A man stands amid flattened houses in Tacloban
A man stands amid flattened houses in Tacloban

Philippines Typhoon

Philippines Typhoon

People stand amid devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. Image: Henry Donati/Department for International Development

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Key achievements

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£96 million

raised, including £5 million matched by the UK Government

humanitarian aid icon

1.4 million

people reached with live saving aid

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people helped to restore their livelihoods

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homes rebuilt or repaired 

On 8 November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the fiercest typhoons ever to make landfall, ripped through the centre of the Philippines archipelago causing devastation.

The typhoon that made landfall in the Philippines in November 2013 caused devastation and enormous loss of life. Thousands were killed and four million people were forced to leave their homes. Livelihoods were destroyed and many people lost everything. 


  • The country is made up of over 7,000 islands.
  • The economy of the Philippines is one of the biggest emerging markets in the world but many parts of the country remain very poor.
  • An average of 20 major storms hit the Philippines a year – Haiyan was the 25th tropical storm to enter Filipino waters in 2013.
  • The Philippines is an area of intense seismic activity because it is located along the border of two tectonic plates on the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, which means it is also prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

A satellite image shows Typhoon Haiyan approaching the Philippines on 7 November 2013. Image: JMA/EUMETSAT


  • Typhoon Haiyan – known locally as Yolanda – hit eastern Samar Island at 8.40 pm GMT on 7 November 2013 (4.40 am 8 November local time).
  • It caused a storm surge – a wall of water – that was more than five metres high in some areas, including in the town of Tacloban.
  • Reports regarding Haiyan’s wind speeds vary but according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, gusts reached 300 km per hour.
  • It was the strongest tropical cyclone to ever make landfall and the deadliest typhoon in the history of the Philippines, a country hit on average by more than 20 tropical storms a year and prone to both earthquakes and volcanoes.
  • Over 14 million people were affected across 46 provinces.
  • The city of Tacloban, home to more than 220,000 people, suffered more loss of life than any other area of the Philippines.
  • Four million people saw their homes severely damaged or destroyed (550,000 houses destroyed and an additional 580,000 houses were severely damaged).
  • The government of the Philippines said the storm resulted in more than 6,201 deaths.

Our appeal raised an incredible £96 million, which allowed our member charities to reach 1.4 million people with life saving aid. 

The most urgent need in the immediate aftermath of the typhoon was to reach people with food, clean water and kits to make temporary shelters. Food parcels reached 475,000 people, and shelter and housing was provided to 165,000 people. 

The typhoon also decimated livelihoods, with 30,000 fishing boats destroyed, millions of coconut trees damaged and rice fields inundated. Seeds and tools were distributed to over 17,000 people, fishing boats were repaired or replaced, and cash-for-work schemes provided an income to more than 320,000 people. Cash grants were also given to almost 87,000 people to provide the means to start a small business. 

Kirsty Young presents the Philippines Typhoon Appeal on the BBC

Philippines Typhoon Appeal with Kirsty Young

The BBC Philippines Typhoon Appeal which aired after the news.

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Watch BBC Philippines Typhoon Appeal - Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) on YouTube.


  • The DEC's members – 14 leading UK aid charities – began to deliver vital supplies such as food, water, emergency shelter and medical care to the survivors of the typhoon.
  • Funds raised by the DEC Philippines Typhoon Appeal helped DEC member charities and their partners to reach 1.4 million people during the first phase of the response (November 2013 to April 2014), and 1.3 million during the second phase (May 2014 to October 2016).
  • With food stocks wiped out and food crops destroyed, an estimated 2.5 million people desperately needed food. DEC members gave food parcels to 475,000 people in the first six months of the response, and to almost 40,000 people in the second phase.
  • For some, the typhoon took everything – pots, pans, furniture, clothes. During the first six months of the response, DEC members gave cash to more than half a million people so they could replace essentials.
  • More than a million homes were flattened by the typhoon, and thousands of people were forced to take shelter under tarpaulins or in government bunkhouses. DEC members repaired or rebuilt more than 40,000 homes in the second phase of the response.
  • Vital documents were also swept away. DEC members worked with local registry offices during the second phase to restore over 100,000 birth certificates and log more than 200,000 births onto a newly developed database.
  • Thousands lost their livelihoods in the space of a few hours, as farmland was inundated and fishing boats destroyed. DEC members gave cash grants to almost 90,000 people to start new businesses, and helped farmers to find new markets for products such as seaweed, cassava and abaca. They also helped train 1,000 young people as electricians, drivers, builders, masseurs, IT specialists and bartenders, more than half of whom managed to find jobs.

DEC funds helped fishermen to repair and replace damaged boats and restore their livelihoods


The large scale devastation of the typhoon destroyed livelihoods. DEC funds provided cash grants, tools and training schemes to help people restore and improve their livelihoods long term. 

Farmers were offered training in how to diversify their farming methods and by the end of the DEC’s response, the average income of farmers was up 5% compared to before the disaster. 

One farmer said: “The support I got was very useful in restoring the fertility of my farm and reduced my production expenses as I did not have to buy costly synthetic inputs. . . I was also able to employ five people from our community that gave them an alternative source of income. For one cropping season, I was able to earn an income of about P40,000, which is good enough to support my family.” 

Thanks to the public’s generous donations 3,472 farmers were helped to rehabilitate their devastated farms. 

A group of BT staff hold a banner during the Philippines Typhoon telethon

BT staff at the Philippines Typhoon telethon.

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BT is a long-term partner of the DEC, providing its MyDonate giving platform to process millions of pounds of donations from the Philippines Typhoon Appeal. It hosted a special celebrity telethon at the BT Tower in London where famous faces including Jamie Oliver, Amanda Holden and Natasha Kaplinsky took donation calls from the public.

After Typhoon Haiyan, BT's Emergency Response Team (ERT) was deployed to the Philippines to provide on-the-ground satellite communications support to the relief effort.


Read more about how funds were spent and how the response to this disaster was evaluated 


for this appeal, including £5 million matched by the UK Government. Thank you!