TACLOBAN CITY- About 100,000 people have availed of a free service by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) replacing their personal documents that were destroyed after the onslaught of supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

The beneficiaries of this free service, dubbed as Access to Benefits and Claims after Disaster Expansion program (ABCDE) mostly came from the provinces of Leyte, Samar and Eastern Samar, hard-hit provinces in Eastern Visayas due to Yolanda. Of this number, 80,000 individuals were assisted from 20 municipalities to secure their civil records and other legal documents to re-establish their civil identities. In a statement, Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Philippines representative, said that a name and nationality is every child’s right, as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. “Every Filipino child including those impacted by disasters, have the right to be registered at birth and to be provided with birth registration documents that have been launched or destroyed. This is why Unicef is in partnership with the government to ensure that Yolanda-affected children claim their right to a name and a nationality as part of larger resilience efforts,” Sylwander said. However, 8,000 people were also provided with legal documentation services allowing them to access public services, such as pension schemes, education, burial, social security, access to employment and other basic social services. Unicef launched this program in partnership of Department of Social Welfare and Development last November 6, 2014 and still on its implementation to the affected typhoon areas. (KAYE ANNE B.ORALLER, LNU Intern)