US Government and Catholic Relief Services Provide Safe Housing to Over 3,000 Families Affected by Typhoon Yolanda

US Government and Catholic Relief Services Provide Safe Housing to Over 3,000 Families Affected by Typhoon Yolanda
With USAID and Catholic Relief Services support, more than 3,000 Typhoon Yolanda-affected families get the chance to start anew in safe housing.
David Martinez for CRS

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

On Thursday, December 3rd, representatives from U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Catholic Relief Services and Tacloban City gathered in the city’s Astrodome to mark the end of the 24-month Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Program, implemented by Catholic Relief Services (CRS).

Over the last two years, USAID and CRS have worked in partnership with local officials to help restore normalcy and provide shelter to 3,275 families in 24 of Tacloban’s coastal barangays. For those who lost their homes completely, the program provided new shelters and built up new communities for relocation. The residents of these new homes have been trained to expedite their recovery, engage in their new community and claim their right to a life of dignity.

Others received repair kits for their damaged homes, including materials to build new roofs. Assistance also came in the form of apartment or land rental subsidies and support to those who found temporary host families.

Beyond the housing assistance, USAID and CRS launched water, sanitation and hygiene, and disaster risk reduction activities throughout Tacloban City. The program installed more than 1,000 toilets, trained over 3,000 individuals in hygiene promotion and restored access to safe water for over 200 families in the city.

USAID and CRS also trained 4,000 people in evacuation drills and initiated the planting of 5,000 square meters of mangroves, to help the city become more resilient to the impact of typhoons and other natural disasters. Finally, the program built 15 structures throughout the city, such as playgrounds and a new community center.

Among the officials who participated in the ceremony on December 3 were Ben Hemingway from USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance; City Councilor Christina Romualdez; Greg Auberry, CRS East and South Asia Regional Director; Joseph Curry, CRS Country Representative; and other Tacloban City officials.

“The resilience and determination of the people of Leyte to recover and build back better truly inspire all of us. The American people, through USAID, will continue to work with our friends in the Philippines to help rebuild this region better and stronger,” remarked Mr. Hemingway.

Liezel Corales, president of the relocation site in Barangay Utap, received a new home through the program. “After the typhoon, my family and I stayed in an evacuation center for nine months. Through the Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Program, we now have a home to call our own.” In her role as president of the barangay, Corales coordinates with the local government to gain access to clean water and electricity, manage waste and make use of other basic public services.

To date, the U.S. government has provided approximately $143 million to help the Philippines respond to and recover from the devastating effects of Typhoon Yolanda. In addition to the humanitarian assistance, USAID supports rehabilitation and recovery in the typhoon-affected areas, particularly in Leyte Province. USAID assistance restores access to education, health services, and livelihood activities.

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