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Immediate response to the suffering caused by Typhoon Rai in communities in Southern Leyte

Typhoon Rai (locally known as Odette) hit the Philippines just before Christmas 2021, when the season of storms was supposed to end. This most violent of all typhoons in 2021 caused widespread destruction and suffering, affecting more than 11 Million people in its wake.

Rai made landfall several times in many regions and provinces across the island nation. It carried gusts of up to 270 km/h with maximum sustained winds of 195 km/h near its centre. 405 people died or went missing. 2 Million houses have been destroyed or damaged (UN OCHA, 25 February 2022). Thousands of people lost their homes. Livelihood implements like agricultural crops, fishing boats and others were destroyed. Crucial infrastructure was heavily damaged and the supply of electricity, safe drinking water and telecommunications has been interrupted for weeks. Now, only hardship remains in some of the most vulnerable communities who were already greatly suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With HOPE worldwide Philippines, our partner on the ground, we were able to respond in a very short time by distributing food packs and hygiene kits to 1.500 most vulnerable families in five Barangays of Sogod, a costal municipality in Southern Leyte in the Eastern Visayas region.

In a second phase, we assist 50 families in repairing their damaged homes providing safe shelter and income through a cash-for-work approach. In cooperation with Sogod’s Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO), HOPE worldwide Philippines selected one out of the barangays with the highest number of damaged houses and vulnerable families.


Lucilla Batingal and Lucilda Kilatun are twin sisters and live with their own families in Barangay Concepcion. They recall the hardship they experienced during the typhoon. They were at home during its onslaught and witnessed everything in their house becoming completely soaked and smashed into tatters. Fortunately, they received some immediate help from their Barangay administration. But it was not enough and they had to share what little they had amongst themselves and both of them with their own families. The devastation and hopelessness they were feeling made Lucilda and her husband cry a lot.   With the support of volunteers from MSWDO, MDRRMO, and the Philippine National Police (PNP), our partner HOPE had procured, re-packed and distributed 1.500 food packs and 1.500 hygiene kits by mid of January 2022. Also Lucilda’s and Lucilla’s families received the items that addressed some of the most basic needs identified. The hygiene kit also included items like disinfectants and face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the evacuation centres and the communities.


During the typhoon, residents sought temporary shelter in evacuation centres. Immediately after, many families eventually decided to go back home and build makeshift houses from the rubbles and debris the typhoon had left of their homes. But still, some chose to stay in the centres, especially people who had no resources to rebuild their homes. Lost homes and livelihoods had become a widely shared experience in the area.

Modesta Mantila is 63 years old and lives with her daughter, Jiselle, and granddaughter, Maria Catelyn, in Barangay Mac. Jiselle requires Modesta’s assistance in moving around and perform basic tasks after suffering from eclampsia during the birth of her daughter 8 years ago. Modesta works as a farmer to financially provide for their family. During the typhoon, they quickly evacuated before the situation worsened. Their fear grew upon seeing flood water seep into their house and rapidly rise and feeling the weight of the winds blowing against the walls and roof. When the rain subsided, they instantly returned home. Modesta can still vividly recall the feeling of weariness and despair upon seeing almost nothing salvageable left at what once was their home. But she is grateful that her family is safe.Apart from the public evacuation centres, very little assistance has been provided to the affected families to improve their protection and shelter situation.

In the second phase, this project has supported the much needed shelter repair to provide basic protection to the families who lost so much. This has improved their safety and dignity enabling them to leave overcrowded evacuation centres or makeshift sheds. HOPE focussed on Barangay Mac, which had the highest number of damaged houses. Skilled carpenters and labourers from the area were hired to carry out the repair works. This has generated some income for their families and helped to temporarily stabilize their livelihood following the disaster. The Mantila family was among the 50 households that received this help.


HOPE worldwide Philippines is a non-government and non-profit charity that has been caring for children and youth in need since 1993. Since 2006, the organization has been active in responding to the aftermath of disasters and ensuring the protection and rehabilitation of children and families. For Typhoon Rai specifically, aside from relief distribution and activities in this project, HOPE is also installing water filters and providing hot meals for children in other parts of Southern Leyte, Cebu, Bohol, and Negros Occidental with the help of other non-governmental organizations and donors.


Project Emergency Response After Typhoon Rai in Visayas, Philippines
Place/Region Barangays San Jose, Zone III, Zone V, Concepcion II and Mac, Municipality of Sogod, Province Southern Leyte, Philippines
Partner HOPE worldwide Philippines
Target group Typhoon Rai survivors who are residents of the target localities (barangays)
  • distribution of relief goods (food packs and hygiene kits) to the typhoon-affected communities
  • Shelter repair assistance through cash for work in one barangay which bore the heaviest infrastructural damages
  • Collaboration with local government offices and mobilization of volunteers
Duration December 2021 - May 2022
Budget 52.746 EUR
Sponsor AWO International, Aktion Deutschland Hilft

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