Increasing movement of IDPs out of areas worst affected by Haiyan as displacement figures rise to over 4.4 million

Since Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall nearly two weeks ago, figures for the number of people displaced have been repeatedly revised as new information has become available. This week aid agencies put the number of people forced from their homes at over 4.4 million (updated 21 November).

Photo Credit: EU/ECHO, Arlynn Aquino, November 2013

Many displaced people without adequate shelters have struggled to survive outside. The torn plastic sheet in the picture is the only cover from the rain for this child’s family. Photo Credit: EU/ECHO, Arlynn Aquino, November 2013

[Updated 21 November 11:30 CET]

This post is an update on our recent blog post, ‘1 in 10 Filipinos affected by Haiyan, as picture of mass displacement emerges,’ published 13 November 2012. Click here to read more.

Latest figures from the government estimate around 13.25 million affected by the typhoon disaster and over 4.4 million people displaced (updated 21 November 11:30 CET), a sharp increase from the 921,000 people reported displaced as of November 15. More than 1.14 million homes have been damaged or destroyed (map 18 November) and re-housing the displaced population will cost approximately $6 million, according to national authorities.

The movement of the majority of internally displaced people (IDPs) out of the worst-affected areas to adjacent provinces is increasing in response to deteriorating conditions, insecurity and lack of access to shelter, food and other life-saving assistance. IOM estimates a daily average of 5,000 individuals has been moving out of Tacloban towards northern Samar as well as to Cebu via Ormoc. People are camping overnight at the ferry terminal in Tacloban in order to queue for seats.

Specific needs emerging for IDPs facing the greatest risks

UNHCR is setting up systems to collect information on IDP movements from sea and air departure points, such as the airport in Tacloban, and to protect them through facilitating assistance on arrival at their destinations and reducing threats to vulnerable IDPs such as from human traffickers.  Agencies have highlighted particular concerns for women, children, indigenous people, older people and disabled people who are vulnerable to extreme weather and threats from the breakdown of law and order.

Much more is needed to shelter people who nearly lost everything

Massive work to clear of debris from potential tent sites for IDPs and to rapidly scale-up the provision of emergency shelter is urgently needed, while only about a quarter of the funding required for shelters has been committed. Around 387,450 IDPs are now sheltering in 1,552 evacuation centres (updated 21 November) across six regions- mainly in the Eastern and Western Visayas regions- where humanitarian organisations are working to improve overcrowded, unsanitary and insecure conditions, particularly for children and other vulnerable people.

More information needs to reach IDPs in all locations on where and what relief is being distributed. While logistical backlogs and transport conditions are improving, major challenges remain to access people in remote areas with serious concerns for communities yet to be reached over two weeks since the typhoon first made landfall.

Read our recent blog post, 1 in 10 Filipinos affected by Haiyan, as picture of mass displacement emerges (13 November 2013)

Read IDMC’s report on disaster displacement in the Philippines (January 2013) and IDMC’s Global Estimates 2012: People displaced by disasters (May 2013) [pages 22-26].

Michelle Yonetani, IDMC’s Senior Advisor for Disaster-induced displacement


  1. Pingback: Why should governments negotiating on climate change care about displacement? | Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
  2. juliablocher

    UPDATE: Of the over 4.4 million people now estimated as displaced, including over one million children. Trauma among children is reported to be high together with the need for support to trace and reunify separated children with their families. Data on a rapidly evolving situation continues to be collected and verified. The movements and risks faced by displaced populations are beginning to be better monitored on the ground, such as through a Migration Outflow Desk established at the Tacloban Airport to register displaced people. Similar initiatives are planned in additional sea and air ports.

    1,552 evacuation centres continue to provide temporary shelter to 83,020 displaced families (387,450 people), though overcrowded and insanitary conditions and the lack of privacy in them are creating problems and rising tensions two weeks since the typhoon hit. Meanwhile, the number of houses damaged is now estimated at 1.14 million, with over half of them completely destroyed.

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