The unprecedented support given by so many countries in the world towards the victims of Typhoon Haiyan is still alive and strong.
Although storm-ravaged Tacloban is still in the process of recovery due to the enormity of the crisis, the citizens of the city, with the help of the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations, have managed to rebuild and move on with their lives.
On Nov. 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, said to be the one of the most powerful storms in the world, hit the central part of the Philippines in which Tacloban experienced a direct hit.
About 6,000 people lost their lives and 4.1 million were displaced. The incident greatly affected almost 14 million people overall, and its impact reverberated around the world.
In an updated online news article provided by the United Nations, it is said there are now visible signs of recovery in Tacloban as the streets that were once filled with debris are jammed with traffic and many schools and small businesses have opened.
Temporary shelters and livelihoods are still urgently needed because many of the people's means of sustenance were damaged after the storm.
It was reported that 33 million coconut trees were destroyed by the typhoon which gravely affected so many farmers. Their loss has been estimated to have reached almost 400 million pesos.
Almost 30,000 fishing vessels were devastated which resulted in the loss of two-thirds of the fishermen's productive assets.
By the end of 2013, the United Nations initiated a “Strategic Response Plan” in which $800 million was committed to support the Philippine government's development program.
The Canadian Red Cross raised $42.6 million and created a field hospital in Ormoc city in the middle of November last year. By December, the facility admitted 1,226 patients, 114 surgeries were performed and 418 babies were delivered.
Through the support of the Canadian Red Cross, the Ormoc hospital - which was almost destroyed by the typhoon - was rebuilt.
They also provided psychosocial services to almost 4,000 people plus training workshops to hundreds of teachers and volunteers on “violence prevention, stress management and safety”.
The Canadian government deployed 11 delegates who specialized in crisis and information management.
According to an online source, within 100 days after the storm over 5.5 million litres of water were distributed, 1.13 million people received food packages and 324,000 households were given shelter.
At this point, 100,000 people still lived in evacuation centres, the Red Cross also gave 2.2 million people emergency shelter materials like tarpaulins, tools, tents and ropes.
The fundraising campaigns and efforts initiated by various groups all over the world contributed to the remarkable support given to the Filipinos who suffered.
Those of us who are here in Canada are still overwhelmed with the support and concern this country has given us.
I decided to write about the latest news on the Typhoon Haiyan victims because so many people from the Neepawa area have been asking for updates. We Filipinos are very thankful to the Canadian Red Cross, the government, and our friends and neighbours who continue to show interest in the welfare of our countrymen.