1,533 families are benefiting from Australia’s shelter recovery program after Typhoon Yolanda
Shelter is a basic humanitarian need and critical to the recovery of individuals and families affected by disasters. Today, almost 8,000 individuals or 1,533 families are benefiting from housing formally handed over by the Australian Government as part of its broad assistance to communities affected by Typhoon Yolanda.
The Php120 million Australian funding for shelter rehabilitation and construction was implemented by the Catholic Relief Services, Gawad Kalinga, and the Philippine Red Cross, in coordination with Palo Municipality, Tacloban City and the beneficiary and host communities. The shelter recovery projects align with local government’s efforts and meet national government’s new housing standards. This program has been about much more than just housing, having adopted an integrated approach by providing water and sanitation facilities, and addressing livelihood and community development requirements of affected families and host communities. All these are essential elements of recovery assistance.
Leyte Governor Dominic Petilla said “The people of Leyte are very grateful for the assistance provided by the Australian Government, its partners and countless volunteers who helped us at the height of the devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda. Thank you for continuing to help Leyte build back better from Typhoon Yolanda through your recovery and development projects.”
The shelters were handed over in a simple ceremony on 28 July 2015 in Palo Municipal Hall. The ceremony was attended by shelter beneficiaries, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell, Leyte Provincial Governor Dominic Petilla, Palo Municipal Mayor Remedios Petilla, Philippine Red Cross Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang, Gawad Kalinga Executive Director Luis Oquinena, and Catholic Relief Services Emergency Coordinator Joshua Kyller. The ceremony was followed by visits to the shelter sites in Barangay Libertad in Palo and Barangay Bagacay in Tacloban City.
“Australia and the Philippines have a deep and warm relationship covering broad areas, including development, trade and defense cooperation. Australia will always stand ready to support the Philippines and the Filipino people in times of disasters,” said Ambassador Tweddell.
Mrs Magdalena Dotado of Barangay Libertad, who received the symbolic handover certificate from Ambassador Tweddell, said “My family and all the beneficiaries are very thankful and will forever remember Australia’s kindness, especially during the time of our greatest need. Rest assured we will take care of the houses that have been generously provided to us.”
The shelter recovery program is part of Australia’s Php2.6 billion immediate humanitarian assistance and recovery support after Typhoon Yolanda. The recovery assistance also includes: building disaster and climate resilience of 150 coastal barangays through the Resilience and Preparedness towards Inclusive Development (RAPID) Program with the Climate Change Commission, construction of up to 500 classrooms through the Basic Education Support Transformation (BEST) Program with the Department of Education, construction of 117 daycares through the National Community Driven Development Program with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and provision of livelihood opportunities to 6,000 individuals.