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Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan - six months on

A wheelchair user next to a sign 'Aging and Disability Focal Point'
© CBM/John Javellana
The Aging and Disability Focal Point in Concepcion, Iloilo

It has been six months since Typhoon Haiyan swept across the Philippines, killing over 6,000 people and affecting more than 14 million. Since then, CBM and partners have been working to ensure that persons with disabilities are included at all levels of relief, recovery and rehabilitation.

People with disabilities actively involved

The central feature of CBM's approach is that Disabled People's Organisations (DPOs) are instrumental in emergency response – the active participation of persons with disabilities is essential in identifying, addressing and overcoming the heightened vulnerabilities caused by disaster.

Persons with disabilities were actively involved in organising emergency relief distributions, and are now running ‘Aging and Disability Focal Points’ (ADFPs) to link people with mainstream services. One DPO has been producing school furniture for mainstream schools.

As well as these initiatives, CBM:

Typhoon Haiyan response - in pictures

Show gallery in slideshow-view
Satellite image showing mass of swirling white cloud

Super Typhoon Haiyan is seen approaching the Philippines in this Japan Meteorological Agency handout image (7 Nov 2013)

Arial view of damaged houses on coastline

An aerial view shows damaged houses on a coastal community, after Typhoon Haiyan hit Iloilo Province, central Philippines (9 Nov 2013

A man stands atop debris and ruins of houses

A man stands atop debris as residents salvage belongings from the ruins of their houses after Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines (10 Nov 2013)

A man sits under an umbrella outside a makeshift tent

A typhoon victim sits under an umbrella outside a makeshift tent (11 Nov 2013)

A man (wearing red CBM t-shirt) and a young boy sitting talking, surrounded by boxes, clothes, wood

Florence, whose house was completely destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, with CBM employee Gilbert Ogeto (12 Nov 2013)

People talking amid fallen-down trees & buildings

CBM Rapid Needs Assessment Team members Glbert Ogeto and Wilfredo Reyes chatting with the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the city of Conception (12 Nov 2013)

Flattened, destroyed buildings in front of the ocean

Damage in Conception, Island of Planey (12 Nov 2013)

A young man in a wheelchair amid destroyed buildings, fallen power lines and drying clothes

Cerilo, who had to flee with his mother when his house was destroyed (13 Nov 2013)

A woman and a young boy sitting among broken buildings and drying clothes

Flora with Jesson, one of her three children, among the rubble and mud of what was once their home (13 Nov 2013)

A man standing in rubble with a young woman on his back

Manuelito's house was wiped out during the typhoon and he had to carry his daughter, Manith, to find shelter (13 Nov 2013)

Two women in front of a ruined house.

Maria (right) and her mother in front of their badly damaged house. Maria's father is paralysed after a suspected stroke, while Maria has had severe mood swings associated with bipolar affective disorder since her teenage years. Both Maria and her father are cared for by Maria’s mother. Maria had previously received treatment from the Concepcion Rural Health Centre, but since the typhoon this treatment is no longer available and her mood has become very unstable. She comes across as being happy, singing and dancing during community meetings, but she is also often agitated.

A man (above-knee amputee, using crutch) standing amidst rubble

Henry, who is 63, had not anticipated so much loss when Typhoon Haiyan struck. His right leg was amputated when he was in his 20s, after an accident and he is being supported by CBM and partner 'ADPI' in Concepcion, Paney Island

A young woman and three young children in a makeshift wooden shelter surrounded by bedding

Cheryll (left, who is blind) and her partner Aldrine lost everything during the typhoon and now live in this makeshift shelter with their three young children

A man and woman (wearing shirts with 'CBM Emergency Response Team' looking at broken houses and fallen trees

Annalyn Porras (from CBM partner Association of Disabled Persons Incorporated - ADPI) and Gilbert Ogeto (CBM) survey damage in Estancia (14 Nov 2013)

Analyn Porras (left, from CBM partner Association for Disabled Persons Inc. in Iloilo City, Philippines) and CBM Australia's Chelsea Huggett with Joy Decana, who lives in Estancia and was not been able to contact her children in Manila for many days after Typhoon Haiyan struck. Her house only had minor damage, and many people in her community sought refuge there during the Typhoon. (14 Nov 2013)

Two men talking amid fallen palm trees - one man has crutches

CBM meeting survivors, often persons with disabilities who have lost everything (14 Nov 2013)

A makeshift sign outside a house reads 'We need help & food'

Between the cities of Iloilo and Estancia (14 Nov 2013)

Four hands interlinked in a show of unity

The CBM team separate to conduct needs assessment in separate locations (15 Nov 2013)

A man stacking boxes

CBM and local partner preparing survival items to be distributed to the affected population around Iloilo, including persons with disabilities (16 Nov 2013)

CBM Rapid Needs Assessment planning meeting in Tacloban City, one of the most affected areas (17 Nov 2013 - CBM had already funded a food distribution for vulnerable families in Tacloban)

Two people standing next to collapsed building frame (they use crutches)

On the mountainside above Tacloban City the CBM Rapid Assessment Team found a group of people - mainly women and children and many with disabilities - sheltering in the workshop of the Tacloban Persons with Disability Cooperative (CBM partner). They had been living there for eight days had food to last them only two more days and were frightened, losing hope. (18 Nov 2013)

Two men walking through school grounds amid fallen trees

CBM Emergency Programme Manager Tushar Wali (left) visits CBM partner International Deaf Association for Education (IDEA), whose school was badly damaged (18 Nov 2013)

A man and woman in destroyed dormitory

Ms Maria Rollo (left) of CBM partner International Deaf Association for Education (IDEA) with CBM Emergency Programme Manager Tushar Wali (18 Nov 2013)

Two women assessing damage in a bathroom

Ms Rena Silva (right) of CBM partner International Deaf Association for Education (IDEA) with CBM's Chelsea Huggett (18 Nov 2013)

Several people (including people with disabilities) preparing packets of rice

CBM and partner APDI staff, and volunteers, preparing the food and survival items to be distributed to families of persons with disabilities (19 Nov 2013)

Women tying up tarpaulins

Preparing tarpaulins to be distributed to families of persons with disabilities (19 Nov 2013)

Women tying up tarpaulins

Preparing tarpaulins to be distributed to families of persons with disabilities (19 Nov 2013)

Several people (including people with disabilities) preparing large bags of food

Preparing for food distribution in response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Kate Cerbas (right), who serves on the board of directors of CBM partner ADPI, is the person in charge of monitoring the packing activities. (19 Nov 2013)

A man heaving large sacks

Andrew Berlin, who is a local volunteer and member of the Deaf Association Ilo (DAI) said he was surprised to see the destruction of the typhoon on TV, and I wanted to share his strength to help (19 Nov 2013)

A line of people transferring bags (one man - main subject of photo - has one arm)

Mr Herman Somosa, ADPI Board Director and volunteer for Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) relief operation in Concepcion, Iloilo

Four people smiling, in front of large orange bags (two of the people are wheelchair users)

CBM and ADP Iloilo counting bags of food and survival supplies for emergency distribution - Concepcion, Paney Island (20 Nov 2013)

Various packs of food, tins, tarpaulins, etc

Some typical contents of emergency supply bags (20 Nov 2013)

People - with children on their knees - on plastic chairs in a large hall

People waiting patiently for the distribution to start (21 Nov 2013)

CBM and partner staff and volunteers checking records and tickets prior to the distribution (21 Nov 2013)

Many bright orange bags lined up in front of sign 'OPERATION HELP - ADP-Iloilo CBM'

Packed bags await distribution to people with disability and other vulnerable groups (21 Nov 2013)

A man speaking into a megaphone (he's wearing a red cap and t-shirt branded 'CBM' and uses a crutch for mobility

Distribution organiser Mario Abaygar (ADPI) directs recipients (21 Nov 2013)

A man with red t-shirt 'CBM Emergency Response Team' pointing to something for a woman and young child

CBM ERU's Ira Largoza directs a mother and child to the emergency items (21 Nov 2013)

A young lady handing over a ticket to a woman wearing a red t-shirt

A young lady handing in her ticket voucher before receiving her food and survival supplies (21 Nov 2013)

A man smiles joyfully  - he holds a bulging organge sack in his arm (which has been amputated below the elbow)

Joy after receiving much-needed emergency relief items (21 Nov 2013)

A man, woman, and two boys smiling with two orange bags

Wilma, her sons (Cerilo and William) and her father Wilson, sit together after having received their packs (21 Nov 2013)

A man cutting huge bamboo poles in a forest

Wilson works daily from early morning harvesting bamboo to support his family. They were recipients of food and non-food items in the months following the typhoon and are part of the mapping process underway by the Ageing and Disability Focal Point (ADFP) in Concepcion, which aims to provide access to mainstream services for persons with disabilities (Wilson's grandson is visually impaired and has difficulty walking) (April 2014)

A class of smiling children with thank you messages

Children from Loguingot Elementary School saying thank you for their new furniture (February 2014)

People unloading chairs from a small boat on a beach

As part of the response to Typhoon Haiyan, CBM partner 'Association Of Disabled Persons Iloilo' (ADPI) Cooperative started producing and delivering school furniture for schools on Panay Island, replacing those lost and damaged during the storm (February 2014)

A man (who is an above-knee amputee) seated and working with wood

Here, Ronel is making school chairs to replace those lost and damaged during the storm - another example of how people with disabilities are directly supporting their communities in rebuilding (April 2014)

Two photos, a before and after of a destroyed and rebuilt building

The resource center at Carles Central Elementary School, Iloilo, was totally demolished by Haiyan (image below). By April 2014 it had been completely rebuilt (above), ready to be furnished and equipped with assistive devices by the start of the school year in June. 10 more centres are going to be similarly reconstructed. CBM works with partner RBI (Resources for the Blind), who run these centres, ensuring that children with visual impairments (and they may also have hearing, learning or mobility difficulties as well) have the chance to access education. (April 2014)

A young boy smiling, on a lady's knee

Lucky Boy (pictured here with his grandmother) will be one of the first students using the new resource centre at Carles School (April 2014)

A young boy hugging a smiling woman

Adrian hugs his teacher at a the rebuilt SPED school in Dumarao, Panay Island (Sept 2014)

Hand of a young child writing, being guided by an older person's hand.

Purisima assists her granddaughter Francine Kay inside the rebuilt SPED school in Dumarao (Sept 2014)

Hands of a child learning Braille

Students at work learning Braille at the rebuilt SPED school in Dumarao (Sept 2014)

Children outside a building with plaque showing Resources for the Blind & CBM

Students outside the rebuilt SPED school in Dumarao, Panay Island (Sept 2014)

A man repairing a house roof

Roof repairs commence on one house in Cebu, on a project which targets 123 vulnerable households, including 73 with persons with disabilities (April 2014)

A man (wheelchair user) next to a sign saying Aging and Disability Focal Point

CBM and the Association of Disabled Persons Iloilo (ADPI) have set up two Ageing and Disability Focal Points (ADFPs) in Iloilo Province, to ensure that people with disabilities and older people are included in mainstream relief. This image shows Juvy Ministros, the ADFP Supervisor in Concepcion. (April 2014)

A young woman smiling

Alex is a Community Organiser at the Ageing and Disability Focal Point (ADFP) in Concepcion, Iloilo. She became involved because her father (who has a disability as a result of polio) was a founding member of CBM partner organisation Association of Disabled People Iloilo (ADPI). She was trained as a nurse, as well as having a role in community sensitisation prior to this job. She says she now better understands the needs of persons with disabilities and has been inspired to pursue a career in the inclusion and disability sector in the future because of this experience (Apr 2014)

A woman and two young children (baby in a cradle)

Since typhoon Haiyan, when their house was destroyed, Cheryll and her husband still live in a makeshift shelter. However, they are part of the mapping process underway in Concepcion by the Ageing and Disability Focal Point (ADFP), which aims to provide access to mainstream services for persons with disabilities (Cheryll is blind, as a result of a childhood infection). The family were also recipients of food and non-food items in the months following the typhoon. (April 2014)

A mother and baby smiling

Cheryll and her family were recipients of food and non-food items during the 2013 distributions and were included in the mapping process of the Concepcion ADFP (Apr 2014)

People on a boat, wearing lifejackets and looking determined

Jerry Vega, staff member from the Ageing and Disability Focal Point in Estancia, travelling to an island barangay (district) to meet and record the needs of persons with disabilities affected by typhoon Haiyan. Jerry himself has a mobility impairment, using crutches to walk, and loves his work, saying he has benefitted from disability equality training.

CA man interviewing a boy

Jerry interviewing, as part of his ADFP work (Apr 2014)

A woman at a beauty salon. A crutch is also in shot.

Jerry working in his salon at home (Sept 2014)

A man cutting huge bamboo poles

Cerilo, who is 17, lives with his mother, siblings and grandparents in Iloilo. The family were recipients of food and non-food items during the 2013 CBM distributions and are included in the mapping process in 2014. Here, Cerilo's grandfather (Wilson Bano) is at work harvesting bamboo. (Apr 2014)

A man - who has a prosthetic leg - building a new house

Rogelio, who was included in relief distributions, building a new house for his family in Concepcion (Feb 2014)

Several people standing around sheets of roofing materials

Roger (second left), who lives with his elderly mother on Iloilo, receiving roofing materials that were donated by an individual donor who was inspired by the Facebook page of the ADFP. Roger is a fisherman and is visually impaired. His house was destroyed by the typhoon. (Aug 2014)

A young boy in a new wheelchair, with pen and paper

Brice, who lives in Iloilo with his family, received a new wheelchair after being referred by the ADFPs. This has already helped greatly in his personal mobility, making life easier for him and his parents (July 2014)

Three women

Maribelle (centre, not real name) is a mum of five. She has schizophrenia, and because the family could not afford medication, her behaviour and ability to do things independently have been affected. This meant her family have been supporting and caring for her. Since the typhon Maribelle has panic attacks when it rains; she is afraid, and hides. She is now receiving medication and counselling through the Community Mental Health (CMH) project supported by CBM, and her independence has increased. She says "I just want to be better, to watch television together with my children just like we did before. I just want to have a peaceful and happy family." (Oct 2014)

A boy and two older men all laughing

Benjillo, his grandfather Rommie and his uncle Venus, from Iloilo, were included in relief distributions and in the mapping process run by ADFPs. Benjillo has difficulties walking as a result of polio and his grandfather is very hard of hearing. (Apr 2014)

A young girl smiling, with a woman

Jillian enjoys being interviewed as part of the ADFP mapping process. She has a hearing impairment, and her family were included in relief distributions (June 2014)

A woman laughing, looking through 'Bausch + Lomb' eye test equipment

Teresita, during an eye examination after referral via an ADFP (Sept 2014)

Presentation on accessibility

Building resilience - Active inclusion of disability in Disaster Risk Reduction is integral to many CBM partner projects. Here, CBM Technical Adviser on Accessibility Benjamin Dard presenting at a DRR summit, Manila (March 2014)

A group of women outside a house

North Cebu was one of the areas hardest hit by the typhoon. CBM worked with partner NORFIL Foundation Inc repairing houses of at-risk families, especially those with persons with disabilities. Mary Claire (in pink) was part of this programme. (Oct 2014)

A man cutting a boy's hair

Melmar is the primary breadwinner for the family of five. He does various jobs, including fabricating fishnets and fishing accessories as well repairing shoes and cutting hair. He is unable to walk and his wheelchair was lost during typhoon Haiyan. His family received relief supplies and after an ADFP referral he received a new chair (Feb 2014)

More reading

Philippines - typhoon Haiyan

CBM and partners working to ensure that persons with disabilities are not forgotten in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan


Inclusive Emergency Response Unit (ERU)

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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