Super typhoon Haiyan

Devastation in the Philippines

On 8 November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc across much of the central Philippines. Terrifying winds combined with a huge storm surge to smash through coastal communities. More than 5,000 people were killed, and more than four million people were forced from their homes.

The disaster delivered a double blow to the people of the Philippines. In the short term, it left more than 14.1 million people in need of immediate, life-saving assistance. But it also pushed millions of poor people further into poverty and debt. Rice crops, coconut trees and fishing boats were wiped out, leaving people struggling to grow food and earn an income.

In the first year of our response, we reached over 868,000 survivors in Leyte, Samar, and Cebu with both urgent and long term support, thanks to Oxfam’s supporters around the world.

Oxfam's response

  • Distributed 87,588 hygiene kits, so families can stay free of disease. Kits contain buckets, soap and clean underwear, as well as mosquito nets and sleeping mats.
  • Provided 78,783 water kits, containing a jerry can, bucket and water treatment materials, so families can drink clean, safe water.
  • Built or repaired 3,300 community toilets, and constructed washing blocks and handwashing stations, so people can stay healthy and clean.
  • We moved quickly to get rice seed to 6,000 farmers in Leyte, so families could earn a living again and help prevent a serious rice shortage.
  • We’re working with co-operatives of coconut farmers to chop up the trees and sell the timber locally. We’re providing equipment such as chainsaws, as well as training sessions on health and safety and making business plans.
  • We are working with fishing communities to rebuild boats and repair nets, so they can start to earn a living. In total, we plan to support 2,000 fishing families in 40 neighbourhoods.
  • Oxfam is working with a network of women's organisations to address relief and recovery needs of women in Typhoon Haiyan affected areas, including ensuring access to aid and creating women-friendly spaces within the response.
  • To help farmers in Leyte sow rice for the current planting season we purchased 400,000 kilos of rice seed and are distributing the seeds to approximately 10,000 farmers over December-January. Watch: BBC filmed our cash-for-work program to help farmers ready the land for planting



Latest news

As another typhoon hits Philippines Oxfam warns there are not enough evacuation centres to keep people safe

July 16, 2014

As another typhoon hits the Philippines, there are insufficient evacuation centres available to keep people safe.

Philippines typhoon: Oxfam has reached 250,000 people

December 9, 2013

One month on, international response has been massive but serious gaps remain. Despite widespread destruction and massive logistical obstacles in the wake of the Philippines typhoon, fast action backed by generous international support and the solidarity of local people has helped millions of people survive and prevented any major outbreak of disease, Oxfam said today.

Time running out to help farmers in Philippines

November 21, 2013

Millions of people in the Philippines will go hungry in the coming months if rice farmers don’t receive urgent assistance after typhoon Haiyan wiped out a third of the countries rice growing areas.

Latest blogs

Typhoon Haiyan: one year on

November 7, 2014

One year on from the disaster, the emergency phase of our response has finished. Thanks to Oxfam’s supporters around the world, we have been able to reach more than 860,000 people. Now our focus is on long term recovery and rehabilitation.

The march for climate justice

October 31, 2014

Climate advocates in the Philippines embark on a 1000km  journey, by foot from the landing place of Typhoon Haiyan to call for climate justice.

547,000 thank yous

February 11, 2014

Typhoon Haiyan, three months on

Latest stories

December 24, 2013

Oxfam Great Britain’s Jane Beesley reports on a very different Christmas among the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, central Philippines. This Christmas many people in the Philippines will be spending it without their loved ones, without roofs, without their homes, without jobs, but they are not without hope.

December 3, 2013

Oxfam's Jane Beesley met Romeo Rosello (61) at a distribution for hygiene and water kits at Mancilang Baranguy, Madridejos, Bantayan Island, Cebu.  As a senior citizen he was fast tracked through the distribution with other senior citizens, women who were pregnant, and those with disabilities. Over 600 families received hygiene and water kits that day. Romeo and his wife Lourdes were revisited on 27 November when they provided feedback on how useful they found the kits.

November 20, 2013

Golda Hilario is an Oxfam Policy and Research Programme Officer in the Philippines. After Typhoon Haiyan struck, she was part of one of three Rapid Assessment Teams deployed to Tacloban, Leyte to assess what help people need, and plan how Oxfam should respond.