Typhoon Haiyan has had a catastrophic humanitarian impact. More than 6000 deaths have been reported and 1785 people remain missing.

The storm, the most powerful typhoon recorded in history, made landfall on Friday 8 November with recorded wind speeds of up to 275 kilometres an hour.

"Comparing Typhoon Haiyan with the 2004 tsunami, the death toll is much lower, but almost five times as many people have been affected”, says Bernd Schell, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) country representative.

More than 16 million people were affected in 44 provinces. Of these, 4.1 million people are displaced and incomes of over 5 million people have been disrupted or lost.

To support the recovery the IFRC has revised its emergency appeal, now asking for more than 166 million New Zealand dollars.

‘Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their homes and their livelihoods. Most have shown remarkable resilience in getting back on their feet but at the same time they need help to rebuild their lives’, explains Marcel Fortier the IFRC’s head of delegation in the Philippines. ‘The Red Cross is committed to providing ongoing support in the years ahead but we urgently need donors to scale-up their contributions’. So far, approximately 50 per cent of the appeal target has been met.

New Zealand Red Cross recovery advisor Elizabeth McNaughton has travelled to the Philippines to help with the recovery.

Having previously worked on the Canterbury recovery she says she will be drawing on the lessons learned.

"The global Red Cross Movement was here for Cantabrians when they needed it. It’s a privilege to be able to share lessons from Christchurch," she says.

She will be responsible for helping the Philippine Red Cross finalise a recovery strategy, and draft a plan of action for the next two years.

A lack of power and destroyed communications infrastructure remains an issue in affected areas. The Information Technology and Telecommunications (IT & T) Emergency Response unit New Zealand Red Cross initially sent to help remains in place with aid workers rotating regularly.

One tonne of IT & T equipment, including HF and VHF radios, satellite communications and also equipment to set up computer networks as well as almost 200 family tents were also supplied to the Philippines.

Lost contact with a family member?

If you have lost contact with a family member in the Philippines due to the typhoon Red Cross may be able to help you.

  • If you are based in New Zealand and your family member is a Philippines national, please email familylinks@redcross.org.nz
  • If you are not in New Zealand please go to the ICRC Restoring Family Links website and contact your local National Society - http://www.familylinks.icrc.org
  • New Zealanders with concerns for New Zealand citizen family members in the Philippines should try and make direct contact in the first instance and call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade if they have on-going concerns (Tel: 04 439 8000).
  • For information about how you can fundraise and information on why New Zealand Red Cross accepts money not goods during a disaster visit our fundraising page.