GUIUAN, Eastern Samar: The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), will extend P153 million assistance to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Eastern Samar who were affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
Unicef representative Charles Parks said the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program will benefit 5,801 families who will receive P4,400 a month.
He said the assistance will run from July to December this year.
“The unconditional transfer of cash to carefully selected families allows them to take a step back from the decisions they have to make after Yolanda, given their loss of property, savings and livelihoods,” said Parks.
The Unicef-DSWD partnership expands from the 10,000 households currently supported by UCT program in Leyte.
The Unicef’s program in Leyte, which was implemented through its partner, Action Contre La Faim, also provides a similar cash grants over six months.
He said the UCT program in Leyte shows that with very low household incomes, half of the transfers are being spent on food, while the rest are spent on shelter, health care, education and savings.
Unicef’s Augusto Rodriguez said the cash grants will be extended to the beneficiaries without any conditions set.
“We believe that typhoon survivors are very rationalize people and since this is an emergency relief, they should know how to spend the grant wisely,” he added.
DSWD Assistant Secretary Teodulo Romo Jr. believes that the beneficiaries will use the financial assistance for their recovery.
He added that Unicef cash grant will have a big impact not only to the lives of beneficiaries but to local economy as well.
“The local economy will definitely benefit from the program because this will also give additional purchasing power to the beneficiaries,” he said.
Nestor Ramos, DSWD Region 8 director, said the Unicef cash grant is on top of the financial assistance being given to the beneficiaries through the 4Ps.
He said it was the Unicef that identified the vulnerable households, who cannot meet their food and essential non-food needs.
Unicef said the beneficiaries came five municipalities, which were identified as the most affected areas by Typhoon Yolanda.
The five municipalities were: Eastern Samar that include Guian, Hernani, Mercedes, Balangkayan and Salcedo.
Guiuan Mayor Christopher Sheen Gonzales thanked Unicef and DSWD for choosing his town as one of the UCT beneficiaries.
Grace Rapada, who has been a 4Ps beneficiary for almost two years, said the Unicef cash grant is a “big support” for their recovery.