Building back safer two months after super typhoon

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TACLOBAN CITY (January 8, 2014)  – Two months after super typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, communities face a new year determined to build back better and safer.

The storm struck the central islands of the Southeast Asian country Nov. 8, affecting 14.1 million people, leaving 4.1 million displaced and more than 6,000 people dead.

CARE is working with partners to deliver emergency relief in three areas of the Philippines: Leyte, Samar and Panay. Our target is to reach 200,000 people with lifesaving food, shelter, other assistance, and help communities recover in the months and years to come. So far, CARE has provided food to more than 88,000 people, shelter materials (shelter kits, tarpaulins) and kitchen sets to more than 15,000 people.

While we remain focused on providing lifesaving emergency relief, we know this is a country that faces many natural disasters,” says Lex Kassenberg, country director for CARE Philippines.

Over the last few years, the Philippines have been hit with a number of severe storms: Ketsana and Parma claimed at least 1,200 lives in 2009, Washi more than 1,200 in 2011 and Bopha well over 2,000 in 2012. Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) damaged over 1.1 million homes, completely destroying more than 550,000.

In addition to distributing high-quality shelter repair kits, CARE and its partners are working to empower families to repair and rebuild their homes stronger to face the next storm. This long-term approach involves training local carpenters and community members on improved building techniques to make homes sturdier, holding information sessions and having roving teams of local building experts available to offer helpful advice.

“CARE is committed to not only responding to Typhoon Haiyan’s aftermath, but helping communities be prepared for the next storm,” says Kassenberg. “The goal is to ensure lessons learned can be engaged the next time a cyclone or typhoon strikes.” CARE Philippines Country Director Lex Kassenberg will be travelling in the affected areas in the Leyte region until Jan. 9.

To arrange an interview, contact:

Darcy Knoll, Emergency Communication Coordinator, CARE International in the Philippines, +63 917-510-8093

To learn more about CARE's response to typhoon Haiyan, please click here.

About CARE: CARE has worked in the Philippines since 1949, providing emergency relief when disaster strikes and helping communities prepare for disasters. CARE's past responses in the Philippines have included Typhoon Bopha in 2012 and Typhoon Ketsana in 2009. Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience delivering emergency aid during times of crisis. Our emergency responses focus on the needs of the most vulnerable populations, particularly girls and women. Last year CARE worked in 84 countries and reached more than 83 million people around the world.

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