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8 Feb, 2014

Philippines launches “Thank You” ad campaign for aiding typhoon recovery


MANILA, Philippines–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On 8 February 2014 at 4:40am Manila time, exactly three months after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, the country will launch a global campaign expressing its gratitude to the world, having received an outpouring of support following the devastating effects of the typhoon. In a show of appreciation, on February 8, the Philippines will launch a global "Thank You" campaign around the world to express its gratitude for the outpouring of support following the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan which hit three months ago. Using eye-catching images like this, and through social media, the Philippines encourages everyone to use the hashtag #PHthankyou to continue sharing their support and appreciation. (Photo: Business Wire)

Triggered by an overwhelming sense of appreciation, which has been strongly expressed in social media – for example, #PHthankyou, this groundswell of gratitude is captured in a Thank You campaign created by Filipinos from all over the world. Depicting different ways of expressing their heartfelt appreciation, various messages and images in social media showed the world that foreign support and encouragement has made, and continues to make, all the difference in the country’s ongoing rehabilitation and rebuilding efforts. 

Hoping to ensure this gratitude is received by everyone, the Philippine Department of Tourism has crafted a thank you message displayed through print ads and billboards in iconic places across the world, specifically: 

  • Times Square, New York, US


The media release did not mention the cost of this campaign.

  • Piccadilly Circus, London, UK
  • Potsdamer Platz cor. Leipziger Platz, Berlin, Germany
  • Lafayette Mogador, Paris, France
  • Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, Japan
  • ION Orchard, Singapore 
  • Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto, Canada 
  • Darlinghurst, Sydney, Australia
  • Paiknam Building, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea
All the people across the globe who have expressed sympathies and who have extended support, financial or otherwise, are invited to witness this message of appreciation from the Philippines and help share the country’s profound gratitude to the rest of the world. Using the hashtag #PHthankyou, people around the world can continue to share their support and appreciation.

The Philippine Department of Tourism is the primary government agency charged with the responsibility to encourage, promote, and develop tourism as a major socio-economic activity to generate foreign currency and employment and to spread the benefits of tourism to both the private and public sector.

UNICEF prioritizes the hardest-hit children as communities move down the road to recovery

MANILA, 6 February 2014 – Three months after a massive typhoon devastated the central Philippines, the long trek back to normalcy for children hardest-hit by Typhoon Yolanda has begun.

With help from UNICEF and its partners, some 420,000 children from the worst-hit areas are now back in school, in repaired, makeshift and tent schools and using learning materials from school-in-a-box, early childhood and recreational kits.  The back-to-school campaign will continue to expand focusing on the new school year, which begins in June 2014.

However, much remains to be done to address significant challenges that include continued large-scale displacement of families and communities, damaged infrastructure and lost livelihoods, and increased threat from diseases like dengue and measles.

On 8 November 2013, Typhoon Yolanda laid waste to vast areas in the central Philippines, affecting 14.1 million people, 5.9 million of whom are children. Following a vulnerability assessment, UNICEF – in partnership with local governments – determined to focus most attention on the 40 most severely affected municipalities; home to around 1.34 million people, including 558,000 children.

“Our focus to date has been on providing life-saving aid to those children and communities that were hardest-hit by the Typhoon and who are most at risk,” said Angela Kearney, UNICEF Representative in the Philippines. “We are making real progress, but so much more needs to be done to restore these children’s rights and to return to them their chance to fulfill their potential. UNICEF staff are working around-the-clock to provide urgently needed assistance.”

Working under the leadership of the Philippine Government and with humanitarian partners and local governments, UNICEF has established a presence in these worst-affected areas to fast-track the delivery of aid and support.

UNICEF and its partners are playing a key role in these areas in the restoration of access to clean water and sanitation, in ensuring immunization against dangerous diseases and fostering child health (with WHO), in addressing maternal and neonatal under-nutrition, in re-establishing education and early childhood development capacities, and in ensuring children are protected from abuse and exploitation.

“Every day we are expanding our support, looking to ensure that every child’s needs and rights are met,” said Kearney. “And as we provide support, we have one eye on the future, ensuring that everything that is rebuilt is more disaster-resilient, better able to withstand any future calamity.”

UNICEF’s emergency response planning charts the transition from relief to longer-term recovery assistance. It also provides support to strengthen local and national institution’s ability to ensure children’s needs are met as part of national and local of disaster risk response and management plans.

Assistance provided to date includes:

Water and sanitation

Since November, water kits, water treatment products, bladders and home storage containers have been provided to some 925,500 affected people across Eastern Samar, Leyte and Capiz, toilet slabs and portable toilets for some 70,000 people in Capiz, Eastern Samar and Leyte and hygiene kits for 231,000 people across Eastern Samar, Leyte, Capiz, Iloilo, and Cebu.


UNICEF is supporting the Department of Health in restoring community routine immunization programmes through the prepositioning of stocks and the reestablishment of a disaster-resilient cold chain in priority areas.

Measles, dengue and diarrhoea pose risk. With support from UNICEF and its partners, the Department of Health has conducted measles vaccination and is working to eliminate mosquito breeding sites, and to finalize dengue fever preparedness and response plans for the affected regions.  Over 4,000 cases of diarrhoea have also been reported in the affected regions, with heavy rain experienced in these areas since the Typhoon exacerbating the situation.

UNICEF is working with the Department of Health, WHO and other partners to increase the capacity of local authorities to prevent outbreaks of Acute Watery Diarrhoea, dengue fever and other related illnesses, and to build local diagnosis and treatment capacity, including by establishing treatment centres.


Over 8,000 pregnant and lactating women and caregivers have received counselling and support for infant and young child feeding (IYCF) through 43 UNICEF-supported mother- and baby-friendly spaces. UNICEF is working with the Philippine National Nutrition Council to help them reach the target of providing emergency support to children and pregnant and lactating women in over 1,000 barangays (villages) across the affected areas.

Nutrition screening of over 97,000 children under 5 years in the worst-affected areas is now complete. As a result, 159 severely malnourished children have been admitted to therapeutic and supplementary feeding programmes.

Education and Early Childhood Development

UNICEF has provided 1,244 Temporary Learning Spaces that have benefited over 124,000 children.

Child Protection

Early childhood care and development kits, recreational kits and tents have been provided by UNICEF and key partners to 79 Child-Friendly Spaces, benefiting over 13,500 children. Access to psychosocial support services has also been provided to help children deal with the emotional and psychological impact of the crisis.

A Rapid Family Tracing and Reunification system supported by UNICEF has now verified and reported 92 unaccompanied and separated children, and their circumstances are now being addressed by relevant government authorities.  Fifty village community action groups and displaced protection volunteers have been trained to provide greater safety and protection to vulnerable women and children, and this training is being expanded to provide help in eight high-risk evacuation centres and transitory sites.

Rebuilding livelihoods after super typhoon Haiyan

Geneva, 05 February 2014, International Labor Organization –  The disaster had a massive impact on the local communities, many of which will take months, if not years to recover. As of today, at least 14.2 million people have been affected by the Typhoon, including over 5.9 million who lost their primary source of income. Out of those workers, more than 2.6 million were already in vulnerable employment and living at or near the poverty line even before the disaster.

“During my recent visit to the Philippines, I could see for myself the massive damage and devastation caused by the Typhoon,” said Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. “The Philippines is in the middle of a critical process of reconstruction. It is crucial that the international community continues to support the recovery efforts. Norway has increased its allocation to a total of NOK 255 million (approx. USD 42 million), including NOK 20 million (approx. USD 3.2 million) to the ILO’s support for livelihood recovery. It is clearly pressing to create opportunities for those affected to earn an income, start returning to their normal lives and rebuild their local communities.”

With the help of a number of donors and through allocation of ILO resources, emergency employment programmes were put in place under the Early Recovery and Livelihood humanitarian cluster.

“The contribution from the Norwegian Government has been very timely. Together with the financial support from the International Maritime Employers’ Council and Japan, coupled with a quick internal ILO allocation of funds, we were able to start-up the first emergency employment activities shortly after the disaster,” said Lawrence Jeff Johnson, Director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines.

“Importantly, this is fully in line with the strategy of the Philippine government, which calls for actions that enable people to return to income-generating activities as soon as possible,” he added.

Since Haiyan struck on 8 November, the ILO supported the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in creating over 20,000 jobs under the emergency employment programme, reaching out to 100,000 people during the initial phase in 2013 to help improve their living and working conditions. The support from donors and partners will further bolster on-going initiatives with the Philippines government through DOLE and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Norway and the international community have not forgotten the Philippines. Now that the acute emergency relief phase is over, it is important that priority is given to providing enough resources for reconstruction of the affected communities and giving them opportunities to generate sustainable income through decent jobs,” said Ambassador Knut Solem, of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila.

ILO response strategy

The ILO programme consists of both short and medium-term measures, which together aim to address the immediate needs of those affected by the typhoon and offer them a pathway to re-establish livelihoods and regain self-reliance.

In the first months, in line with the overall humanitarian Strategic Response Plan, the ILO is providing immediate short-term jobs using the emergency employment approach, which contribute to the massive efforts for debris clearing, clean-up work and temporary repairs of critical community facilities.

Other priorities involve gender responsive technical vocational training and skills development provided for affected workers as well as sustainable employment generated through recovery of enterprises.

“With the currently available funding, the emergency employment programmes will engage approximately 700 workers per day over the coming four months,” said Lawrence Jeff Johnson.” We will aim at equal participation rate of men and women in all activities.”

In the second phase of the programme, the ILO will aim to create jobs and generate income at the community level through local resource-based approaches for infrastructure and environmental investments, by using labour-based technologies and community-contracting, and by working through local partners in the calamity stricken areas.

About 20 per cent of workers initially involved in the emergency employment are expected to engage in the second phase of the project, receiving skills training and transitioning into community-based work. It is expected that the programme will create 100,000 work days before the end of December 2014.

In addition, about 250 potential entrepreneurs will receive support on business development and recovery. Finally, US$ 1.3 million will be injected into the local economy through wages and materials as well as tools purchase.

WFP’s Support Boosts Recovery For Survivors

MANILA/TACLOBAN, 07 February 2014 – More than 2.8 million people have received emergency food and nutrition support through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in partnership with the Government of the Philippines, NGOs and UN agencies. In the coming weeks and months, WFP will help families rebuild their livelihoods while continuing to meet the immediate needs of the most vulnerable.

“The destruction caused by Yolanda was and remains staggering, but equally striking are the unbroken spirit of the Filipino people, the concerted action of the Philippine Government and its partners, and the tremendous support from other countries, the private sector and thousands of people who are helping communities survive and build back better,” said Praveen Agrawal, WFP Representative and Country Director in the Philippines.

“In the days and weeks after the storm, WFP mobilised quickly with life-saving food rations and nutrition support. We introduced cash assistance early on, and to date 500,000 people have received money to buy what they need in their local market,” Agrawal added.

Through cash assistance, WFP not only aims to increase the food security and nutritional wellbeing of typhoon survivors, but also to stimulate local markets and services, giving whole communities a kick-start on the road to recovery.

Much work is still needed to clear debris, rehabilitate community infrastructures and recover agricultural land to allow long-term recovery and development activities to take effect. WFP plans to implement cash- and food-for-work activities for some 500,000 people to support this process.

“WFP’s cash-for-work and food-for-work programmes give people the support they need to feed their families, while at the same time providing a benefit to the whole community,” says Samir Wanmali, WFP Emergency Coordinator. “We will support families to clear debris and drainage systems and prepare land for replanting.”

Key Operational Achievements, since 8 November 2013:

•    More than 2.8 million people have received WFP emergency food supplies in the form of rice or high-energy biscuits.

•    WFP food assistance has reached people in 100 municipalities in the provinces of Leyte, Samar and Panay.

•    More than 500,000 people have received money to help them buy food.

•    Specialised, ready-to-eat nutritious food delivered to 56,000 young children and their mothers.

•    WFP moved more than 28,000 metric tons of food by land, sea and air.

•    In the first weeks of the emergency, WFP worked with more than 20 international militaries as well as the Philippine forces to deliver aid to affected areas.

•    Remote locations on small islands and in mountainous areas were reached by helicopters, fishing boats and other means, including military assets.

•    Through its lead of the humanitarian community’s Logistics Cluster, WFP transported another 35,000 metric tons of relief items for 39 different organizations.

•    The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), managed by WFP, transported nearly 2,800 passengers across 20 affected areas.

•    The Emergency Telecommunications Cluster, led by WFP, provided vital voice communications and internet connections to 6,000 humanitarian workers.

Going Forward:

•    WFP will continue supporting the most vulnerable people with food or cash assistance.

•    WFP plans to provide micronutrient powders and specialised nutritious food to more than 100,000 young children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.

•    WFP will work with Provincial and Municipal Health and Nutrition Offices and NGOs to screen women and children and ensure those who are malnourished receive specialised food until they recover.

•    Cash and food-for-assets projects for some 500,000 people will support families in activities that boost their food security, such as repairing irrigation systems and preparing land for replanting.