JAPAN TYPHOON AID IN GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, the IFRC, and the Japanese government authorities exchanged a “Note Verbale” on January 14, 2014.
There will be a total donation of $1.83 million made to IFRC to assist those affected by Typhoon Odette in the Philippines’ central and southern regions. This was in response to Japan’s decision on January 14 to donate $13 million (about P663 million) in Japan typhoon aid to the Philippines.
Emergency shelter, food, and non-food necessities will be provided to those in need in Surigao Del Norte, Bohol, Southern Leyte, and Palawan to alleviate suffering and maintain dignity. As part of the IFRC’s help, the Philippine Red Cross will be providing emergency medical treatment, mental health and psychosocial support, and essential Covid-19 prevention and protection services to those affected by the typhoon. They will be able to take care of their immediate needs in a dignified and safe manner, allowing them to recuperate from the crisis and become more resilient in the face of future shocks.
Japan plans to work closely with the Philippines to expedite the recovery of the devastated areas, given the two countries’ friendly relations.
Japan Typhoon Aid for the Victims of Odette in the Philippines
A disaster relief assistance of USD 13 million (about PHP 663 million) was declared by the Japanese government on January 14, 2022, (as Japan typhoon aid) to implement humanitarian assistance activities for the survivors of Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai). Officials from Japan’s embassy in Rome, Italy, and the World Food Programme (WFP) exchanged verbal notes on January 19, 2022, following the announcement.
For the “Emergency food and logistics assistance to vulnerable communities affected by Typhoon Odette, Philippines” initiative, the World Food Program will receive USD 5 million. Food and logistics support will be provided to those affected by Typhoon Odette due to this award by WFP as the implementing partner. This award will go to about 26,000 households or about 130,000 persons as Japan typhoon aid.
The displaced families in evacuation and temporary shelters and the most vulnerable communities will be prioritized for this initiative. Affected and vulnerable districts will be identified in collaboration with the World Food Programme and the Department for Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The stabilization of household food security, which is essential for the restoration of livelihoods and the development of assets in agriculture, fisheries, and other sectors, is expected due to this assistance for the impacted people.
Japan plans to work closely with the Philippines to expedite the recovery of the devastated areas, given the two countries’ friendly relations (as Japan typhoon aid).
Why the Philippines Need Japan Typhoon Aid
The 16-17 December super typhoon Rai (also known as Odette in the Philippines) was the second deadliest event in 2021 after the Haiti earthquake. In all, 11 of the country’s 17 regions were affected, leaving a path of devastation in its wake. It demolished homes, roads, electricity lines, trees, and crops and smashed fishing boats to smithereens in the process. Six regions were declared disaster zones by the government.
After a grueling year of combating COVID-19 and other climate-related disasters, the globe was just about to tune out and go to sleep for the holidays when Rai struck. The storm’s impacts are still being felt one month later, as families are still attempting to put their lives back together after the devastation it caused. Caraga in north-eastern Mindanao and the Leyte and Southern Leyte province of the Visayas islands have been poorly hindered by heavy rains associated with La Nia, which impede the response.
Just eight years after Super Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc on central portions of the Philippines, Super Typhoon Rain wreaked even more havoc with its torrential rains and high gusts, along with mudslides and floods. Evidence suggests that Rai was as devastating as Haiyan, if not more so, in terms of devastation to homes, infrastructure, and livelihoods—necessitating Japan typhoon aid.
More than half a million more homes were destroyed than during Haiyan’s path of destruction in 11 of the country’s 17 regions, displacing between 180,000 and 200,000 people, many of whom remain in evacuation centers or are temporarily housed with neighbors, relatives, or other acquaintances.
After two years of the pandemic, people in the impacted countries were already dealing with rising poverty, high unemployment, and a reversal of development progress. Because of the depletion of their resources and the consequent demand on local resources, they cannot cope. Pre-emptive efforts by communities and governments were a bright spot in Rai’s damage compared to Haiyan, which resulted in a substantially lower death toll. However, Rai was still the second most deadly natural disaster, for which the country is grateful for the generous Japan typhoon aid.
Initially, the damage was underestimated by the initial assessment reports. As of January 20, 1,570,240 evaluated damaged houses, significantly increasing the original assessment report’s estimate of 60,000 damaged or destroyed homes. More than half (423.492) of these have been destroyed, with the most residences lost in Cebu, Bohol (region VII), and Surigao del Norte (Region XIII).
The locations of most concerns for shelter are Dinagat Island, Surigao del Norte (Caraga), Southern Leyte (region VIII), and Bohol when the study is broadened to include pre-crisis vulnerability based on poverty, urban/rural, typology2 and weighted building damage severity3 (region VII).
Damaged and destroyed homes were highest in Negros Occidental, although the overall situation appeared to be less dire than in other regions, with a high degree of Government support.
Additional assessments and analyses are needed to have a clearer picture of the state’s priorities.
According to government reports, more than 385,000 people have been affected by the destruction of 77,000 homes in the province of Palawan. On the other hand, Palawan has one of the highest rates of municipal government support.
Regions VII through XIII is still the most critical in terms of the severity of the damage, according to this data.
In addition, the Typhoon’s impact extends far beyond the immediate impact on housing and sanitary facilities to disrupting livelihoods infrastructure and dramatically increasing protection threats to the most vulnerable people, necessitating the Japan typhoon aid. Level II and III water systems in the six hardest-hit districts aren’t working because of damage to infrastructure or lack of electricity.
Many houses still use open springs, perhaps contaminated hand pumps for drinking and domestic purposes. As a result of the recent outbreak of covid-19, over 220 health facilities have been damaged, and access to others has been severely restricted.
According to the Department of Agriculture’s damage and loss report on January 18, 2022, the overall damage and loss were over $261 million, with 533,709 farmers and fishers communities and 462,766 hectares of agricultural areas affected.
Typhoon Odette will significantly influence the education of children who have already been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 2 million students in all impacted regions and 5,562 of 7,106 employees in Caraga are involved (DepEd, January 21, 2022), which will benefit from the Japan typhoon aid. The Department of Education estimates that PHP17.771 billion (the US $347 million) will be needed for school renovation and redevelopment.
According to a preliminary assessment by Partners, the Typhoon is believed to have affected about 2.2 million workers. Workers in Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, and Central Visayas were immediately hit by the Typhoon, which directly affected about one-fifth of all workers in each of the three most impacted regions (18.8 percent). The disaster can exacerbate current labor market issues for disadvantaged populations.
There were 29 cases reported from December 18 to January 7, although the PNP feels this is an undercount, particularly in regions where Barangay VAWC desks were affected. In the future, more attention must be given to a comprehensive package of support aimed at protecting the most vulnerable people by identifying and assisting them and supplementing government efforts in areas where resources are stretched. This is where the Japan typhoon aid comes in.
Shelter, WASH, protection, especially HLP concerns, child protection, GBV, health and food security, and livelihoods are among the top objectives for responding to humanitarian crises. In addition, the pace of early recovery planning needs to be stepped up to handle long-term disruptions in a wide range of sectors.