Dr Marie-Pierre Allie and David Curtis-Belhaven

The Intersectional Philippines MSF Typhoon Haiyan Emergency Response review was requested by the Executive Committee of MSF. It was designed to examine the operational choices of each Operational Centre, the perceived cost disparity, the role of the MSF regional offices in the emergency and the external perception regarding MSF’s added value in the response. The review took place during August and November 2014. Overall the response by MSF to Typhoon Haiyan was well perceived by all involved. The response was timely compared to other actors, but the first MSF consultations were only done six days after the emergency and MSF’s surgical services commenced only after two weeks. The very low surgical activities done by OCB and OCBA raised the question of pertinence of the decision to send and setup an OT, especially as they were not functioning until two weeks after the typhoon. The presence of five OCs allowed for a good geographical coverage which was appreciated by the authorities and it allowed for a good contextual understanding and provision of a wide range of assistance. There was a cost disparity regarding the different operational choices and strategies which resulted in a wide difference between budgets. The MSF response was perceived as having had an added value and played an important role in the overall response, especially regarding the input provided by MSF as part of the foreign medical teams. The main obstacle remains the difficulty of access in natural disasters. From an MSF perspective the issue of supply remains a constraint, even though this doesn’t seem to be the case for OCB. How many resources are allocated towards managing supply in an emergency is still an issue for some OCs.