The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) launched on Friday ‘Harmonizing Agencies’ Initiatives for Post-Yolanda Actions’ (HAIYAN), a project aimed at the fast-track implementation of recovery plans in nine of the hardest hit municipalities in Eastern Samar.
As part of UNDP’s support to Yolanda recovery efforts, the project aims to synchronize recovery efforts of various line agencies and local government units by mapping out priority areas for funding.
At the end of the two-day workshop, participants are expected to produce an implementation plan based on an assessment of the communities’ socio-economic situation and the line agencies’ funding commitments.
The pilot batch includes the municipalities of Guiuan, Mercedes, Salcedo, Hernani, Quinapondan, Balangiga, Giporlos, Balangkayan, and Lawaan.
“On the road to recovery, it is imperative that we support and reinforce government capacity at national and local levels to facilitate effective early recovery and ultimately long-term rehabilitation in the affected communities. With the DILG, we intend to provide avenues for national government agencies, local government units and international donors to discuss and plan the implementation of various recovery and rehabilitation projects,” UNDP Country Director Maurice Dewulf said.
“Considering the enormous task ahead of us, it is important to approach rehabilitation more systematically to ensure that results are optimized and that help is provided to those who need it the most”, DILG Regional Director Pedro Noval Jr. added.
Noval said the project will broaden the awareness of local government units in accessing financial and technical support from national government agencies as well as international organizations.
“Through this program, we are able to harness the expertise of the UNDP, DILG and various national government agencies in the development of recovery plans specific to four core areas: infrastructure, economic, social, and environment,” Giporlos Mayor Mark Biong said.
Six months after Yolanda, the province of Eastern Samar and each of the participating municipalities have already developed recovery plans based on an accurate assessment of the needs of their respective constituents, according to Atty. Christopher Coles, provincial government spokesperson.
“While we are doing our best, we are now at a stage where we acknowledge that the people of Eastern Samar have much to gain in engaging as many stakeholders as possible. The project is a necessary step in ensuring sustainable and holistic rehabilitation in the affected communities,” Coles concluded.