On November 8, 2013, Haiyan (locally named Yolanda), one of the strongest typhoons to ever make landfall on the planet, devastated the Visayas region in the Philippines. The cyclone caused catastrophic damages in the islands of Leyte, Samar, Cebu, Northern Negros and Northern Palawan. About 14 million people have been affected and more than 6000 individuals lost their lives. Damages to buildings and roads were extreme, over 1 million houses sustained damages, with over 490,000 completely ruined.
Following, the disaster, the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines and the French Embassy brought together French businesses to create a platform that will coordinate the rehabilitation efforts by French firms. France-Philippines United Action was born.
The French businesses decided to raise and consolidate the funds into the building of housing projects for victims who had lost their homes during the typhoon. Three housing rehabilitation projects were built in Northern Cebu and accommodate today more than 1200 beneficiaries.
In 2015, during his visit to the Philippines, French President Francois Hollande cited the France-Philippines United Action as a model for cooperation among businesses and praised for its conversion into a Foundation to allow projects with long-term planning.
FPUA story in the Philippine press:
- November 2013: Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. Two weeks after, France-Philippines United Action (FPUA) is created in order to serve as a platform to coordinate the relief and rehabilitation efforts of French companies in the Philippines.
- 2014: Launch of the construction of two disaster resilient villages in Daanbantayan, Northern Cebu, for the victims of typhoon Haiyan, thanks to the donations of French companies.
- January 2015: French environmentalist and special envoy for the Protection of the Planet, Nicolas Hulot, visits the two FPUA villages ongoing construction.
- February 2015: Visit of President Hollande in the Philippines.
- September 2015: France-Philippines United Action is registered by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is named France-Philippines United Action Foundation Inc.
- November 2015: The two disaster-resilient villages built in Northern Cebu are turned-over to the affected families.
- 2016: France-Philippines United Action Foundation Inc. signed the construction of a third rehabilitation site in Bogo, Northern Cebu.
- October 2016: FPUA is accredited by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
- January 2017: FPUA received its accreditation by the Philippines Council for NGO Certification (PCNC) for 1-year.
- December 2017: FPUA inaugurated the third rehabilitation site, in Bogo, Northern Cebu.
- February 2018: FPUA has been awarded with another 3-years accreditation valid until February 2020 by the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC).
- May 2018: FPUA celebrated the re-launch of the Foundation and presents its new mission.