Fifty years, fifty countries: Philippines

50 CountriesDisastersResilienceLivelihoodsPhilippines

To mark 50 years of Tearfund, we’re sharing about 50 countries where we’ve worked, celebrating God’s provision and power to transform, and praying for each of these nations. This week we’re in the Philippines.

The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country made up of more than 7,000 islands in the Western Pacific. Because of its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire and being close to the equator, it’s prone to earthquakes, volcanoes and typhoons.

In November 2013 one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded hit the country. Typhoon Haiyan left devastation in its wake and killed around 6,300 people.

Tearfund partners responded quickly and in two years supported 365,000 people with both immediate relief support and longer term help to re-establish their lives and livelihoods. This work involved constructing typhoon-resistant homes and training carpenters in appropriate techniques; providing sanitation systems; providing 21 day-care centres where children play and learn safely; helping people re-start their livelihoods; and training communities on how they can plan ahead and be ready for future disasters.

Still vulnerable
In June 2017 Tearfund was able to complete its Typhoon Haiyan recovery programme. But the country has remained susceptible to disasters. Most recently on the morning of Saturday 15 September 2018 Typhoon Mangkhut stuck, a Category 5 Pacific Typhoon.

Thousands of people were evacuated from coastal areas before it struck, but at least 59 people were reportedly killed (as of 17 September), mostly as a result of landslides.

It is anticipated that the impact will be similar to Typhoon Haima (locally known as Lawin) which hit the area in 2016. There has been much damage to agricultural crops and houses, much flooding and many landslides in mountainous areas. Crucially the typhoon has hit at the start of the rice and corn harvest season in Cagayan, a major agricultural region.

Rapid response
Local partners are conducting rapid assessments and working to provide immediate relief assistance to affected communities, focusing in particular on water and sanitation, food and other essential items. Partners also have plans in place to provide psychosocial support to children and young people who have been affected by the crisis.

Please continue to pray for the Philippines. If you would like to make a donation towards the response please visit https://www.tearfund.org/latest/philippines_typhoon.

PRAYER FOCUS

  • Pray for the immediate needs of the people of the Philippines, following Typhoon Mangkhut – for water provision, food and essential items.
  • Ask God to be with all those who have lost loved ones following the Typhoon, that he would comfort them.
  • Please pray for all those working to meet urgent needs and for help as people try to rebuild their lives.

If you've missed any other articles in this series you can find them here.

Andrew Horton

Andrew is Online News and Film Editor for Tearfund. This involves finding and writing up inspiring articles for the website, and capturing compelling stories on video.