Impact of Typhoon Haiyan on indigenous peoples and indicators for culture-sensitive delivery of disaster response services

Workshop on the Impact of Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) on Indigenous Peoples and Indicators for Culture-sensitive Delivery of Disaster Response Services

The workshop will provide a venue for the Calamian indigenous peoples to analyze the impact of Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) on them as individuals, family and community and review the coping mechanisms they used in the face of the disaster, including the assistance which they received. It will also give indigenous peoples an opportunity to identify elements to make disaster response culture-sensitive, effective and sustainable.

Demand-driven disaster response, including the creation of employment opportunities and restoring livelihoods are crucial for rebuilding local communities as the recovery gathers pace after Super Typhoon Haiyan [locally known as Yolanda] hit the shores of the Philippines on 8 November 2013. As many as 14.2 million people have been affected by the typhoon, leaving almost 6 million workers stripped of their primary source of livelihood overnight. Of these, 2.6 million were already in vulnerable employment and living at or near the poverty line even before the super typhoon. Many have lost everything: their incomes, their homes, their assets with little or no savings to rely on.

Although most of the affected towns in Busuanga Island and the rest of Calamianes Islands have shown progress in being able to cope with the losses and destruction since the super typhoon, other areas, where communities were more vulnerable and poorer than the rest, even before the super typhoon, will understandably take a slower pace in recovering from this tragic episode.

Indigenous peoples are among these more vulnerable communities. According to the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in the Municipality of Coron/Calamian islands there are about 15,000 affected persons among the Tagbanua population, the tribal affiliation of the indigenous peoples in the area.

The Calamian Tagbanua people have a culture that is unique, in comparison to other indigenous peoples, including Tagbanua people living outside the Calamian Islands. Fishing is the most common source of livelihood for these Calamian indigenous peoples out of which they generally obtain only a subsistence level income, which means that most of them are living below the poverty line and working in vulnerable forms of employment. Given this condition, any recovery plan requires culture-sensitive delivery of response services.

This workshop will enable the Calamian indigenous peoples themselves to validate initially gathered information on how they were impacted by the super typhoon, clarify the coping mechanisms they used in the face of the disaster and identify elements of a truly culture-sensitive planning and delivery of disaster response services that could serve as guide to concerned service providers.