Handicap International assessing needs of those affected by Typhoon Haima


File photo: The town of Guiuan, Eastern Samar province were severely hit by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. © Brice Blondel / Handicap International

Typhoon Haima (local name Lawin), the most powerful storm to hit the Philippines in three years, made landfall in the north of the country on Wednesday 19 October, displacing more than 90,000 people from their homes.

Handicap International is travelling to the affected areas to assess the needs of local communities.
The province of Cagayan in the north of the Philippines was particularly badly hit by the typhoon, which has caused torrential rain, landslides, felled trees, damaged homes and destroyed electricity installations.

“Many roads leading to affected areas are now blocked and we still don’t have a complete picture of the impact of the typhoon. The disaster will probably cause significant damage, particularly to farms such as maize and rice fields. This is also the second typhoon to hit the province of Cagayan in a week, which will increase the vulnerability of the population even further,” explains Edith van Wijngaarden, Director of Handicap International in the Philippines.

One of Handicap International’s emergency specialists is travelling to the affected areas to assess the needs of local communities, in conjunction with other NGOs, and is planning its response.

Handicap International has been working in the Philippines since 1985 and is one of the key organisations in the disability sector of the country. The organisation also launched a large-scale response to Hurricane Haiyan in November 2013, which affected more than 14 million people and caused more than 6,000 deaths.