AUSTRALIA HANDS OVER PERMANENT HOMES TO 45 FAMILIES IN TULUNGATUNG, ZAMBOANGA CITY
Zamboanga City - Australian Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Mat Kimberley and Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco today led the handover of permanent homes to 45 families in Barangay Tulungatung under the Zamboanga Recovery Project (ZRP). Steven Muncy, Executive Director of the Community and Family Services International (CFSI) and Matt MacGarry, Country Representative of the Catholic Relief Services(CRS) joined in the handover.
“Australia is committed to support the continuing recovery of this city under the Zamboanga Recovery Project,” said Mr Kimberley. “I am honoured to meet some of the families supported by the project and to be among the first to visit their new permanent homes.”
The turnover of 45 homes in Barangay Tulungatung comes on the heels of the turnover on 13 February 2016 of 35 homes to families in Barangay San Roque under the ZRP, where another 15 families received support from Australia to build permanent houses on their own land.
The Australian Government provided A$3million (PHP102 million) for the implementation of the Zamboanga Recovery Project, which aims to support families who have been internally displaced during the siege on 09 September 2013. Australia’s assistance will provide beneficiaries with permanent shelter; psychosocial and protection services; support to host communities; and health and disease surveillance. The project will also provide one thousand family-beneficiaries with livelihood funding and skills training support.
“Australia’s support, delivered by CFSI and CRS, will provide permanent houses to 400 family-beneficiaries in Zamboanga, prioritizing vulnerable internally displaced people (IDP) who are forced to share space with home owners or renters,” explained Mr Kimberley.
Antonette Gerolaga, the Vice President of the Home Owners Association in Tulungatung and a shelter unit beneficiary, shares “We are very happy because our families now have a permanent home after three years of transferring from different evacuation centers and transitory sites. We are very grateful to the Australian Government, the Community and Family Services International, Catholic Relief Services as well as the Local Government Unit of Zamboanga City and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zamboanga who helped us in so many ways.”
A day-care centre with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facility, and playground that can accommodate 30 children per class session, has also been put up in the resettlement site as part of the support to the host community.
The project is implemented by the Community and Family Services International, Catholic Relief Services, World Health Organization and Zamboanga City Government. Australia continues to work in other resettlement areas in the city to deliver permanent houses to internally displaced persons.