With Hagupit, Filipinos Show "Unwavering Determination”


In the aftermath of Typhoon Hagupit, Handicap International’s teams in the Philippines are working in the province of Samar, which was severely affected by the storm. Handicap International’s activities in the province of Leyte continue. 

Despite the difficulties accessing the villages affected by Typhoon Hagupit in Samar province, Handicap International teams were able to directly access ten barangays (small villages) in the area by boat, just days after Typhoon Hagupit hit, in order to assess the population’s needs. The team provided initial emergency assistance directly to the affected populations. 

"In the province of Samar, thousands of people lost their homes,” said Marlène Dussauge, Field Coordinator for Handicap International. “They have been left with nothing. In order to assist the local population with the reconstruction work, Handicap International has distributed emergency shelter kits to 500 households—around 2,500 people."

The organization also distributed tool kits containing hammers, saws, and cutting shears to the local authorities in 18 barangays, and clearing equipment in seven other barangays. Handicap International also provided assistance to the Rural Health Unit in Villareal, supplying wheelchairs and crutches, as well as an examination table. Other fundamental needs also have to be met. "Lots of people have lost the resources they need to earn a living,” Dussauge said. “It is vital that the population is helped to recover their ability to earn a living."

In the Tacloban area, severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan in November, Typhoon Hagupit had no serious consequences for Handicap International’s existing projects.

"In the wake of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, we launched the construction of 200 permanent shelters for the most vulnerable,” Dussauge said. “Our teams have resumed the construction work which should be finalized by the end of December. We are also continuing with our inclusive activities in around 30 Child Friendly Spaces. Finally, the new working tools distributed to the most vulnerable in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan are still in good condition. The next distribution of pigs will take place in January.

“I am impressed by the resilience of the affected populations. The day after the disaster they immediately set to work repairing their houses and clearing the debris. They have demonstrated unwavering determination. There is absolutely nothing that can stop them.