Haiyan Two Years On: Sowing and Reaping Resilience
A couple of years ago, the Philippines made headlines around the world as Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm recorded, smashed ashore and tore through the Visayas. Within 24 hours, Haiyan battered and wiped out almost everything along its path, leaving behind its wake millions of people homeless, and thousands lifeless. The full document details how communities were slowly starting to reap the sowed resilience two years after the typhoon.
While the scale and strength of Haiyan is unprecedented even in a disaster-prone country as the Philippines, disasters like this are becoming more frequent, destructive, and unpredictable as a result of climate change and ecosystem degradation. Disaster upon disaster, vulnerable communities are pushed deeper into poverty. They are ones who face the vicious cycle of destruction and reconstruction. Their vulnerabilities are magnified, and their developments stalled. It is therefore not enough for communities to recover from Haiyan’s destruction. They must be able to withstand, adapt to, and recover from disasters. It is imperative that they start rebuilding towards resilience.
In the immediate aftermath of Haiyan, ACCORD in partnership with CARE, drew opportunities from lessons brought by Haiyan to cultivate resilience. From the onset, seeds of resilience were sown where possible, both in the form of material assistance and building local capacities, and embedded in integrated response, recovery, rehabilitation, and risk reduction programmes for Haiyan-affected areas.
Two years on, much remains to be done, but vulnerable communities are beginning to reap the fruits of resilience.