14 Feb 2014
UNDP in the Philippines is supporting the people's recovery from the destruction wreaked by Haiyan. Photo: UNDP
February 16th marks 100 days since Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines. The emergency response is almost over and the beginning of long-term recovery has begun.
I have been to the Philippines twice since Haiyan struck. In the early days, I went to help coordinate the response to this tragedy. Just recently I returned, to advise on the transition to long-term recovery. The progress over 100 days has been remarkable.
Immediately after the storm, UNDP began helping the government prepare for recovery. For example, only weeks after Haiyan, we facilitated a visit to the Philippines from the Government of Indonesia, bringing Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, who led the reconstruction effort in Aceh-Nias after the 2004 Tsunami. He attended a Philippines cabinet meeting on recovery, sharing with his colleagues the challenges and lessons learned from Indonesia. This visit may have been low-key – but was very valuable to the Philippines authorities – and it led to UNDP experts starting to work with the government to plan, prepare and budget the recovery.
But attention must now shift beyond the first 100 days and focus on the future. It is essential that we build resilience into the new cities that rise from the rubble. Disaster risk reduction …