Australian Embassy
The Philippines

MR140703a - Australia provides further support for recovery and reconstruction following Yolanda

Australia provides further support for recovery and reconstruction following Yolanda
03 July 2014

The Australian Government is providing a further Php292 million (A$7.3 million) to support the massive ongoing recovery and reconstruction activities in areas hit by Typhoon Yolanda in November last year.

The additional contribution will be provided through the Resilience and Preparedness towards Inclusive Development (RAPID) Program jointly implemented by the Government of the Philippines through the Climate Change Commission, the United Nations Development Program, and the Australian Government.

Speaking at the launching of the RAPID Program today in Oakwood Premier, Pasig City, Australian Department of Foreign of Affairs and Trade Deputy Secretary Ewen McDonald said, “The Australian Government is confident that the RAPID Program will contribute in helping affected people and communities recover from Typhoon Yolanda and build their resilience through disaster risk reduction activities.” Mr McDonald is in the Philippines this week visiting aid programs supported by the Australian Government.

Australia has earlier provided Php172 million (A$4.3 million) to the RAPID Program. Following further needs assessment in the typhoon-affected areas, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced on 1 July an additional Php120 million (A$3 million) contribution to the program.

“The Australian Government, as a close friend of the Philippines, is committed to support the Philippine Government as it continues down the long path of recovery,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said.

The RAPID Program will assist 12 local governments affected by Typhoon Yolanda to undertake risk and vulnerability assessments, update land use plans and building codes, establish early warning systems, and train local partners and community leaders to build their capacities to respond to and manage their own risks. Partner local governments include Tacloban City, seven municipalities in Leyte Province, and four municipalities in Western and Eastern Samar provinces – covering up to 300 barangays and 430,000 people.

The contribution to the RAPID Program is part of Australia’s Php1.45 billion (A$36 million) long-term recovery package, and in addition to the Php1.6 billion (A$41 million) in immediate humanitarian assistance to the Philippines in the wake of Yolanda’s devastation.

Six Australian Civilian Corps (ACC) specialists will also be deployed to the Philippines to support the ongoing recovery and rebuilding efforts following Typhoon Yolanda. The new team of ACC disaster recovery experts will join the two Australian specialists deployed in December in the wake of Yolanda, to support the planning, implementation and coordination of recovery activities.

Australian support is helping over 500,000 people rebuild their lives through improved access to employment and business opportunities. Australia is also helping children return to school by supporting the construction of up to 600 classrooms and early childhood centres in typhoon-affected areas. 

Related speeches:

Investing on improving capacities and enhancing disaster preparedness of local governments and communities - Remarks by DFAT Deputy Secretary Ewen McDonald - 03 July 2014
Helping communities better understand their risks, reduce their vulnerabilities, build their resilience - Remarks by Ambassador Tweddell - 03 July 2014