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Lutheran Disaster Response

Typhoon Haiyan: Two Years Later

On Nov. 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Typhoon Yolanda, crashed into the central Philippines. For the next several days, heavy rainfall and top-speed winds wreaked havoc on the region. The typhoon, one of the strongest recorded storms to ever make landfall, impacted 14 million people, took the lives of 6,300 people, damaged or destroyed 1 million homes and caused $2 billion in damages.

Of the 14 million people affected by the storm, 40 percent were already living below the poverty line. Also, out of the affected population in the 14 provinces, the livelihoods of 5.6 million people were destroyed, lost or disrupted.

It has now been a little over 2 years and we are still present. Thanks to your generosity in giving almost $2.5 million and because of our network of partners on the ground in the Philippines, Lutheran Disaster Response was able to respond to immediate relief needs and continues to address the longer-term recovery needs.  Below is the story of Marilyn Jabilloraga, a survivor and participant in the Livelihood Recovery Program, through our partner Lutheran World Relief.

Marilyn JabilloragaMarilyn Jabilloraga lives in Barangay Calao, nestled in the uplands of Burauen Municipality in Leyte Province. She is a 49 year-old married mother of two.  

Just like many others in the Philippines, Marilyn and her family were severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Although they did not experience the storm surge, the wind was so strong that their house collapsed. They hid under the sink, which was the only part of the house that was left standing.  

Because their house was destroyed, Marilyn’s family slept in a makeshift shelter with only tarp as their roofing for three months. The typhoon also devastated the family’s coconut trees and their livelihoods in copra and rice production. 

However, Marilyn was able to participate in LWR’s project and received vegetable seeds, calamansi1 as well as farm training to revive her family’s livelihood. Being able to grow and harvest her own vegetables for her family’s consumption was a logistical and financial relief for Marilyn. She was also glad to be trained on how to make organic fertilizer and pesticide as well as on improved agricultural practices and marketing techniques. She is hopeful that her calamansi and coconut seedlings will bear fruit in the near future and become a strong source of income for the family. 

She still dreams that, one day, she and her family will enjoy a life like the one they had before Haiyan – or even better.            

Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective, the ELCA’s social statement on the church’s relation to society and its public presence and responsibilities, states, “As a reconciling and healing presence, this church is called to minister to human need with compassion and imagination.” Lutheran Disaster Response answers this call by often being the last ones to leave after disaster occurs. Staying behind to aid those, like Marilyn, who may have otherwise fell through the cracks.

Here’s how you can be a part of the response:


Please pray for all those affected by this crisis. Remember those who have lost everything and all those who are working to respond. You can use these prayers and resources in your worship services.


Gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response will be used to provide immediate and/or longer-term recovery relief.


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Philippines: LDR Commits $1 million to Lutheran World Relief to Respond to Super Typhoon Haiyan

Damage caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan. Photo credit: Jessica Dator Bercilla/ACT

Damage caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan. Photo credit: Jessica Dator Bercilla/ACT

Lutheran Disaster Response – International is committing $1 million to Lutheran World Relief to collaboratively address the needs of the people impacted by Super Typhoon Haiyan.  

Early Nov. 8, 2013, one of the world’s most powerful storms on record, Super Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, swept through the Philippines’ Eastern Visayas Region. Some areas experienced 235 mile-per-hour wind gusts, 16 inches of rainfall and waves as tall as 45 feet. Several of the areas impacted by Haiyan include communities with high levels of poverty and regions still recovering from the Oct. 15 7.2-magnitude earthquake, both of which are areas more vulnerable to the impacts of the disaster.

Approximately 9.5 million people have been impacted by the storm, and local officials estimate that up to 10,000 people have died in the Leyte Province city of Tacloban alone.

Lutheran Disaster Response – International is working with ACT Alliance partners—Lutheran World Relief (LWR), Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Philippines ACT Forum Coordinator, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP)—to coordinate response plans.

Lutheran World Relief’s assessment team has traveled to Northern Cebu and Western Leyte identifying immediate needs. The LWR Philippines office in Mindanao is in communication with other ministry partners, non-governmental organizations, the United Nations and local government officials.

LWR’s prioritized response plans include

  • Distribution of water
  • Distribution of non-food items in evacuation centers, specifically cooking utensils
  • Revitalization of economic life through cash-for-work programs and restoration of affected fishing villages
  • Debris removal and road reconstruction

Lutheran World Relief’s skills, competencies and capacity with local organizations in the Philippines make them a trusted partner for Lutheran Disaster Response – International to coordinate with for long-term recovery and rebuilding in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan.

Lutheran World Federation has sent their Regional Emergency Response assessment team to the Philippines; our LDR – International Program Director, Vitaly Vorona, is in Geneva and has had conversations with LWF and ACT Alliance regarding assessment of the impacted areas.

Lutheran Disaster Response – International will also respond within the capacity of our companion church, the Lutheran Church in the Philippines, and in coordination with LWF.

We are committed to working through these partners. Their on-the-ground presence will best steward our resources so that our brothers and sisters in the Philippines can be assisted both now and through long-term recovery.

You can give now to help us work with our partners toward recovery and rebuilding in the Philippines.