FEG conducted a rapid HEA in the Philippines to measure the extent to which households had been able to recover their livelihoods one year after Typhoon Yolanda. Save the Children International commissioned the work for use in its advocacy programme, and the results provided evidence for the need to continue rehabilitation efforts in affected areas.

The assessment took place in some of the most severely affected areas of the Philippines (Samar and Eastern Samar). The rapid HEA focused on the effects of the typhoon on the livelihoods of very poor households in two upland coconut areas and in two lowland fishing areas of Basey and Quindapondan municipalities. The goal was to measure and compare the extent of recovery amongst the very poor in different livelihood zones and in different economic “class” municipalities.

The findings showed that recovery was most precarious in the upland coconut zone of the class 5 (second poorest class) municipality of Quindapondan where the very poor were heavily dependent on construction work from the rehabilitation effort to fill income gaps from lost copra. In the lowland fishing areas recovery was slower in the class 5 zone than in the class 1 (wealthiest class) zone. This was due to a limited number of alternative ways to earn cash income in this area, and delays in planting the cassava crop, because households were so busy rebuilding their homes and replacing their fishing tools. The results of rapid assessment provided quantified measures of the income gaps still in evidence one year after the typhoon as well as an overall measure of poverty in the different zones.