MSF is able to rapidly respond to sudden emergencies and disasters using emergency funding. Thus with typhoon Haiyan, we were able to quickly dispatch experts and supplies to the Philippines.
In the first few days, MSF surveyed the affected areas to assess which communities were in the most in need of our initial response. It is here our teams first encountered the massive scale of destruction.
The typhoon had cut a swathe of destruction through the central Philippines. The sheer size of the storm ensured the damage was widespread.
With so many houses swept away, hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless, and millions more affected.
The storm also created a logistical nightmare. The airports quickly became overwhelmed and with roads blocked, very little aid was able to reach those who needed it.
A great deal of MSF initial medical work was treating lacerations and broken bones sustained in the storm itself. In the unsanitary conditions, many of these became infected.
Our teams don't just deliver medical aid. MSF has been distributing construction kits to help people rebuild their lives.
Psychological support is also an important aspect of recovery in disasters such as these. The trauma caused will stay with many of the survivors long after the physical damage has been repaired.