The world’s eyes have fallen on the Philippines at the end of 2013, as countless people’s lives were left devastated in the wake of one of the most destructive storm in South Asia’s recent recorded history: Typhoon Haiyan.
As relief efforts continue to alleviate the damage, subtle, yet significant changes have been recorded in the approach that countries such as the United States are employing in the hope of avoiding issues that have occurred during recent humanitarian aid efforts in other disaster struck parts of the world.
Haiyan’s Devastating Effects
According to one news article about Southeast Asia, more than 6000 people have been killed in Philippine alone.
Also, overall it has been estimated that more than 13 million people have been adversely affected in some way by the typhoon’s destructive force, 4 million of which have remained homeless after their homes were leveled or taken away by the strong currents.
Although some experts have high hopes for future efforts that local and international sources have been promoting in dealing with the losses, it is estimated that reconstruction costs could exceed 5 billion USD – a nearly inconceivable amount for the numerous people whose lives were destroyed by this natural calamity.
Learning from Past Mistakes
Despite the large scale catastrophe left in the wake of Haiyan, there have been reports according to which assistance and relief efforts brought by the US and other international allies have slowly but surely managed to reach even some of the more remote communities affected by the typhoon which local authorities were unable to provide assistance for.
These initiatives have sparked worldwide attention, as the policy of the US, as well as all other countries involved in the Philippine relief efforts, seemed to have changed compared to the events that drew criticism in recent past disasters such as those in Haiti in 2010.
US officials have explained that, although they continue to maintain a resolute drive in providing humanitarian aid in the area, they will mostly be focusing on a more dynamic approach to aiding and investing in their allies. Rather than a constant military presence in the Philippines, the US is expected to only have occasional rotational presences in the region for addressing key aspects of the relief effort.
The overall efforts brought by the US alone are estimated to have exceeded $40 million in supplies, hygiene kits and the restoration of clean water systems.
Also, another news article about Southeast Asia outlining the relief efforts started at the beginning of 2014 has revealed that other countries, such as Japan, have also followed in the footsteps of the United States in providing increased humanitarian efforts in the region.