Press Release


Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines in November 2013, killing thousands and leaving over 300,000 people homeless.  To coordinate basic services in evacuation centres, IOM provided data on hundreds of displacement sites to partners on the ground through its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), an information management tool that tracks the locations and needs of displaced people.


The Organization shared this data with government and humanitarian partners, and also with SAS, an American visual analytics company in a pro-bono pilot project.


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Richard Roberto Leonarda Alfredo Marie Danny Marieta Charisse Mylene Raymundo

Read the stories of the people who are rebuilding their lives after typhoon Haiyan

"As people start to recover, they still need information"

Alfredo Padernos, 44 years old
Barangay Apitong, Tacloban City, Leyte

Read My Story

I came back from the brink of despair

Richard Evangelio, 36 years old
Sigma, Aklan

Read my story

"As long as there’s life, there’s hope"

Leonarda Apuja, 62 years old
San Jose, Tacloban City, Leyte

Read my story

"It was heartwarming that so many people helped us when we needed it the most"

Marimel Oballo, 26 years old

Mother of Mercy Hospital, Tacloban City, Layte

Read my story

"My heart lies in this community"

Mylene Demain, 23 years old
Barangay Concepcion, Ormoc City, Leyte

Read my story

"Yolanda didn’t kill my spirit.  It’s made me want to fight harder"

Raymundo Moriles, 21 years old
Barangay 18, Ormoc City, Leyte

Read my story

"I want to inspire more women to become carpenteras"

Charisse P. Licaña, 33 years old
Barangay Concepcion, Ormoc City, Leyte

Read my story

"When the aid organizations leave, I’m worried we won’t know how to look after ourselves"

Marieta Bello, 33 years old
Barangay Jagnaya, Salcedo, Eastern Samar

Read my story

"This work is putting food on the table for the time being"

Danny Eder, 44 years old
Barangay Taytay, Guiuan, Eastern Samar

Read my story

"We don’t want our island to be forgotten"

Roberto Francisco, 49 years old
Barangay Capacalan, Olutayan Island, Capiz

Read my story


By Naomi Mihara

On 8th November 2013, super-typhoon Haiyan swept from east to west through the islands of the Visayas region, making landfall six times and causing massive death and destruction in the towns and surrounding areas of Guiuan, Tacloban, Ormoc and Roxas.  Over six thousand people lost their lives and more than four million were left homeless.

Guiuan, on Samar Island, was the first to feel the force of the storm, in the early hours of the morning.  The damage to houses and infrastructure was catastrophic, though a well-managed evacuation plan kept the casualty rate low.

Tacloban, the seat of government of the Eastern Visayas region, was engulfed by a wall of water, an unexpectedly strong storm surge reaching up to five meters in height and travelling at great speed up to a kilometre in land.  The majority of deaths occurred there, with large parts of the seafront completely submerged.

While attention focused on Tacloban, the port city of Ormoc on the west coast of Leyte was left inaccessible for days.  There too, ninety per cent of structures were damaged leaving thousands homeless.

By noon, the typhoon reached Roxas City, on the western island of Panay, before heading out across the South China Sea.  The smaller islands surrounding Panay were particularly badly hit, with aid struggling to reach remote communities.

In the immediate aftermath, stunned survivors sheltered in evacuation centres scattered throughout the region.  Some people returned to damaged homes, others were given temporary shelter in tents, and many fled the area for other parts of the Philippines.

Six months on, these typhoon-ravaged places are looking like functioning towns again.  But go down to the seafront in Tacloban, or the countryside around Guiuan still strewn with tens of thousands of fallen coconut trees, and the scale of the challenge ahead is clear.

People who survived the storm are rebuilding their lives as best they can.  The stories that follow on these pages tell a tale of human strength and courage in the face of adversity.


As of April 2014


Camp Coordination, Camp Management
(ESP - Evacuation Support Programme)

Visit the CCCM cluster website

Over 5,000 families are still living in more than 60 displacement sites (evacuation centres, tent cities, spontaneous settlements and transitional sites) throughout the affected regions.

As co-lead in the global CCCM cluster, IOM works with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to ensure that these sites are adequately managed, services are well coordinated and that internally displaced persons (IDPs) are kept informed of ongoing aid and recovery activities.

IOM deploys mobile camp management support staff and provides training on camp management, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and gender sensitivity to DSWD staff and camp volunteers from various civic organizations, NGOs, universities, faith-based and private sector groups.

Camp management staff use the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), developed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and IOM, to gather information about needs among populations across the different sites.



Typhoon Haiyan severely damaged or destroyed approximately 1.1 million homes, impacting an estimated 4.5 million people.

In the first few weeks of the emergency response, IOM concentrated on providing emergency shelter kits and other core relief items such as blankets, solar lamps and hygiene kits. The focus is now steadily shifting towards support for self-recovery and the provision of more durable shelter materials, combined with trainings on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and how to build back safer. Distributions are ongoing until December 2014.

Shelter DRR trainings have been carried out in a total of 200 Barangays, reaching nearly 25,000 households thus far.



Typhoon Haiyan caused widespread damage to health facilities and hospitals.  Additional health concerns have emerged in displacement sites, where large numbers of people are living in close proximity. 

IOM’s health services are currently concentrated in Tacloban and Roxas, where health teams make regular visits to displacement sites offering consultations, vaccinations, medical referrals and health literacy workshops.  IOM is supporting the expansion and training of existing health staff and is repairing damaged health facilities to allow for re-opening. 

IOM works closely with the Department of Health (DOH), WHO, the Health Cluster and other partners on these activities.




Many people left homeless by the typhoon were forced to flee from the affected areas to neighbouring cities in search of work and shelter, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation through labour or sex trafficking.

IOM conducts awareness raising activities and training sessions on counter-trafficking and sexual and gender-based violence for community groups, local NGOs and Local Government Units including the police and barangay officials.

In addition, protection issues arise in displacement sites in relation to vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly and persons with disabilities. Officers from the Women and Children’s Protection Desk of the Philippine National Police are regularly coordinating with IOM for referrals and information support.



Following Typhoon Haiyan, lack of information has been cited as one of the primary concerns among displaced populations. IOM’s Communications with Communities (CwC) programme focuses on providing affected communities with critical information about the emergency response and empowering them to have a voice in assessing the appropriateness and effectiveness of aid received.


3,000 flyers and 125 banners
Distributed in evacuation
centres to address FAQs

16 interactive radio programmes
Aired on local radio to discuss
post-Haiyan concerns

2,780,000 people
Estimated audience outreach
via print and radio media


In Haiyan-affected areas, IOM partners with local media outlets to produce weekly live radio interviews, FAQ flyers and banners (based on focus group discussions), print media, a radio drama series and key message songs on issues related to safer shelter, health, and protection among others.

IOM also uses ‘Community Response Map’, an online platform for engaging in two-way communications with crisis-affected communities. Community Response Map increases accountability by using radio and media to start conversations, encouraging responses via calls/SMS and informing the humanitarian community about emerging concerns of the affected population.

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