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International – Rebuilding the Philippines

December 2017

Sailor’s Society has discussed the long-term impact of storms on communities, four years on from Typhoon Haiyan hitting south-east Asia.

In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most destructive tropical cyclones ever recorded, hit Southeast Asia, killing more than 7,000 people and leaving an estimated $2.8 billion worth of damage.

Stuart Rivers, chief executive of maritime charity Sailors’ Society, which has helped rebuild communities in the Philippines, said: ‘This year, the world has seen the horrific damage caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria. Unfortunately, from our experience with Haiyan, we know storms like these can have a terrible effect for years to come.

‘Four years after Haiyan destroyed vast areas of the Philippines, millions of people still suffer from the loss of loved ones, homes and jobs’.

According to Mr Rivers, Sailors’ Society responded to the disaster by raising £225,000 through an emergency appeal and has been helping communities in the Philippines rebuild since. It has rebuilt 48 homes, four medical centres and three classrooms that double as emergency shelters.

He added, ‘Roughly one-quarter of the world’s seafarers come from the Philippines and the country is key to world trade. It was important that when disaster struck, Sailors’ Society was able to support communities to rebuild their lives’.