Photo: Shell

Shell – Relief & Rehabilitation For Haiyan Victims

By Jane Smallman, International Programme Manager - Disaster Relief, Business in the Community

In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, Shell mobilised immediately to provide relief and support long-term rehabilitation of the affected communities.

Social impacts

  • $3.5 million in funding and in-kind support provided immediate assistance for basic necessities (water, food, medicine, shelter), as well as sustainable livelihood opportunities, access to energy, environmental protection and community redevelopment programmes.
  • Regional and local disaster and emergency preparedness training and disaster management plans strengthened communities’ resilience in the face of disasters.

Business impacts

  • Reestablished of safe business operations in the affected areas within two to 13 days, minimising impact on customer operations and supply of fuel.
  • Created opportunity for public-private partnerships with the Philippine Ports Authority and International Container Terminal Services, Inc. where Shell has provided free fuel to facilitate smooth cargo handling of relief and rehabilitation.
  • Joint relief efforts with Shell customers has strengthened business relationships.
  • Significantly enhanced Shell’s reputation in the country, especially amongst employees who were motivated and proud to take up the volunteering opportunities made available.

Super Typhoon Haiyan (“Yolanda”) hit the Philippines on 8 November, 2013. It was the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, with the latest death toll standing at 62,016. About 16 million people have been affected, with people losing family, homes, and their sources of livelihood. Basic infrastructures were severely damaged resulting in the loss of electricity, water, and telecommunications services.

Shell companies in the Philippines (SciP) is composed of various companies operating in oil and gas, employing over 4,300 people nationwide.

The programme aimed to provide relief and rehabilitation to Haiyan victims. Relief efforts focused on immediate mobilisation and distribution of relief goods and medical assistance in partnership with government, civil society and NGOs. Rehabilitation programmes then focused on livelihood, reforestation, construction of homes, schools and multi-purpose halls/gyms and community disaster preparedness training.

Besides restoring operations in the Anibong Depot, it was important to Shell to help its coastal fenceline communities, composed of two villages (barangays) of 1,100 low-income families and informal settlers. The depot immediately conducted relief operations, distributed 1,400 relief packs and recruited almost 100 residents to help in the clean-up operations in exchange for cash and food (Work for Food programme).

In order to help victims in other hard-hit areas, a “Call for Help” advisory was released to staff and general public announcing Shell sites and retail stations as receiving centres for in-kind donations like food, clothes, water and medicine, which were distributed to 37,820 affected families.

“The extensive loss of lives and damage to property brought about by Haiyan has again mobilised the local and international community to assist in relief and rehabilitation efforts, providing hope for survivors to rebuild their lives. Recognising the seriousness of the catastrophe, the Shell Group is providing $2.5 million donation, on top of fund raising activities by various Shell offices worldwide. The outpouring of support for the Philippines by Shell colleagues both here and abroad is truly heart-warming and makes me proud to be part of Shell.”

– Edgar O. Chua, Shell Philippines Country Chairman

Editor’s Note:

Over the coming decades it is expected that both the frequency and intensity of international disasters will continue to increase due to multiple factors including climate change, urban migration, population growth and increased scarcity of natural resources. In the aftermath of a disaster, working closely with governments and the humanitarian community, business expertise, products and services can be utilised to reduce risk, build resilience and provide essential relief to communities affected.

The International Disaster Relief Award, supported by DFID, was created this year to recognise the positive action and relief provided in the immediate aftermath of international disasters by businesses.

The companies awarded a Big Tick in this category confirm that businesses have an important role to play in international disaster relief, risk mitigation and preparedness.

Beyond cash donations, each Big Tick company is using its core business resource to respond to international disasters. Collectively these businesses have helped over 2 million beneficiaries, provided 800 skilled volunteers and given 250,000 working days to support international disaster relief. The following examples demonstrate the significant value and impact businesses have made by working in partnership with humanitarian agencies, governments and disaster prone communities.

The case studies profiled in this series with Business in the Community, provide more detail about the programmes that achieved a Big Tick and those shortlisted for the top accolade.

This blog was previously published on Business in the Community and is reproduced with permission.

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