U.S. relief group donates disaster-resistant shelters to Yolanda-displaced families

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The Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a US-based relief group, announced that it is providing disaster-resistant shelters and basic kitchen utensils for almost 3,000 Filipino families who lost their homes during the onslaught of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” last Nov. 8.

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The donations which amounts to more than US$ 1 million will be focused on the coastal towns of Naval in Biliran and Dulag in Leyte.

They are two of many towns in the Philippines whose homes, livelihoods and public buildings were devastated by the hurricane that displaced 4.1 million people and destroyed 1.1 million homes.

Working through Church World Service and its partners, MCC is providing plywood, nails, cement, lumber and metal roofing material to build simple, sturdy shelters. Until now, many victims live in tents or with family members.

MCC donors gave more than US$ 3.9 million in response to the disaster. Initially US$ 200,000 was used for emergency food baskets and household supplies. Future projects include more building, agricultural support and training pastors in trauma healing and future disaster response.

Each family that gets a new home also will receive a welcome-home kit of basic kitchen supplies, including frying pans, glasses, plates, kettles, dishes and other essentials.

MCC has set aside additional funding for a second phase of the project to provide shelter for an additional 3,000 families in Leyte.

The group is supporting the training of 50 pastors in Leyte province on trauma healing and disaster response. The training will teach pastors “how to mitigate conflict and empower their local communities to take ownership of the disaster response. PNA

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