Japan and UNDP intensify support to Yolanda recovery efforts
Government of Japan gives additional USD 3.5 million to support UNDPs recovery work
Manila: The Government of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) forged an agreement today for additional support to Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) recovery and resilience in the Visayas. As the humanitarian response transitions from relief to recovery, the Japanese Government committed an additional USD 3.5 million (approx. Php 157 million) to support livelihood restoration and to strengthen local government systems and services.
With a contribution now totaling USD 7 million, the Government of Japan is UNDP’s largest partner in its Yolanda Recovery Programme. Through its initial funding and counterpart resources from UNDP and other donor partners, UNDP has implemented a comprehensive early recovery programme, with a focus on debris clearing and management, livelihood restoration and local government support.
This rapid support from donors enabled UNDP to roll out a cash-for-work effort within three weeks of the crisis. UNDP’s objectives include clearing debris to allow easy access for aid to reach affected households; clearing strategic public facilities; enabling people to bring home much needed income; injecting cash into the local economy; and developing ownership in the recovery process.
To date, UNDP has helped about 40,000 people secure temporary jobs clearing debris. They were each employed for up to 15 days earning much-needed quick cash, while participating in the clean-up of their communities, giving many hopes for a return to normalcy. Mountains of debris have been cleared enabling at least 15 hospitals, 220 rural health units, 666 schools, 588 daycare centers, 629 municipal government buildings and 200 other essential public infrastructures to start functioning again.
Four months into the disaster, enormous efforts are still needed to help Visayas recover from the devastation.
“The challenge now is to not only build back, but to build back stronger and more sustainably. This is why the Japanese contribution toward strengthening governance is particularly vital in supporting local authorities in their work to build safer and more resilient communities”, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said.
The UN Development Chief witnessed the signing ceremony. She is in the Philippines for a two-day visit in support of the UN’s development work in the country. She visited Tacloban on Wednesday and saw ongoing recovery activities in the areas devastated by the typhoon.
“The Government of Japan is committed to help rebuild the affected communities as they remain determined to recover in the face of immense obstacles and personal tragedy,” said Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe.
Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck one of the poorest parts of the Philippines where before the disaster, forty per cent of the people lived below the poverty line. To help ensure that people do not fall deeper into poverty as a result of this disaster, restoring livelihoods is at the heart of UNDP’s three-year Yolanda recovery programme. Along with other UN agencies, UNDP is now working on helping to restore and create new livelihood opportunities across the affected areas. This also involves helping local government to restore services and provide support to improve disaster response systems.
“Our achievements were made possible through generous donor contributions. We are particularly thankful to the Government of Japan for their continued support to UNDP in its response to the typhoon,” said the UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Philippines, Luiza Carvalho.
By the beginning of March 2014, UNDP’s Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) recovery and resilience programme had received USD 15.5 million from the Governments of Japan, Ecuador, the Russian Federation, the Central Emergency Response Fund and UNDP. UNDP still required USD 49.5 million to meet the urgent needs of devastated communities who are now trying to rebuild their lives.
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