United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said on Sunday 31 percent of the $791-million funding for the Typhoon Yolanda victims has been filled, based on the UN’s Strategic Response Plan (SRP).
At a press conference hours before leaving the Philippines, Ban said the $791 million “requested fund” is incorporated in the SRP and is “closely aligned” with the government’s Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) plan drafted by the National Economic and Development Authority.
Under RAY, P361 billion or $8.2 billion is needed for the four-year recovery and reconstruction efforts in the Yolanda-devastated areas.
Based on the December 29 report of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), contributions from multilaterals, bilateral countries, UN emergency fund sources, and other donor-organizations reached $529.6 million.
Ban said basic community services such as health, water and sanitation provision are being provided, and teams on the ground are looking after vulnerable people like girls, women, children and the disabled persons.
Anticipating the tapering of foreign aid by February, Ban said he met with key country representatives and ambassadors on Saturday and pressed them for more donations, since the region still needs assistance when it comes to food, health and water services.
Ocha reported that “381 evacuation centers remain open, providing temporary shelter to 101,527 people, with the other 3.8 million displaced people are believed to be staying with friends and other family.”
Ban said 5.9 million workers lost their livelihoods, but since last month, some 14,000 people have been hired to clear debris on roads, in schools, hospitals and other public structures.
Some 16,800 classrooms need repair or replacement, while more textbooks and learning materials are needed because classes have resumed in the region, Ocha reported.
Close to 1,900 teachers were provided psycho-social support and counseling and briefed on how to handle children with emotional and psychological stress.
Ocha said about 207,495 or 70 percent of the targeted 300,000 households by UN cluster partners were provided emergency shelters. A total of 1.1 million houses were damaged by Yolanda, with 546,246 completely destroyed.
Housing is 19 percent accomplished and there is a need for quality housing materials, especially for roofing. The draft of standards for bunkhouses and the problem of informal settlers living in designated no-build zones needs to be addressed.
In terms of food and agriculture, Ban said they are targeting to plant a total of 72,000 hectares land in the Visayas so that the crop yields for next year would “not be lost.”
“Rice seeds have been distributed to more than 10,000 farming households so far. Our aim is to ensure that at least 72,000 hectares can be planted, so the vital upcoming 2014 harvest is not lost,” Ban said.
The UN also delivered 11,100 tons of rice, 260 tons of high-energy biscuits and 18 tons of specialized nutrition products as of Wednesday to nearly 3 million people.
Reproductive health kits were distributed to 30,000 people, and family planning services and clinical management services were given to 10,000 people who suffered from sexual violence.
Over 40,000 children under five years of age were screened for malnutrition, while 83 unaccompanied and separated children from their families have been identified and documented.