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"In Asia Pacific, there are 370 million persons with disabilities, 238 million of them of working age. Their unemployment rate is usually double that of the general population and often as high as 80% or more" - Debra A Perry ‘Disability issues in the employment and social protection, 2002 (sourced in the UN Enable Factsheet on Disability & Employment, 2011)
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Typhoon Haiyan

Philippines - Typhoon Haiyan

A man harvesting bamboo
© CBM/John Javellana
Wilson, the sole provider for a household of seven, harvesting bamboo. One of his grandchildren has mobility and learning disabilities and the family are included in CBM and partner mapping via Age and Disability Focal Points. Read more below...

CBM and partners' response to Typhoon Haiyan - locally known as Yolanda - which struck the Philippines on 8 November 2013. We are working to ensure that persons with disabilities are not forgotten.

Now, we have moved our focus from emergency relief to recovery activities. These include addressing Community Mental Health/psychosocial needs and promoting disability inclusive reconstruction.

Summary timeline of CBM and partners' activities in response

Flor (green shirt) with Mr. Santy Villanueva (an Age and Disability Focal Point worker). Flor, who lives with her adopted niece, is partially paralysed from a stroke. They were unprepared for Typhoon Haiyan, evacuating to a nearby elementary school. Their home was totally washed out, and they are now temporarily living in a with makeshift house. With support from her sister, Flor sells ‘fast food’ to earn some money.

Among other things, CBM Age and Disability Focal Points identify vulnerable people and ensure they are included in the mainstream relief, recovery and reconstruction efforts.
September/October 2014
  • The Age and Disability Focal Points (ADFPs) have completed almost 1000 referrals, including people with disabilities in mainstream shelter, health, education, livelihood, and (Water, sanitation and hygiene) services, as well as providing specific services such as assistive devices (e.g. wheelchairs)
  • Further shelter plans, which will provide typhoon resilient, accessible houses with essential WASH services for 100 families (approx. 600 people), are in progress
  • Read more in the Typhoon Haiyan One Year Report (Accessible PDF, ~ 1.9MB)

July/August 2014
  • As part of the Age and Disability Task Force (ADTF), CBM will support a short-term project promoting accessibility, providing support to local authorities in ensuring inclusive build back safer reconstruction
  • Latest figures show that 4886 people have been interviewed in the ADFP mapping process, 2232 (46%) of whom are persons with disabilities, and links have been made with a total of 5 International NGOs and 16 Philippines NGOs
June 2014
  • Community Mental Health project underway in Iloilo and Samar provinces with overall objective ‘Sustained inclusion of persons with disabilities into communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan through increased access to effective community based mental health care services’
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014

February 2014
  • CBM and partners are continuing with recovery and reconstruction initiatives, including rebuilding schools and houses (with an emphasis on strength, permanence and accessibility).
  • We are also heavily involved in an Age and Disability Task Force (ADTF) together with other international NGOs and local organisations to ensure persons with disabilities and older people access mainstream services, as well as receiving the specialist support they need.
  • With partner 'ADPI' CBM are now working with government, other organisations and communities to set up ‘Age and Disability Focal Points’ to link people with disabilities and older people with mainstream opportunities providing food, shelter and livelihood opportunities, and also with specialist opportunities, e.g. creating access to assistive devices  such as wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, prostheses, spectacles and to eye, ear, orthopaedic and mental health interventions.
Early January 2014 - A post distribution survey was carried out, and the local government, including Mayor Noel L. Villanueva, has been highly appreciative of CBM and its partner ADPI’s efforts to provide relief in such an timely and effective manner.

17-23 December – A second distribution of food and non-food items means that during the project life 3000 households in Concepcion (approximately 18,000 people) received food & non-food items twice, and 883 households in Estancia (approximately 5300 people) received food & non-food items once. More than 50% of these households were families with persons with disabilities, and all were identified as 'vulnerable' (including elderly people, women headed households, and the poorest people in the municipality).

20 November to 2 December - CBM provided support by distributing food and survival supplies to 3000 vulnerable families in the municipality of Conception, Panay Island. This reached approximately 18000 people, ensuring that families were independent for a period of two to three weeks.

17 November - CBM team reached Tacloban City in Leyte Island. The first words from our emergency staff: "We have just arrived in Tacloban. We are seeing a lot of destruction of houses and infrastructures on the way. Cities along the coast are very badly hit."

11 November - President of the Philippines Benigno Aquino declared a state of national calamity. Damages to roads and airports delayed the delivery of aid.
CBM team landed in Iloilo Paney Island to meet its partner and the most vulnerable people in the municipality of Concepcion, Iloilo City and province , Western Visayas, Philippines.

8 November - Super Typhoon Haiyan - locally known as Yolanda - hit the Philippines. It is said to be the most powerful to hit the western Pacific in 2013, and possibly the deadliest and costliest typhoon in history.
CBM sent a team to assess needs in the most affected areas: attention went to persons with special needs, including persons with disabilities, elderly people, single-headed households, and single women.

6 November - CBM was already contacting partners, getting ready to respond in case of serious needs.

Teaming up with key partners

The initial results of a post distribution monitoring survey suggested that the biggest focus of families who received food and survival supplies was for them to repair their houses and regain livelihood. CBM is working closely with its partner APDI to realistically address these issues.

To ensure a solid ongoing humanitarian response, CBM is working at different levels:
  • We are supporting persons with disabilities and their organisations as they actively address the most immediate needs
  • We are coordinating our efforts with international organisations such as the WHO, UN, HelpAge International and Handicap International to make sure our common responses are harmonious, efficient and disability inclusive
Community Mental Health issues are being addressed, and an 'Ageing and Disability Task Force' will serve the key role in ensuring persons with disabilities and older people access mainstream services, as well as receiving the specialist help they need.
Our common objective - leave no one behind
CBM is now working on the next phase of recovery, ensuring that reconstruction efforts will be inclusive. It is crucial to ‘build back better’, ensuring accessibility is considered and that persons with disabilities will be active players in making their community more resilient.

Typhoon Haiyan response - Stories

A boy sitting amongst ruined houses ©CBM
Read about people who have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan, many of whom have lost their homes and livelihoods  - CBM focuses on supporting persons with disabilities, plus elderly people, female-headed households, and the poorest people in the community

Typhoon Haiyan response - In pictures

Show gallery in grid-view (accessible)

Read more

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CBM working with local partners to ensure that people with disabilities are included at all levels of disaster preparedness and response



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