Typhoon Haiyan case studies

Typhoon Haiyan has affected 11 million people in the Philippines, of which we estimate 1.5 million are over 50. With our partners, we're on the ground providing older people affected with food, water and shelter.

Anacleta, 77:

Anacleta is a 77-year-old widow. Since Typhoon Haiyan hit, she has been living at the side of a main road 80 kilometres from Cebu.

Anacleta's house was destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan.

(c) Rosaleen Cunningham/HelpAge International

Anacleta`s house was destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan.

“My family and I were evacuated to a nearby centre. When I returned I found my house had almost completely collapsed. I’ve lived here for 25 years.

"Even though the house has almost collapsed and there’s very little roof left, I’m sleeping here because we have nowhere else and this is my home. I’ve slept here since the typhoon hit.

"I climb a plank to get up to the house each night and sleep on a slope. I have no access to water and sanitation. I have 25 grandchildren, most are very young. I have no extra income such as remittances from family.

"I’ve experienced many typhoons in my life but this is the worst one ever. We are getting food form passing cars that stop to give food, but otherwise nothing official. My greatest need is repairing my house.”

Elisa, 84 and Pas, 60:

Elisa said: “We both collect scrap metal and sell it at the side of the road, which we’ve been doing for years. Our houses were flattened, but we still sleep there because that’s where all our belongings are. We’ve made a makeshift tent from plastic.

Elisa and Pas with their food packages on their heads.

(c) Rosaleen Cunningham/HelpAge International

Elisa and Pas with their food packages on their heads.

"We’re both widows. I have two children, one is in Manila, and he sends money sometimes, if he remembers. So the only food we have is what we buy from our earnings.

"But we’ve only made 100 pesos (US$2.5) in the last week because there is so much metal everywhere and no one needs to buy any.

"We haven’t been to the food distribution centre (run by Department of Social Welfare) to get any food aid. Why not? Because we don't want to be a burden.”

We convince them to go and later see them walking home with their food packages on their heads.