The Culion Haiyan Rehabilitation and Development Project was initiated in response to the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), which hit the Philippines in November 2013. It was a Category 5 storm, and one of the most intense typhoons ever recorded, with sustained winds of 235 km/hour.
Culion Island, in the province of Palawan, was the last landfall area of the typhoon and it did not receive much attention from relief organizations. Accordingly, the Xavier Network (XN), of which CJI is a member, chose to direct its assistance to the people of Culion. XN is working closely with a local Jesuit implementing partner called Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB).
Typhoon Yolanda caused severe damage to houses and fishing boats on Culion. After SLB had responded to people’s most urgent needs in the first months after the typhoon, it began turning its attention to helping people to rebuild their homes and restore their livelihoods, including acquiring new fishing boats.
Today, more than three years after the typhoon, there are still important needs to be addressed. Foremost among these are: (1) infrastructure reconstruction, using a “build back better” approach; (2) livelihood assistance, including eco-tourism; (3) coastal resource management; and (4) disaster risk reduction.