TACLOBAN CITY – At least $609 million funding – a bulk intended for Eastern Visayas – has already been contributed by foreign donors for supertyphoon Yolanda response, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) reported.
Of the total donation, $328 million was contributed to the Strategic Response Plan (SRP) for Yolanda (with international name Haiyan).
The SRP backs the Government’s Recovery Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) launched more than a month after the supertyphoon with tsunami-like storm surge flattened coastal communities.
“Over 80 entities contributed to the SRP, including member states, the Central Emergency Response Fund, multilateral institutions, private companies and individuals,” the UN OCHA said in a statement.
Of the $788 million requested by UN from donors, about 42 have already been funded for coordination, early recovery and livelihoods, education, emergency shelter, emergency telecommunications, food security and agriculture, health, logistics, nutrition, protection, water, sanitation and hygiene.
In his recent visit to this city, considered as Yolanda’s ground zero, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the $788 million budget requirement will be poured out in storm-ravaged areas.
“We will try to provide life saving support and a long term development strategy, which will focus on reconstruction and resettlement of your community… Let us build safer and better communities,” Ban said in his remarks during his visit in this city last month.
UN OCHA assured that emergency food-aid distributions will continue until May 2014, concentrating remote areas where crops were badly destroyed by fierce winds. The poor road conditions also deprive inland residents from getting immediate assistance.
“Affected people in underserved areas walk up to half a day to access assistance. Food partners are gearing up for medium- to longer-term recovery interventions. They are supporting livelihoods through cash programmes and alternative livelihoods strategies, such as vegetable, pig and poultry farming,” the UN OCHA explained.
Yolanda’s wrath has killed nearly 6,000 in Eastern Visayas and 1,785 are still missing, according to the Regional Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council. Along the storm’s path, 14.1 million people were affected, 4.1 million were displaced, and destroyed 1.1 million houses.
By Sarwell Q. Meniano