In 2013, one of the most powerful typhoons to hit land in recorded history left more than 6,000 dead in the Philippines and many more homeless and desperate. Immediately following this disaster, AJWS raised more than $1 million to provide urgent aid to help survivors.
AJWS’s emergency response focuses on supporting organizations rooted in the Philippines—where they will continue to respond to the needs of Filipino communities long after many international relief organizations have come and gone.
Our Immediate Response
AJWS made four emergency grants in the first phase of response to three Filipino grassroots organizations and to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), an organization that has unique expertise in immediate disaster relief and works closely with local groups in its aid response.
These organizations provided critical services to the typhoon survivors, including distributing food and supplies, importing water and sanitation equipment and providing medical treatment:
Center for Empowerment and Resource Development (CERD)
CERD, based in Quezon City, Philippines, was founded in 1979 as a human rights organization that works with local fishermen to effectively manage the marine and coastal resources on which they depend. Immediately after Typhoon Haiyan subsided, CERD Staff in Northern Samar conducted a Damage and Needs Assessment in 16 coastal villages and started food distribution to families.
Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR)
CTUHR, based in Quezon City, Philippines, is a human rights organization that documents and monitors human rights violations committed against workers. CTUHR has an extensive network of partners throughout the country and specifically in some of the areas hit hardest by the typhoon. CTUHR coordinated with local organizations to collect money and in-kind donations for survivors of the typhoon who were not being reached by national and international relief efforts.
National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL)
NUPL, based in Quezon City, Philippines, is a nationwide voluntary association of human rights lawyers with a chapter in the Eastern Visayas, the epicenter of the Typhoon. As part of its initial response, NUPL has started to collect donations and bring food and water to affected areas. Its relief packs consist of ready-to-eat meals, rice, clothing, blankets, tarpaulins, and other simple shelter materials. It is also sending its members to coordinate the transport and distribution of items and to assess further needs.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
MSF is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF rapidly scaled up its response to Typhoon Haiyan and brought in more than 100 staff, including doctors, nurses, surgeons, logisticians, psychologists and water and sanitation experts. MSF quickly dispatched many planeloads of aid materials to the Philippines, including medical supplies, shelter materials, hygiene kits, and water and sanitation equipment.
After addressing urgent needs like food, water and shelter, AJWS focused on supporting long-term job and community rehabilitation programs in some of the hardest-hit areas of the country. Vulnerable and marginalized people, such as LGBT and indigenous communities, often face additional exclusion in the aftermath of disasters. AJWS’s latest investments in the Philippines are focused on supporting these especially vulnerable people in the rebuilding process.
These partner organizations are focusing on a range of crucial issues, including helping families to rebuild their farms, fisheries or other sources of income, and providing survivors with psychosocial support. Our partners are also developing new plans to help local communities prepare for natural disasters, so the people of the Philippines won’t be as vulnerable in future.