assistance, the WFP has helped families slowly begin to rebuild their livelihood.
“We introduced cash assistance early on, and to date 500,000 people have received money to buy what they need in their local market,” Praveen Agrawal, WFP’s country director in the Philippines, said.
Cash assistance not only increases food security among its beneficiaries but also helps stimulate the local market.
However, much still needs to be done in terms of clearing debris, rebuilding infrastructure, and rehabilitating agricultural land. With long-term recovery in mind, the WFP plans to implement cash-for-work and food-for-work programs for 500,000 people.
WFP emergency coordinator Samir Wanmali said cash-for-work programs not only support families, but also the entire community.
“We will help support families to clear debris and drainage systems, and prepare land for replanting,” said Wanmali.
The WFP is also head of the Emergency Telecommunication Cluster (ETC) which helps provide tech and communications response during emergencies. (Read: Importance of tech response during disasters)
WFP’s Yolanda relief in numbers include the following:
- 2.8 million people have received food supplies in the form of high energy biscuits or rice
- 100 municipalities in the provinces of Leyte, Samar, and Panay have received WFP food assistance
- 500,000 people have received cash assistance to buy food
- 56,000 children and mothers have received specialized ready-to-eat nutritious food
- 28,000 metric tons were moved by land, air, and sea
- 20 international militaries as well as the Philippine forces worked together with the WFP to help deliver aid to affected areas during the first weeks of the disaster
- 35,000 metric tons of relief items for 39 different organizations were transported by the WFP
- 28,000 passengers were transported across 20 affected areas through the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service
- 6,000 humanitarian workers are able to communicate via WiFi networks provided by the Emergency Telecommunication Cluster
The WFP has pledged to continue its support in the coming months to help typhoon survivors rebuild their lives. – Michaela Romulo/Rappler.com