Yolanda victims get 5,627 houses from Red Cross

Non Alquitran - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has turned over 5,627 typhoon-resilient houses to Yolanda victims in Leyte under its shelter recovery program.

In simple ceremonies on Saturday, the PRC also handed over three health facilities and seven classrooms to Tacloban City and two municipalities badly hit by the typhoon two years ago.

PRC chairman Richard Gordon said the turnover of houses and facilities ensures that the communities they are helping are now more disaster resilient under the “build back better strategy.”

“We build typhoon-resilient houses and classrooms so those affected by Yolanda would not be as vulnerable to the next disaster. We also train residents to become capable of surviving any disaster,” Gordon said.

Under the shelter recovery program, the PRC ensures that families have adequate and safe shelter, supporting them from the transition to making a permanent durable housing.

“We also prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable and ensure their participation and access to basic services,” Gordon said.

PRC secretary general Gwendolyn Pang helped in handing over houses’ keys and distribution of certificates of occupancy to typhoon victims.

Lawyer Miguel Tezon, chairman of the PRC Leyte chapter’s board of directors, and administrator Edwin Pamonag attended the event, along with delegates from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies led by Ramsey Rayyis, Mary Joy Evalarosa, Colin Price and Abhishek Rimal.

Delegates from Qatar Red Crescent Society, Rashed Al Muhannadi, Abdalrahman Lahmouni, and Mohammed Hizam Ali, were also present in the turnover ceremony.

The Spanish Red Cross, led by Ana Montoya Bermejo, Aurelie Hernandez Massi and Maria Jesus Millan Serrano, likewise witnessed the ceremony.

 “We commend our partner societies. Through our partnership, we were able to reach out to a greater number of families affected by Yolanda,” Gordon said.

Typhoon Yolanda struck the Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013, devastating nine provinces in the Visayas.

In Leyte alone, the PRC has built 26,573 houses and rehabilitated six targeted health facilities.

A total of 263 classrooms have also been built since April 1.

For its overall Yolanda shelter recovery program, the PRC has completed 72,636 of the 80,203 houses it targeted to build.

The PRC has also built and rehabilitated 52 of 76 health facilities and finished 434 classrooms.

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