TACLOBAN CITY- A Japanese actress and writer Misako Konno has donated 1 million yen (approximately US$ 10,200) to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to help rebuild Yolanda-hit communities. The donation came as the country commemorated on May 8 the six month anniversary of the disaster, which killed over 6,200 people and displaced more than 4 million. “UNDP is doing a great deal to help the people of the Philippines who have been affected by this terrible storm,” said Konno in a statement to UNDP. “By helping to meet the immediate needs of affected communities, kick-start recovery through the removal of debris and waste, and generate emergency employment – they are helping to create conditions for long-term recovery and sustainable development. I am very proud of my association with UNDP. I hope that my contribution will draw attention to continued recovery efforts in the country and, combined with other donations from around the world, empower the people to build a resilient society,” the Japanese actress said. UNDP said that aside from donating her own money, Konno has also worked since the outset of the deadly storm to raise awareness about UNDP’s efforts to rebuild the devastated region. “We are very thankful to Ms. Konno and her hard work as a Goodwill Ambassador – raising awareness about poverty and development issues,” said Maurice Dewulf, UNDP Philippines Country Director, in a statement. “Her work to help make people aware of the devastation faced by those in the Philippines has been amazing. This sizable donation, combined with her long-term support for UNDP for many years now shows true dedication to the cause of sustainable development.” According to UNDP, Konno is one of many UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors who have helped raise awareness about the plight of communities affected by Yolanda, along with soccer stars Marta Vieira da Silva, Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane, who in April joined a host of other well-known footballers in a benefit match – the 11th Match Against Poverty, which raised over US$ 190,000 for UNDP’s recovery efforts in the Philippines. (RONALD O.REYES)