Recovery efforts continue for Eastern Visayas communities with disaster-resilient infrastructure

Mar 15, 2017

More than three years after Super Typhoon Yolanda hit Visayan provinces, recovery efforts continue for communities with the turnover today of disaster-resilient infrastructure in Tacloban and Palo in Leyte and in Balangkayan, Hernani and Quinapondan in Eastern Samar.


The European Union and the United Nations Development Programme, represented by its Deputy Country Director Enrico Gaveglia, turned over today resettlement housing units and a multi-use training center in Tacloban and a coastal resource management center in Palo. In Eastern Samar, community evacuation centers and housing units are now ready for use in Balankayan, Hernani and Quinapondan.


These communities are now more prepared and assured of more resilient shelters and evacuation centers should another disaster threaten their provincess.


The construction of disaster-resilient infrastructure is part of the EU’s package of assistance, delivered through UNDP’s Project Recovery, to help families affected by Typhoon Yolanda. With funding support of € 9.7 million (approx. Php508 million) from the EU, Project Recovery complements the efforts of national and local governments in enabling the timely and sustainable recovery of Yolanda-affected communities and builds their resilience to future natural disasters.


The community evacuation centers and multi-use training center will double up as sites for livelihood or other community activities and will be maximised even when there are no disasters.


UNDP and EU worked with 15 local government units (LGUs) severely affected by Typhoon Yolanda for Project Recovery: two in Eastern Leyte (Tacloban City and Palo), one in Western Leyte (Ormoc City), four in Biliran Province (Biliran, Caibiran, Cabucgayan, and Naval); and, eight in Easter Samar (Balangkayan, Giporlos, Guiuan, Hernani, Lawaan, Mercedes, Quinapondan, and Salcedo).


Eleven of the 15 LGUs received community evacuation centers (or CECs, each with a 50-family or 250-person capacity) and some received support to develop coastal and small public infrastructures. All LGUs are being trained on disaster risk reduction, preparedness and response, hazard-risk-capacity- vulnerability assessments and contingency planning.


They are also provided with basic communications, emergency response and rescue equipment, and training support on evacuation, and water/mountain search and rescue. 


Project Recovery also extends support to families/communities engaged in the farming and fishing industries, as well as those in off-farm economic activities, who, based on records of the LGUs, suffered major losses in livelihood assets and completely lost their houses. The project operates from three hubs, i.e., Tacloban, Guiuan and Ormoc.


EU Ambassador to the Philippines, Franz Jessen, said “The EU believes that we have helped build stronger, and more united and empowered communities who will always rise up to any calamity that might happen in the future.”


UNDP Deputy Country Director Enrico Gaveglia said, “We are pleased to support the continued recovery of Yolanda-affected communities. It is a long process for development to take place but with our collective efforts we are helping to ensure a safer and resilient future for the communities.”


The EU has to-date provided about € 40 million (Php 2.08 billion) in financial assistance to typhoon Haiyan victims including € 30 million (Php 1.2 billion) for emergency aid and another € 10 million (Php 520 million) for reconstruction which includes the construction of these cold storage facility and community evacuation centers.  Together with the EU member states, the EU assistance amounts to € 500 million (Php 26 billion) for families and communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan. #

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