Rebuilding from nothing

Henri Bonnin, occupational therapist, during his first visit to wounded people in the hospitals of Tacloban. Tacloban had been severely hit by typhoon Haiyan. © Maud Bellon / Handicap International

Henri Bonnin, occupational therapist, during his first visit to wounded people in the hospitals of Tacloban. Tacloban had been severely hit by typhoon Haiyan. Photo: Maud Bellon / Handicap International

Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines on 8th November 2013, is the strongest ever recorded. It has affected 14.1 million people. Over 6,000 deaths have been recorded and 1,779 people are still reported missing. 

A logistics platform has been set up by Handicap International in Tacloban, one of the worst affected towns. A fleet of lorries has also been deployed to facilitate the supply of vital humanitarian aid.

Distributions of mobility aids are also being carried out to support the medical structures which are at breaking point, and to provide first aid to the injured. The association has also made it possible to provide rehabilitation care to the injured.

Distributions, in particular of tents, have been launched. These should allow people who have lost their homes to shelter from the bad weather whilst waiting for a more permanent solution.

The association has deployed significant human and logistical resources, putting to use its knowledge of a country where it has been active since 1985. Emergency equipment has been sent out by charter from Dubai, London and Paris. There are already 13 expatriates working in the country who are currently recruiting local teams. By the end of December, 60 people will be working exclusively on the emergency response programme.