Australian Government and UNDP Philippines open Multipurpose Evacuation Center in Leyte
Abuyog, Leyte – Australia’s Chargé d’Affaires to the Philippines Mat Kimberley, together with Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman from the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) led the turnover of a PHP 23 million multi-purpose evacuation center in Abuyog, Leyte.
The Australian Government in partnership with UNDP supported the design and construction of the evacuation center under the Resilience and Preparedness toward Inclusive Development (RAPID) Program, which has supported local governments and communities affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 in their long-term recovery and rehabilitation.
The two-level multi-purpose evacuation center was designed to withstand earthquakes and strong typhoons, , and features solar panels and a rainwater collection system to ensure water and power are available in times of disasters and emergencies.
The building is also responsive to the needs of women and girls and the most vulnerable with spaces dedicated to them and access points for people with disabilities and the elderly.
"As a good friend and neighbour Australia has a proud history of supporting the Philippines and the Filipino people in times of disaster and emergencies. We support local communities to recover from the impacts of disasters and to build their resilience. I’m confident the evacuation centre will contribute to productive community activities and learning. ” Mr Kimberley said.
The facility will also be used to host training and other activities. The Municipality of Abuyog plans to offer short courses and capacity building activities to barangay leaders and volunteers, communities and schools on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
Initiated in 2014, the RAPID Program is implemented in 12 local government units and 150 coastal barangays in the provinces of Leyte, Samar, and Eastern Samar. Through a PHP282 million grant from the Australian Government, the program is implemented in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and the Climate Change Commission, with other government agencies.