01/31/2014 06:32 pm ET Updated Feb 01, 2014

Habitat For Humanity To Build More Than 800 Homes In The Philippines


Habitat for Humanity has pledged to build more than 800 homes in the area hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan, the organization announced earlier this month.

More than 1 million homes were damaged or destroyed in the typhoon that struck the Philippines in November, and the storm claimed more than 6,000 lives and displaced more than 16 million people, the Associated Press reported. The cost of rebuilding houses, schools, roads and bridges in the devastated areas may top $5 billion, according to Reuters. Habitat hopes to offset some of those expenses by stepping in to help.

The nonprofit has committed to building 852 homes in Tacloban, an area that suffered the brunt of the storm’s damage. Habitat was on the ground in the immediate aftermath of the storm, handing out emergency shelter and repair kits -- an initiative that's still underway.

While relief organizations continue to work to help struggling residents and to rebuild the devastated areas, a Pew Research Center for the People & the Press study showed that Americans weren’t as engaged with the tragedy in the Philippines as they were after other recent natural disasters.

In the week following the typhoon, Americans donated $33 million, CNN reported. In comparison, Americans gave more than $300 million to relief efforts within 10 days of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, according to NPR.

A week after Typhoon Haiyan hit, 17 percent of Americans said they planned on making a contribution, according to the Pew study. In the same period following the Haiti earthquake, 30 percent said they planned on donating.

While the study didn't indicate why Americans have been less inclined to help, Sandra Miniutti, vice president, marketing and CFO of Charity Navigator, told The Huffington Post in November that Americans may have been preoccupied with other issues, including the Midwest tornadoes and the 2013 holiday season.

Feeling inspired by Habitat for Humanity's rebuilding efforts? Find out how you can get involved here.



Typhoon Haiyan