MANILA, Philippines - The United Kingdom yesterday pledged an additional P1.091 billion, increasing its total contribution to over P5.4 billion to start the long-term recovery and restoration of livelihood and buildings destroyed by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
“Longer-term British support will help rebuild homes in the Philippines and get people back into jobs,” UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening said.
Greening announced the UK’s added commitment to the early recovery effort to help over a million people affected by the typhoon.
The UK’s support will help people to earn an income again by providing rice seeds, restoring irrigation systems on farms and re-establishing fisheries.
The UK will offer British experts to advise on how to protect women during the recovery and how the Philippines can prepare for future weather disasters. Specialists from the business sector will offer expertise on restoring infrastructure and jobs.
Greening said the UK was at the forefront of the international emergency response in the Philippines, getting vital humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of survivors.
“Now, British money and expertise will help rebuild homes, get people back into work, and protect the most vulnerable, especially girls and women,” Greening said.
“By supporting the reconstruction and recovery effort in the Philippines we are helping the victims of Typhoon Haiyan rebuild their lives and secure a better future.”
The UK supports the Philippine government’s plans for recovery and reconstruction, including the construction of permanent housing units, restoring public infrastructure, rebuilding schools and hospitals while helping the citizens prepare for future disasters.
The efforts also include the restoration of rural production systems by reconstructing irrigation for farming, replanting coconut trees and re-establishing fisheries, helping people get back into work through skills training and entrepreneurial programs.
During her visit to the Philippines last month, Greening announced over P363 million in investments in four cities in the Philippines, so they can plan for and invest in measures such as flood protection and drainage systems that will help in the event of future extreme weather events.
British Ambassador Asif Ahmad said the victims of Yolanda have already shown that they want to work hard to restore their shattered lives.
“The will to return to farming and fishing is strong amongst people where this has been the source of income for generations. I hope our support shows that we recognize the effort each person is making and gives families the strength and motivation to restore livelihoods,” Ahmad said.
Ahmad added the British people continue their massive fund-raising effort to help the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.
“And this is a strong message to the UK government from its citizens to sustain our work in the Philippines and our hearts and minds are with Pinoys as they rise again from this tragedy,” he said.
Canada to fund 7 community projects
The Canadian government has also lined up its response to the relief and rehabilitation program of the Philippine government for victims of Typhoon Yolanda.
The embassy of Canada announced yesterday that the projects directly aligned with Canada’s response to the relief and rehabilitation for typhoon-affected communities are the recipients of funding under the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives.
Seven proposals from across the Philippines will be awarded financial grants in the competitive program run by the Canadian embassy.
“For this year, projects that directly align with Canada’s response to relief and rehabilitation for communities affected by Typhoon Yolanda were strongly considered,” Canadian Ambassador Neil Reeder said.
“We are very pleased to be able to work with the successful applicants to enhance ongoing efforts in rebuilding communities in many parts of the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, the fatality count of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) remains unchanged at 6,109 for the last three days, while the number of injured has increased to 28,626 people in its report yesterday.
The NDRRMC also reported 1,779 people are still missing.
More than 5,000 of the fatalities, mostly coming from Tacloban City and several others towns in Leyte, remain unidentified.
The NDRRMC said a total of 3,424,593 families, or 16,078,181 people from the 12,139 barangays are from the affected storm regions of Mindanao, Visayas, Bicol and Southern Tagalog regions.
Out of this huge figure, 890,985 families or more than four million people were displaced, with some staying at 381 shelters. – With Jaime Laude