Published on Sustainable Cities

What Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines told us about building back better

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The Philippines is increasingly exposed and vulnerable to natural hazards. 
Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which struck the country in 2013, was considered one of the strongest tropical storms ever to make landfall (at 380 kilometer / hour wind gusts). It caused over 6,300 fatalities and affected 1,472,251 families in 171 cities and municipalities across the 14 provinces in 6 regions. Total damage and loss was estimated at $12.9 billion ( Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda 2013).
The World Bank assessed the post-Yolanda rehabilitation and recovery efforts, and this has resulted in the following recommendations:


  1. Establish a disaster management agency with a stronger mandate;
  2. Institutionalize coordination mechanisms among government and stakeholders;
  3. Establish clear recovery policies, effective implementation arrangements, and pre-disaster baseline data;
  4. Develop a standard disaster rehabilitation and recovery framework;
  5. Promote transparency and accountability by developing an effective communications strategy and interoperable monitoring systems; and
  6. Identify available financing options, guidelines to access funds, and emergency procurement procedures.
In this video, Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez ( @Ede_WBG), Senior Director of the World Bank’s Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice and Lesley Cordero, Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist in the World Bank’s Philippine office, discuss the lessons learned from Typhoon Yolanda and how the Philippine government and other countries can better respond to future disasters. 
As highlighted in the video, one of the key lessons in post-disaster reconstruction is how to effectively communicate risks and manage expectations before, during, and after a disaster.  Check out our policy note on post-Yolanda rehabilitation and recovery efforts to learn more about the World Bank’s strategic recommendations and operational tools for the Philippine government.


Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez

Former Regional Director, Africa, Sustainable Development Practice Group

Lesley Jeanne Y. Cordero

Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist

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