8 November, 2015 - Haiyan two years on: Children still vulnerable, says Plan International

Senior representatives from Plan International in both the Philippines and Australia are available for interviews. Please contact Adam Cathro, Media Relations Manager, on 0488 202 945 to arrange. 

Two years after the most powerful storm to ever make landfall slammed into the Philippines, the education needs of children living in areas devastated by the Super Typhoon are still not being met, warns child rights organisation Plan International Australia.

In interviews and surveys held with children and community members, Plan International found that many school facilities are far from communities while families often don’t have enough money for school supplies and some schools do not even have working toilets or health facilities.

Errol, a 16 year old boy in Tacloban City, said: “The money our parents gave us for our snacks is usually used for photocopying the school books because the school doesn’t provide these to the students.”

Shiela, an 11 year old in Samar, told Plan International:  “We need a school clinic because the health centre in our village is not functional. Children who get sick or injured are brought all the way to the Rural Health Unit, which is far from here.” 

Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Central Philippines on November 8, 2013, killing more than 6,300 people and displacing six million people, with 1.9 million left homeless. Winds of up to 315 km/hour battered houses while floods and storm surge destroyed entire communities, including schools and infrastructure. 

Plan International has been at the forefront of the humanitarian response, establishing new livelihoods and employment opportunities, as well as rebuilding homes, schools and key community facilities like health centres and child protection facilities. 

Now, Plan International is asking governments and donors to continue to invest in the Philippines to ensure that the recovery effort is completed and that affected communities, many of which suffer from acute poverty, are able to build back better.

Dennis O'Brien, Plan International Philippines Country Director, said: “Communities have made incredible progress recovering from the disaster and in preparing to meet the challenges of future storms, but community members are also telling us that core investments still need to be made and that a lot of work remains to be done.

“The Philippines is extremely vulnerable to severe storms like Haiyan – just last month another typhoon caused widespread damage in the northern islands – and many of the communities that bear the brunt of these storms are already often very poor. When storms hit, it's children who suffer the most, and we need to make sure children's core needs are met as the recovery continues.”

Photos and media materials: bit.ly/haiyantwoyears. Please credit ‘Plan International Australia’. These resources include Plan’s exclusive and dramatic eyewitness footage of the Haiyan storm surge.

Media contact: Adam Cathro, Plan International Australia, Media Relations Manager, 0488 202 945