Browse by Theme: Shelter

The Philippines has been classified by the World Bank as a ‘lower-middle income’ economy. On the surface of things, the Philippines’ economic gains in recent years, and its growing numbers of new middle-class citizens, represent an optimistic narrative. But as the country still struggles to come to terms with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, is this the real story on the ground?

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After natural disasters the phrase ‘Build Back Better’ is a constant refrain from politicians, donors, aid agencies and the media. This short, alliterative phrase has captured the imagination, and seems at first glance to be a simple, powerful and necessary principle. But is it the best message about what we do?

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The journey from Bhubaneswar, Orissa's state capital to Kendrapada district is long. As we drive modern India shouts from bill boards and hand painted adverts. The roads get ever smaller. Billboards and tarmac are left behind and soon we are bumping along dirt tracks. Below the raised roadway the flat landscape reaches away punctuated with villages and rivers.

Last October heavy rain fall caused flooding that hit this region twice in the span of 15 days. 2.5 million people were affected, with many families losing  their homes and crops.

"How do we predict this? The floods have never been so bad before, you never know." says Santilata Malik, a widow.

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The devastating earthquake of 12 January 2010 caused 222,570 deaths, left 300,000 injured and 1.3 million displaced people living in settlements according to the Government of Haiti, OCHA and other UN agencies. Large numbers of the affected population continue to live in makeshift shelters, close to their original homes or in self‐settled camps despite the onset of the rainy season.

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