Six months ago, on November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan
struck the Central Philippines
with sustained winds of 150 mph and a 15-foot storm surge. In hours, more than 18 million people
were affected: more than 6,000 people were killed and 550,000 left homeless; an estimated 2,000 health facilities
were damaged or destroyed.Based on our 30 years of experience responding to disasters worldwide, AmeriCares goal is to confront the crisis, respond immediately and work alongside our local partners to repair and rebuild to create long-term, sustainable improvements in the health system and services.
AmeriCares comprehensive response to Typhoon Haiyan began before the storm with deliveries of emergency medical kits. Throughout the response, we have drawn on our established network of strong local partners, so far collaborating with more than 100 organizations, including the Philippines Department of Health.
Our goals were and continue to be:
- Treat the injured and protect the health of survivors: Deliver medicines and supplies to frontline health workers so they can diagnose, treat and heal.
- Re-establish health services: Support medical teams caring for displaced survivors, transport urgent-care patients and provide equipment to re-open health centers.
- Rebuild health facilities: Identify, prioritize and repair damaged clinics and health centers, and improve their ability to withstand future disasters.
- Create healthy futures for affected communities: Introduce training to expand health workers’ skills in the areas of mental health and psychosocial support, malnutrition surveillance and disaster preparedness.
In just six months, we have made measureable progress on these goals. We are committed to working alongside our partners in the Philippines into 2015, and longer if need be.