Philippines celebrates World Humanitarian Day
Manila 26 August 2014– Campaigns and activities to celebrate World Humanitarian Day, celebrated on August 19, took place across the Philippines with successful turnouts and wide local media coverage. In Manila, a loop video with inputs from six humanitarian agencies was displayed along with a banner and other information products at the foyer of the RCBC Plaza, where several UN agencies hold office. Two LED advertisements on the day were shown on buildings along the Ayala Avenue, a main road cutting across the city’s main business district.
In Tacloban, a radio program was conducted in which members of various humanitarian agencies and working groups explained their work and motives. The celebration continued with a humanitarian sing-along karaoke contest and other activities engaging internally displaced persons (IDPs) residing in a government bunkhouse.
In Ormoc, the celebrations kicked off with a motorcade, in which vehicles of local and international organizations participated with key messages on banners, fans, and leaflets being distributed along the route. In the evening, over 200 humanitarian workers from 19 organizations operating in the province and surrounding areas gathered for the day’s-themed discussion with IDP leaders of two bunkhouses and aid workers sharing their thoughts on and experiences in response and recovery.
In Guiuan, the celebration started with a 7km “Fun Walk” with 101 participants from UN agencies and other organizations. This was followed by the day’s-themed poster making contest by school children and a basketball game between the members of international organizations and the local community. The day ended with a karaoke contest, where 15 contestants were drawn from Guiuan and international communities. Key messages of the day were disseminated throughout the events.
In Iloilo, OCHA coordinated the day’s celebrations attended by representatives of the regional and provincial governments, humanitarian organizations, the Philippine army, and the private sector. Fresh off its launch of the ongoing Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements Project in Roxas City, UN-Habitat joined the day’s photo exhibit that was held from August 19 to 21 at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol. The exhibit showcased various Haiyan responses from both local and foreign organizations. From shelter support to medical aid, the unique displays carried stunning and emotive portraits of selflessness and resilience.
During the exhibit, UN-Habitat highlighted the activities of its ongoing shelter support project in the region, particularly the application of the People’s Process in community mobilization, shelter assessment, and construction. Visitors at the booth were also treated to a live demonstration of the UN-Habitat Shelter I scale model which elicited quite a variety of responses from guests.