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Updated November 20, 2013


Category 5 Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda), one of the largest storms in recorded history, made landfall early Friday, November 8, 2013 (local time) in Guiuan, Eastern Samar province in the Philippines with maximum sustained winds of 235 km/h and wind gusts at 275 km/h. [i] Haiyan continued a path of destruction through Vietnam and Southern China. The devastation left behind in the Philippines and the nation of Palau is extensive.

Current relief efforts are focused on providing shelter for the estimated 600,000 people displaced from their homes, sanitation efforts to supply clean water and prevent disease, and providing medicine to those in need.[ii] Ongoing heavy rainfall is slowing the disaster relief efforts in the Philippines. Survivors and rescue experts now fear disease outbreaks due to contaminated water and lack of food and medicine.[iii]

Key organizations providing immediate relief include Direct Relief InternationalMercy CorpsOxfam AmericaAmerican Red Cross,UNICEFWorld Food Programme and World Vision.

Key Data

  • Estimated death toll 3,982
  • More than 13.2 million people affected
  • Estimated more than 4.4 million people displaced[iv]
  • City of Tacloban (estimated population of more than 200,000[v]) is 70-80% destroyed.[vi]
  • Estimated economic impact of the typhoon could be up to $14 billion, with insurance payouts expected to cover only $2 billion.[vii]

Key Relief Issues

  • Sanitation – the Filipino government is requesting hygiene kits, non-food items and water purification systems.
  • Food – Food packs are being delivered to those most affected; more is needed in non-metropolitan areas.
  • Health – Antibiotics and common-use medicines are being looted; there is a need for basic medical supplies and personnel.
  • Shelter and Housing – With heavy rainfall continuing to hit the Philippines, sturdy emergency shelter is needed.[viii] [ix]

Funding And Aid

Many countries have sent aid and necessities, including the US ($20 million in logistical support, shelters, hygiene kits[x]), the UK ($8 million and 15,000 shelters), Canada ($5 million), New Zealand ($124,000 to Red Cross), Switzerland (personnel), Spain (sanitation units), and Germany (health team and 23 tons of health supplies).ii The greatest need is for immediate funding to distribute supplies to those in need.

Social Media

As the primary source of real-time information, social media messaging is important for raising awareness and funds to support those affected by the typhoon. The current hashtag for the latest news around relief efforts is #Haiyan. A few suggested general social media posts are below:

  • Millions have been affected by the destruction of Typhoon #Haiyan. Learn more about how to help via @globalphilgrp
  • Help provide medicine, food and emergency supplies to #Haiyan survivors with @DirectRelief
  • Typhoon #Haiyan left millions in need of food, clean water, sanitation & shelter. Donate to @MercyCorps to help:
  • Help save lives in the #Philippines. Donate to @OxfamAmerica’s Typhoon #Haiyan Relief & Recovery Fund:

Recommended Relief Organizations

Direct Relief International @DirectRelief
Direct Relief has prepared an airlift of $2.2 million in relief supplies for health facilities including medicine, nutritional supplements and first aid supplies to the Philippines. [xi] They have also partnered with Team Rubicon, a veterans’ disaster response organization, to help drop off portable kits to displaced survivors. The medical kits include antibiotics, pain relievers, nutritional supplements, anti-fungal medications, wound dressings, and chronic disease medication. Donate here or text RELIEF to 27722 in the U.S. to donate $10

Mercy Corps @MercyCorps
Deploying emergency responders and working with partners in the Philippines to meet various urgent humanitarian needs. The staff is currently assessing the situation and coordinating logistics to deliver lifesaving supplies.[xii] Donate here.

Oxfam America @OxfamAmerica
Oxfam has deployed rapid assessment teams to the Philippine regions of Samar, Leyte and northern Cebu to provide emergency water, sanitation and shelter supplies to survivors of typhoon Haiyan. They are currently working to raise $16 million USD in order to provide the above supplies for half a million people.[xiii] Donate here.

Additional Relief Organizations

American Red Cross @RedCross
American Red Cross has sent telecommunications and disaster assessment experts to the Philippines, and is working closely with the Philippine Red Cross. Emergency responders are providing meals and relief items, including 2,000 tons of food, 4,000 blankets, 4,000 plastic mats, 2,000 hygiene kits, 2,000 jerry cans to collect water, and 10 health emergency tents. American Red Cross is also offering tracing services for those still searching for loved ones, and helping to deliver emergency warnings and safety tips.[xiv] Donate here.

UNICEF has airlifted $1.3 million USD in supplies for 10,000 families. Organization has been working in the region since 1948. They are currently fundraising to support to 4 million children affected by the hurricane. Donate here (or text RELIEF to 864233 in the U.S. to donate $10)

World Food Programme @WFP
WFP officials joined a UN-Government assessment mission to survey the damage. WFP is currently mobilizing $2 million USD in AID including food stocks and humanitarian response depots around the world. The organization has committed to send more than 40 tons of high-energy biscuits and to work with the Filipino government to help with logistics and emergency communications systems. [xv] [xvi] Donate here or text the word AID to 27722 to donate $10

World Vision @worldvision
World Vision is currently mobilizing nearly 500 staff around the Philippines to assist in the relief effort by providing food, clean water, hygiene kits and emergency shelter. They have already sent 5,000 blankets and 3,000 tarpaulins and are working to raise an additional $20 million USD for relief efforts. [xvii] The organization has been working in the Philippines for more than 55 years, with an emphasis on emergency relief and helping children.[xviii] Donate link.


[i] OCHA Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan SituationReport 4, November 10, 2013.







[viii] CEDIM Forensic Disaster Analysis Group Nov. 10 Report