TACLOBAN CITY – Christmas is merry for families who were displaced by typhoon ‘Agaton’ in Abuyog, Leyte after they received temporary shelters donated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) together with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

A total of 141 displaced families from Barangay Pilar, one of the hard-hit areas of a landslide that happened during the onslaught of Agaton April this year.

The temporary shelters were constructed in New Pilar village, the new permanent site of the displaced residents.

“I wish to convey my heartfelt gratitude to the humanitarian organizations for their selfless support and commitment to uphold welfare of humanity and community development. The USAID together with the IOM had continuously supported, funded and realized this cause,” Vice Mayor Lemuel Gin Traya said during the turn-over ceremony held on December 19.
Traya was the mayor of Abuyog when Agaton devastated the municipality.

The local government reported more than 50 residents died when a landslide hit the coastal community.

For several months, the residents stayed at the municipal evacuation center while waiting for the relocation site.

Aside from the 141 temporary shelters in Abuyog, 59 transitional shelters were also turned over by USAID to families in Baybay City.

These are part of the 1,000 transitional shelters provided by USAID and IOM to typhoon Odette and typhoon Agaton displaced families in the Visayas and Mindanao.

“Through continued close collaboration with local government units and national line agencies, IOM has provided transitional shelters, shelter repair kits, cash assistance, hygiene promotion activities, and mental health and psychosocial support to affected communities in the provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Dinagat Islands and Surigao del Norte,” IOM statement said.