Three months after Haiyan: Helping survivors build back better

by Malteser International | @malteserint. | Malteser International
Thursday, 6 February 2014 14:32 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Three months after Haiyan, the strongest typhoon on record, made landfall in the Philippines, Malteser International is working with communities in Samar and Bantayan to “build back better”.

“Currently, the majority of people in the disaster zones are still living in tents and makeshift shelters,” reports Cordula Wasser, Malteser International’s program manager for the Philippines. The organization and its local partner, Order of Malta Philippines, will help rebuild 1,200 heavily damaged houses in four villages on Samar and Bantayan islands. “We will train the village residents in repair and construction, so they will be actively rebuilding their own houses with support from our engineers and technicians,” Wasser says. This time, the homes will be designed to resist future typhoons.

Helping families recover their livelihoods and earn an income is also a focus of the next phase. “Immediately after the typhoon, the survivors were completely dependent on humanitarian aid,” Wasser explains. Now, they need help to get back on their feet again. “We will teach the villagers to write business plans and apply for bank loans, and we will help community-based organizations create and manage revolving loan funds,” she adds.

During the emergency relief phase, Malteser International distributed packages with food, household and hygiene items for nearly 18,000 people. The organization also set up large-capacity tents to be used as temporary classrooms and child-friendly spaces, provided school materials to nearly 2,500 children, and purchased tools and equipment for residents to clear the villages from debris.


Attention editors: Cordula Wasser, Malteser International’s program manager for the Philippines, is available for interviews.


About Malteser International:

Malteser International is the humanitarian relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta. With over 100 projects annually in some 25 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas, Malteser International has been standing by those affected by poverty, disease, conflict and disaster, helping them lead a healthy life with dignity – without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles build the foundation of its work. For more information: and



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