UN Women Leads Humanitarian Response to Typhoon Ulysses in Luzon, Philippines
Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Manila, Philippines - Supported by private-sector partners, UN Women has begun leading efforts to help thousands of people affected by a typhoon in Rizal province on Luzon Island, northern Philippines.
UN Women identified the worst-hit communities and is the main coordinator of the relief effort involving donors, entrepreneurs and private-sector groups. This is UN Women’s first direct humanitarian emergency response effort in the Philippines, and a pilot for collaboration between the humanitarian and private sectors in emergency response.
One of the hard-hit communities in Rizal was Barangay Banaba in San Mateo. As Typhoon Ulysses (also known as Vamco) struck on 11 and 12 November, houses in the district were swamped by mud from the overflowing Marikina River and landslides from the mountains.
More than 3,250 families have been affected. Most of them have stayed put to protect what is left of their homes and to clean up and rebuild. About 500 other families fled to and are still staying on a basketball court turned into a makeshift shelter and in evacuation centers.
Karen Davila, a respected TV and radio broadcaster for ABS-CBN in the Philippines, mobilized individuals and private companies such as SM Supermalls, Unilever Philippines, Aivee’s Clinic and JS Unitrade, to provide the displaced women and girls with clothing, sleeping bags, first aid and hygiene kits, and other items. They also gave them power and cleaning tools so they and their families can try to resume normal life as soon as they can return to their homes.
UN Women’s WeEmpowerAsia programme, a European Union-funded initiative to help women in business and community, coordinated the private-sector assistance and recommended what items the people of Banaba, especially the women and children, needed most.
Working with WeEmpowerAsia, another UN Women project, Women and Girls at the Center of COVID-19 Prevention, is helping to ensure that the assistance not only meets the immediate essential needs of the women and girls, but also their security and dignity as they start recovering from the disaster. Funded by the Government of Japan, the project also provided for COVID-19 prevention kits (face masks, face shield and alcohol-based hand rub) to ensure that families practice proper health and safety protocols to avoid COVID-19 infection.
UN Women also is partnering with women-led and community-based organizations such as the Solidarity of Oppressed Filipino People and Buklod Tao, as well as Banaba community volunteers to give logistical support to the relief effort.
For media inquiries:
Humanitarian Programme Officer
UN Women Philippines
Tel: +63 917 793 4199
Programme Manager, WeEmpowerAsia
UN Women Philippines
Tel: +63 917 305 3864