Roxas City, 18 August 2014: The governments of Philippines and Japan have joined hands with UN-Habitat to offer help to those who suffered unmitigated losses from Typhoon Haiyan.

Two weeks ago saw the launch the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlement Project in Villa Carmel Village, Roxas City in Capiz, one of the provinces that suffered substantial damage at the hands of the typhoon. Also known as Yolanda in the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc in the South East Asian country when it made a landfall there last November with more than 6,000 people reported dead. 

The project, with financial support worth USD 2.5 million from the Government of Japan, is designed to accomplish the following between the end of this year to early next year:

  •  Training of approximately 250 local semi-skilled artisans in disaster risk resilient housing construction
  •  Construction and retrofitting of 610 core houses by these local trained artisans for families throughout communities in the Visayan provinces of Capiz and Iloilo who were left homeless or whose houses were hazardous to live in after Typhoon Haiyan
  •  Training of 4,000 families in the beneficiary communities on house assessment under the principles of disaster risk reduction
  •  Support for a national campaign with Social Housing Finance Corporation and other government agencies on disaster-resilient housing techniques
  •  Information, education, communication materials for national advocacy on people’s process for recovery and rehabilitation
  •  Community action planning workshops
  •  Infrastructure support for 20 communities.

The launch, which showcased the first of the 610 houses to be built, commenced with a covenant signing between UN-Habitat, its partners in project implementation, and local government units from the beneficiary communities. This was followed by the signing of 11 community contracts with homeowners’ association representatives, community leaders who represented the beneficiaries. The contracts were for the first 126 houses which will be built by the communities with technical support from UN-Habitat.

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Inaugural house of the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlement project
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Pilot house owner Emelia Doriendes (back and center) eagerly awaits ceremonial handing of the house key after the ribbon cutting by (from left) Undersecretary Cecilia Alba of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council; Roxie Abagatnan, Capiz representative of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery; Koji Otani of the Japanese Embassy; Ana Oliveros, President of the Social Housing Finance Corporation; Bernhard Barth of UN-Habitat; and Capiz Governor Victor Tanco.
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“Thank you” signs from community members pave the way to the pilot house.