EU, UNDP turn over evacuation centers to Yolanda-affected communities in Biliran province

May 31, 2016

The Community Evacuation Center in the municipality of Biliran in Biliran province. The construction of the community evacuation centers is part of the European Union’s package of assistance, through the UNDP-implemented ‘Project Recovery’, to help Typhoon Yolanda-affected families recover. Photo: UNDP

 

31 May 2016, Tacloban City, Philippines– The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today turned over two newly-built evacuation centres to Typhoon Yolanda-affected communities in Biliran province.

The construction of the community evacuation centres is part of the EU’s package of assistance, through the UNDP-implemented ‘Project Recovery’, to help Yolanda-affected families recover after the devastation. Project Recovery is building 11 community evacuation centres, six of which have been completed, in the provinces of Biliran, Leyte and Eastern Samar.

EU Ambassador Franz Jessen and UNDP Philippines Country Director Titon Mitra today led the turnover ceremony of the community evacuation centres to local government units of the municipalities of Cabucgayan and Biliran in Biliran province.

With funding support of EUR 9.7 million (approx. Php508 million) from the EU and to be implemented until July 2017, Project RECOVERY complements the efforts of national and local governments in enabling the timely and sustainable recovery of Yolanda-affected communities and also builds their resilience to future natural disasters.

Project Recovery focuses on: rebuilding disaster-resilient infrastructure; restoring livelihoods and jobs in farming and fishing communities; addressing land management issues and shelter construction models to ensure relocation of displaced populations; and strengthening capacities for and linkage of national and local governance disaster response and preparedness.

Ambassador Jessen said, “The EU values its strong partnership with the Philippine Government, both at the national and local levels, and with UNDP particularly in helping disaster-affected communities get back on their feet. More than two years since Yolanda happened, we commend the Philippine Government on the remarkable and impressive progress in its recovery and rehabilitation efforts. The EU remains to be a committed partner of the Philippines not just in responding to and recovering from disasters but also in the journey towards sustainable development.”

Guided by the principle of building back better and safer, the CECs are designed and constructed to withstand a 300 KPH wind velocity, integrates water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, and fitted with solar panels and generator set. These will also function as a multi-purpose community center during non-disaster events.

Project Recovery is also constructing 165 disaster-resilient core shelters with level 2 water system and electrical support facility in the cities of Tacloban and Ormoc and the municipality of Hernani in Eastern Samar. These housing units, to be completed by June 2016, are constructed with counterpart in the form of sweat equity from the beneficiary families to ensure better ownership of the project.

The project has also assisted more than 2,000 people with employment and livelihood opportunities including on fish and seaweed processing, food production and handling, and sustainable agricultural management.

“There is still much to do not only for those affected by Yolanda but also to prepare the systems and processes for any future event.  The recovery process must continue apace.  Now is also the time to examine closely what worked and make the structural fixes required to further enhance capacity to respond and recover in the future. This is a time for shared responsibility in building resilience to the new normal of a world affected by rapid climate change,” UNDP Philippines Country Director Titon Mitra said.

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