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Philippines Typhoon Response a Triumph for Disaster Preparedness

Fears of a typhoon-induced humanitarian disaster in the Philippines have been dispelled due to a combination of a weaker-than-expected typhoon and a mass evacuation of some 1.2 million people.

The alarm was raised when Typhoon Hagupit briefly turned into a super-typhoon last Friday (5/12) and appeared on course to rip into the central Visayas region. This was the area devastated by last year’s super typhoon Haiyan, which left over 6,300 dead and a trail of destruction in its wake.

The typhoon made landfall just north of the area that took the brunt of Haiyan, where local sources say 21 people have died. It was subsequently downgraded to typhoon status, and then to tropical storm level, as it hit the capital Manila on Monday night, where residents in flood-prone areas were urged to evacuate.

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Situation Reports


Latest Maps


A Light in the Storm

IOM - “Helping a mother give birth is critical that’s why whenever it happens, we make sure all of our equipment are up and running,” says Lolita Yamyamin, a health care aide who has been working in the supported RHU (RHU) in Pontevedra, Capiz for 15 years.

Biliran Province in Dire Condition

IOM – Super Typhoon Hagupit tore through the landscape of Biliran, with winds recorded to as much 185 kph, it blew through houses, buildings, and agriculture, damaging property and affecting thousands of lives.


IOM - When news of the incoming Typhoon Hagupit hit the airwaves, Florentina and her neighbours understood the importance of information, this time they made sure to prepare for the coming storm.











Highlights of the Month

  • Typhoon Haiyan One-Year Commemorations across the Visayas with the visit of His Excellency President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III to Guiuan
  • Over 1,300 transitional shelters have been built in Haiyan affected areas

Gaps and Needs

  • Over 4,100 families in the Haiyan affected areas are still in displacement sites
  • Durable solutions are urgently needed for vulnerable communities in Haiyan affected-areas and Zamboanga City
  • Procure and have stockpiling of materials such as emergency shelter materials, and other non-food items in case of future disasters
  • Disaster Risk Reduction Management capacity building trainings for local government partners and community leaders.


As of November 2014


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

Visit the CCCM cluster website

Individuals Assisted with Site
Management Support

Individuals Trained in Camp

Individuals in camps benefitting
from Camp Management

Displacement sites Assessed
as per October DTM

In the Philippines, together with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), IOM is the Cluster Co-lead for Camp Coordination Camp Management Cluster (CCCM). As a result, IOM is committed to assist the Government in times of emergency, to manage displacement and coordinate the provision of basic humanitarian services in evacuation centres and other displacement sites and to develop the CCCM capacity of local authorities and vulnerable communities prior to disasters.

For the Typhoon Haiyan Response, evacuation centers were opened to accommodate pre-emptive evacuees several days prior to the typhoon’s landfall as per usual practice of local governments. IOM teams were in the immediate aftermath to support the Philippine Government in registering the evacuees, promoting humane living conditions at the evacuation centers and setting in motion the transitioning of the evacuees from displacement to safe and dignified return or relocation. IOM’s CCCM/ESP surge teams supported these evacuation centers as well as spontaneous settlements to immediately provide emergency shelter and non-food item assistance as well as to conduct rapid assessments of needs and conditions of families living temporarily at these displacement sites using the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). In addition, IOM has undertaken upgrades of the displacement sites including family privacy partitions, drainage canals to mitigate flooding, bathing cubicles, cooking counters, multi-purpose halls and site management posts. The displaced families now enjoy improved living conditions, facilities and services. More than 83% of the affected families live now in bunkhouses or single-detached temporary shelters as they await relocation to safer areas and permanent shelters. At the same time, affected communities also benefited from trainings in site management which render them better-prepared to continue managing the current displacement and to face any future displacement.



Visit the IOM shelter website and Shelter Cluster website

Recovery Shelter Kits

Individuals attended the
Technical DRR Training

Shelters completed

Shelters ongoing

IOM continues to support affected populations by Typhoon Haiyan through its Shelter Programme. Despite acknowledging that IOM has achieved many successes with generous supports from donors, the damage by Haiyan was of such breadth and the vulnerability of the people so acute, that there remains a large demand which can be highly aggravated if an even a small scale typhoon hits these areas. IOM plans to continue to support the Government of the Philippines to provide safer sheltering solutions and seek durable solutions for those who were displaced and whose homes were damaged and destroyed by natural and human-made disasters.

IOM will continue to do so through:

  • Providing adequate emergency shelter support in the onset of an emergency response, in line with the social and cultural requirements of the affected population.
  • Identify and build safe homes to most vulnerable members of communities, as an opportunity to further implement the knowledge transfer on safer construction practices
  • Continuing construction of transitional shelters that infuse disaster risk reduction and ‘build back safer’ methods.
  • Capitalize on the technical trainings provided during Haiyan response and support the establishment of livelihood activities based on the knowledge transfer and new skills to build safer houses with the locally available materials.
  • Support the Government of the Philippines to establish a network of evacuation centres in the high risk areas as well as to have preparedness activities, namely capacity building on disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) and information management capacity.
  • Further disseminate safe construction practices through communication tools and partnership with local institutions, such as universities and vocational trainings providers.
  • In coordination with DSWD, preposition emergency shelter and non-food item stocks.




34,421 Expanded Programme
on Immunization/ Vaccines

Dental consultations

Maternal Child
Health consultations



As part of its efforts in providing life-saving interventions, particularly to displaced persons in evacuation centers and bunkhouses, IOM assists partners in providing basic medical information and services for affected populations. IOM has health teams on the ground which provide immediate support by conducting medical consultation as well as medical referrals to secondary and tertiary health care facilities in case further medical assistance is needed.

The IOM health team cover three main aspects of health services: Curative, Preventive and Rehabilitative. This includes for example the support to the Department of Health in terms of augmentation of health personnel in the selected affected areas in the municipalities of Northern Iloilo and in the municipalities in Capiz. In addition, IOM is providing medicines and essential supplies as well as medical outreach in hard to reach areas and is conducting medical referrals for beneficiaries. IOM health teams are also conducting Capacity Enhancement Training for public health nurses, midwives, barangay health workers and community leaders.

Furthermore, IOM is supporting the health system revitalization which includes repair and rehabilitation of health facilities that were partially and completely damaged by the typhoon. Lastly, health Promotion/Education is imparted through radio programmes, dissemination of Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials and other regular health activities in the displacement sites, bunkhouses and transitional shelters. 






Individuals oriented on
protection issues

Individuals reached
through protection IEC materials

Individuals assisted through
protection supportactivities

Individuals trained in
partners’ capacity building activities

For IOM, Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) includes all forms of violence against women, children, minorities (e.g., ethnic groups, persons with disabilities). Trafficking in persons is a grave form of SGBV. According to IOM’s Migration Crisis Operational Framework, SGBV usually intensifies after prolonged displacements, considering that more people find themselves in vulnerable situations without shelter and livelihood.

Counter-Trafficking Objective: To support the government’s efforts in countering human trafficking through prevention and protection of displaced populations particularly women, girls and boys in seven critical areas of interest across the Visayas region and in Metro Manila.

Gender-based Violence (GBV) Prevention Objective: To support the capacity of the Government of Philippines, cluster partners and community members to minimise risks associated to SGBV, and ensure provision and safe access to multi-sectoral response to SGBV through survivor-centred service for affected IDPs.

In the Philippines, IOM has a trained and dedicated protection team which ensures mainstreaming of gender and protection approaches in its operations. It has developed modules and tools for the field staff and local partners’ work on SGBV prevention and protection support services in both conflict and disaster-affected areas. It has directly reached over 90,000 individual women and men through awareness raising activities and communications materials, over 2,000 plus women and men for community-based psychosocial support, and reached out to over 1.5 million women and men through social media campaigns.



More about CWC

92 Radio Shows
covering topics on Shelter, Protection, Health, Livelihood, CCCM, WASH and DRR

111.5 hours
of radio broadcast

27,490 IEC
materials distributed

789,600 individuals
reached by Radio and Print Media


IOM continues to support affected populations by Typhoon Haiyan by providing access to information and life-sustaining communications. Information and communications are critical forms of assistance, which enable crisis-affected populations to better understand issues that affect their lives and to make the informed decisions for themselves and their communities.

Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) emphasizes the importance of listening to affected communities, with the aim of adapting the international response strategic objectives and operational planning based on community feedback. Informed decisions are made based on the needs and concerns of affected populations.

In a tri-agency collaboration, Pamati Kita Common Services Project, was launched last October. The project aimed to increase beneficiary accountability of the humanitarian community and improve the quality and impact of response interventions through the use of common approaches for:

  • meaningful, inclusive participation of beneficiaries;
  • providing information to beneficiaries;
  • complaints and response mechanisms and feedback mechanisms; and
  • ‘closing the feedback loop’ of follow-up, actioning and responding beneficiaries.

Visit: Haiyan Community Response Map | Communications with Communities: Philippines


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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Related News

  • Prolonged Uncertainty for Filipinos Displaced by Haiyan


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