The United Nations said 45 percent of the $788 million needed for the reconstruction of areas hit by Typhoon Yolanda has been filled.
Luisa Carvalho, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Philippines, made the report in a statement on Saturday, 100 days after the typhoon ravaged Eastern Visayas on November 8.
“Our achievements in the first 100 days of the response were made possible by generous donor contributions for the relief phase of our plan,” Carvalho said.
“The Filipino people in the affected areas deserve our continued support as they remain determined to recover in the face of immense obstacles and personal tragedy,” she added.
Under its Strategic Response Plan (SRP), UN’s humanitarian country team (HCT) aims to provide assistance on shelter and livelihood and continues “to assist the most vulnerable people with life-saving assistance and protection services.”
Carvalho said the 12-month effectivity of the SRP compliments the government’s P361-billion Reconstruction Assistance for Yolanda plan, which covers short, medium and longer term rehabilitation in the stricken areas.
“In support of the Government-led response, the UN and partners provided food, medicine, water and sanitation and hygiene assistance. We distributed tents and tarpaulins so that 500,000 families would have some form of a roof over their heads and implemented emergency employment programmes that helped them get back on their feet and pumped money into local economies,” Carvalho said.
“We ensured that vulnerable people had access to protection services and farmers were able to go back to their fields in time to plant. The UN and partners helped remove more than 500,000 cubic metres of debris from Tacloban alone,” she said.
The UN official said people on the ground could not afford to be complacent because the need for millions of shelter remains critical.
“Millions of livelihoods were similarly destroyed or impaired when the typhoon tore down or damaged 33 million coconut trees, flooded fields with salt water and took away or wrecked 30,000 fishing vessels,” Carvalho said.
KRISTYIN NIKA M. LAZO