UN: ‘Yolanda rehab still a long way to Go’
by FFE PH News Staff
United Nations and many of the world’s governments have been behind the rehabilitation of typhoon Yolanda-devastated areas since day one. However, the UN itself confessed that there are still many challenges along the way to rehabilitation.
The UN pinpointed in a report that, now that the government has shifted to long-term rehabilitation, shelter and livelihood are the top concerns.
The rehabilitation efforts between the UN and the Philippines have so far reached three million people with food assistance and 20,000 families with rice seeds. Feeding programmes for 100,000 children up to two years old, pregnant and new mothers are also in place for six months. Medical teams have been organised to target health needs and cash-for-work schemes have also been put in place to boost the local economy.
Permanent homes are also in the works. International NGO Cochrane said that new homes and communities for 500,000 families are needed. International charity Oxfam meanwhile stressed the need for food security, especially as the harvest season begins next month.
According to the UN report, the next challenge would be to restore public buildings and reopen schools. UN official Luiza Carvalho announced that the international community is still willing to help rehabilitate the Visayas region even into 2014. She said ‘We are grateful for the international outpouring of support and we ask that it continues in the months ahead to ensure people have access to sufficient food and clean water as well as to help provide the tools and equipment to enable them to rebuild their homes.’
Meanwhile, many residents of Tacloban are rebuilding their homes using makeshift materials. In some places, survivors have busied themselves by building makeshift Christmas trees for the holiday season. Masses at the the Sto Nino Church, though still struggling with missing windows and a wrecked roof, is helping the healing process. Father Isagani Petilos said in a morning mass ‘Whatever hardships and sufferings we have had, we should try to move on and forget and start all over again.
‘We have to learn to accept what happened in our lives, and we can still hope that there’s a beautiful life ahead.’