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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Nearly a Year After Slower Support for Yolanda Struck Victims Scored

A huge majority of survivors of supertyphoon Yolanda that hit the country almost a year ago continue to wallow in “poor and vulnerable conditions” despite considerable resources already at hand, a local research organization said yesterday.
According to Ibon Foundation, government efforts for the recovery and rehabilitation of Yolanda-affected areas have been moving slowly, underscoring criticisms of “poor emergency response and relief work” immediately after the disaster struck on November 8, 2013.
Ibon executive director Sonny Africa said slow government efforts to re-build the lives of thousands of Filipinos continue even if considerable resources from international, national, and local sources are already available.
“Millions of victims who were already in very poor and vulnerable conditions even before the typhoon Yolanda continue to endure barely survivable conditions,” he added.
The research group said reports from the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR), itself, show that repair, rehabilitation and reconstruction work revealed that “Yolanda victims are still in the relief phase and barely starting to recover almost a year after the typhoon struck.”
Based on the OPARR data, typhoon Yolanda affected 1.5 million families, 918,261 of which were outright displaced. Casualties included 6,300 deaths and 1,061 missing aside from 28,689 injured.
“The government subsequently drew up targets for repair, rehabilitation and construction which, according to OPARR data available as of end-September 2014, are still far from being met,” Ibon noted.
The group also pointed out that the largest number of Yolanda victims remains in uncertain and unstable conditions with abnormal and uncertain livelihoods.
“Although 1.5 families were affected, only 215,471 families are reported to have benefited from Cash for Building Livelihood Assets projects. Only 44,870 fisherfolk were provided fishing gears and 32,081 fisherfolk had their bancas replaced or repaired; only 4,507 seaweed farmers were assisted,” it said.
“Only 9,149 farmers were provided farm implements, 2,482 farmers given seeds and 160 farmers helped with animal restocking. Just 27 public markets out of the target 132 have been repaired or rehabilitated. Just 58 kilometers of farm-to-market roads out of the target 315 kilometers have been rehabilitated or constructed,” it added.
Likewise, Ibon reported that victims remain largely in temporary and transitional shelters, and children are still unable to return to school buildings and classrooms, as well.
Some 1.2 million houses were damaged or destroyed, of which some 500,000 were completely destroyed.
“The OPARR however only reports 364 housing units completed in Tacloban and Tanauan, Leyte,” Ibon said.
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