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Cebu City, Philippines – World Vision is helping rebuild 14,000 houses six months after super typhoon Haiyan wrought havoc and devastation to an estimated 16 million Filipinos in Central Visayas in the Philippines. As response work transitioned from emergency to recovery, assistance has reached out to over 713,000 people at 533 villages in 48 municipalities.
The unconditional cash transfer program, aimed at supporting people as they gradually move to recovery, has assisted 14,217 families. Initiatives on water, sanitation and hygiene have provided relief to 53,755 families.
In North Cebu where World Vision is helping 2,000 families with the repair and rebuilding of their houses, Social Welfare Officer Mabel Mayor says, “We were impressed with the quality of shelter materials that you have provided to our people. We knew this was well planned – that you made sure the beneficiary selection process was followed so the right people will be given support”.
People here initially thought they were forgotten because much of the attention was focused in Tacloban City, the hardest hit among the areas. Mayor adds, “I am relieved we were not sidetracked because you came.” Encouraging people to join build-back-better workshops as part of the requirement for shelter beneficiaries, World Vision aims to educate people to build disaster-safe houses and promote awareness on disaster preparedness.
To date, 5,890 people have attended the workshops in 32 barangays (villages), over a thousand of them women across the provinces. On education, 19 schools are being repaired and rebuilt in Leyte province and three in Panay Island on negotiation.
Twenty-five health centers are being rebuilt and provided with medical equipment needed across the Haiyan-hit provinces. World Vision also provided 17,777 hygiene kits to 63 elementary schools and day care centers. An official in Tabogon municipality said the fully-equipped health center and birthing clinic will be the first of its kind and will benefit over 200 patients monthly, especially women and children, coming from remote barangays that are hard-pressed to access health services.
A memorandum of agreement with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has been reached for a Skills Training Program (Train to Build Back Better) that will enhance the capacity workers in carpentry and other livelihood skills. The Cash-For-Work program has assisted close to 2,000 individuals who worked on clearing debris, as well as community and school clean-ups, among other activities; an additional 5,000 people have started the cash-for-work activity this week.
Village leader in Maglantang (where the center was located) Salome Bugabong says, “World Vision and the donors all over the world gave us hope. A million thanks to all of you.” The village was very memorable for World Vision’s relief operations as it is where the very first relief distribution was done last November 2013 for over 700 families and the first child-friendly-space (CFS) was set-up and activities were joined by around 500 children including from neighboring villages. A total of 22,000 children have participated in World Vision’s CFS across seven affected provinces.
Response Director Andrew Rosauer, impressed with the Filipinos’ rise from the destruction, says, “The communities have been very active in leading their own recovery and we are amazed at the pace they are progressing. We are confident that more sustainable recovery outcomes can be accomplished in the coming months with the help donors, sponsors, local government agencies and the affected communities.” He admits though that despite the positive progress, a lot of work still needs to be done.
World Vision’s recovery phase is now focused on shelter, livelihoods, education, health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and disaster risk reduction (DRR). Its area of operations is in Eastern Leyte, Western Leyte, North Cebu and Panay Island.
Watch our VIDEO – Six Months On: From emergency to recovery https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1t2f-2HEUEU.