Habitat for Humanity committed to long term reconstruction one year after Typhoon Haiyan

Babelyn Alon (top and center below) is committed to using her own hands to help build a permanent home for her children. Photos: Habitat for Humanity International/Mikel Flamm.

BANGKOK (November 8, 2014) – Global non-profit shelter organization Habitat for Humanity is progressing with construction of permanent homes at 10 sites in areas severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The typhoon that struck the Visayas area of the Philippines one year ago killed 6,300 people and damaged or destroyed more than one million homes, according to government figures.

“We started rebuilding just three months after Typhoon Haiyan struck and currently have close to 1,000 houses completed or under construction. The families who will live in these new houses have been identified at some project sites, with a similar determination process underway at the remaining locations. More funding is needed to continue rebuilding efforts,” said Rick Hathaway, Habitat for Humanity’s Asia-Pacific Vice President.

“Scarcity of suitable land and available construction materials are some of the logistical challenges being faced. However, progress is being made and we know reconstruction is likely to take many years. Habitat for Humanity is committed to supporting affected families in the Visayas long term. Alongside building permanent homes, we are continuing to distribute shelter repair kits to aid the own recovery efforts of families affected by the typhoon,” continued Hathaway.

Construction work is underway at two sites in Cebu province and eight sites in Leyte province.

Habitat started distributing emergency shelter kits just days after Haiyan struck, shifting to shelter repair kits as needs changed. To date, Habitat has supported nearly 28,000 families with emergency shelter and shelter repair kits. Habitat for Humanity has also built temporary classrooms and supported families to develop livelihoods.

“We were too hungry and had to eat coconut flesh for three days,” recalled Babelyn Alon, 30, who fled with her family after Typhoon Haiyan ripped the roof off her house.

Babelyn has been helping Habitat for Humanity to build homes in barangay Maricaban on Bantayan island in Cebu province: “I’m building my house. I’m doing it for my kids so that they can have a permanent house. We would feel more protected and there is some buffer from strong winds.”

In addition to operations to help families affected by Typhoon Haiyan, Habitat for Humanity Philippines has also started rebuilding thousands of homes in Bohol for families affected by the earthquake that struck on 15 October 2013.

Since 1988, Habitat for Humanity Philippines has played an active role in working with families to build decent homes. Through a network of project offices in rural and urban areas, Habitat for Humanity Philippines has built and repaired tens of thousands of houses.

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About Habitat for Humanity International Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1976. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and supports a variety of funding models that enable families with limited resources to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. Habitat has supported an estimated 1.5 million individuals in the Asia-Pacific region, where it has been active since 1983. To get more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit altenheime-hamburg.info/asiapacific or follow us at