Philippines: Super typhoon Rai (Odette) – Situation report n° 7 (as of March 25, 2022) – Philippines

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This report is produced by OCHA Philippines in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from March 11 to 21, 2022.

STRONG POINTS

• The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reports that 5,102 families (or 21,051 people) are displaced in Regions VI, VII, VIII, X, MIMAROPA and Caraga.

• Three months after Typhoon Rai/Odette, a high-level mission was conducted to CERF sites in the Caraga region (9-11 March) and southern Leyte (14-16 March) to take stock on initial progress and remaining gaps. RC/HC Gustavo Gonzalez was joined by key CERF supporters, the Ambassador of Norway, the United Kingdom and Canada, and heads of agencies from UNICEF, WFP, IOM, UNFPA and OCHA.

• Inclusive consultation and clear communication is needed with communities affected by the ‘no-build zones’ (NBZ) policy.

• To date, the Logistics Cluster has provided 550 trucks to transport various relief cargoes for the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and DSWD. The pace of cargo truck shipments has slowed but is expected to pick up to transport family food parcels and national government specialized nutritious foods.

• More targeted joint targeting between UN agencies and humanitarian actors is needed to ensure that the multiple vulnerabilities faced by women and adolescents are addressed through coordinated and collective action, particularly with regard to health interventions.

• Healthcare workers are overwhelmed with competing priorities such as providing routine and essential care, vaccinations and controlling the spread of COVID-19.

• Limited mobile and internet signal due to damaged infrastructure continues to hamper timely communication and reporting.

• Funding remains a major constraint as communities slowly transition to early recovery.

• Price hikes due to the war in Ukraine are driving up fuel and cement prices, further delaying recovery efforts in all areas affected by Typhoon Rai.

• The results of the post-disaster needs assessment in the 6 regions and the corresponding recovery plans have yet to be presented to the NDRRMC. Presentation and approval of the recovery plan will unlock government resources for full recovery and rehabilitation of Rai affected regions and communities.

OVERVIEW

As of March 25, 2022, 100 days have passed since Typhoon Rai/Odette swept through 11 of the country’s 17 regions. More than 21,000 people remain displaced after Typhoon Rai landed on December 16, 2022 and so far more than 2.1 million homes have been damaged, of which 425,000 have been completely destroyed and 1,702,428 partially damaged, according to the latest government reports.

On March 15, 2022, the Caraga Regional Disaster Response Committee announced the deactivation of the regional coordination mechanism for Typhoon Rai response operations. The directive cites the closure of evacuation centers; reduce the number of requests for increases from the local government, in particular for food parcels; and disabling regional response clusters. Member government agencies, cluster leads and relevant agencies continue to monitor and respond to affected families as needed, with HCT partners augmenting the response from local government units.

The HCT met in a face-to-face meeting on March 17-23 to discuss protection issues of the Typhoon Rai response and principled humanitarian response in the context of the national and local elections in May 2022. The HCT endorsed the proposed deployment strategy of the Protection Cluster and the Shelter Cluster noting that humanitarian partners should engage in constructive dialogue with the authorities and showcase good practices that already exist at the local level.

Today also marks the start of the electoral campaign for the local elections. The campaign period may affect ongoing disaster response and recovery activities leading up to the May 9 elections, as the Electoral Commission has instituted a ban on the release, disbursement or expenditure of public funds. In practice, government relief agencies would have to seek an exemption from the Electoral Commission from the ban on elections, so that they can continue to provide relief aid.

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