126 families affected by Typhoon Haiyan move into their new homes constructed through an exemplary French public-private partnership [fr]
The inauguration last October 6, 2017 of a relocation site developed by the French NGO, ACTED, in Guiuan province, Eastern Samar marks the completion of a project providing new homes for 126 families whose houses were destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in 2013.
This fine example of a public-private partnership came into being following the state visit to the Philippines of French President François Hollande in February 2015, which was also an occasion for the French Head of State to travel to the municipality of Guiuan. France, through the French Development Agency, as well as a number of private partners such as Alstom and Lafarge Holcim, in collaboration with Philippine officials, supported the completion of this project which aims to improve the living conditions of communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan and, more generally, by the increasing number and intensity of typhoons entering the Philippines. While already struggling with poverty, Samar Oriental, located on the Pacific coast, is among the provinces most affected by these recurring natural catastrophes.
Through this 2.15 million euro project financed by the French Development Agency (1.5 million euros), the Alstom Foundation, Lafarge Holcim, and many private sector companies, ACTED has proposed an integrated approach that seeks to assist local authorities and communities to be better prepared in the face of disasters – and also to minimize human casualties, the destruction of houses, and the loss of agricultural resources – and to strengthen their resilience. This approach involves:
Responding to the needs of communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan in terms of sustainable housing and access to potable water and sanitation;
Assisting these families in rebuilding their livelihood, with a support for agricultural production capacity;
Capacity-building in emergency response and crisis management related to natural calamities.
Although the Filipino people is said to be resilient, the accumulation of risks borne by communities already dealing with poverty and vulnerability to disasters weakens their ability to recover, contributes to the considerable degradation of their socio-economic situation, and alters the country’s socio-economic development. The NGO therefore works to strengthen the resilience of the Philippines and contribute to the sustainable reduction of the country’s vulnerability by reinforcing the capacities of local communities, officials, and other stakeholders to identify and reduce the risks of natural calamities, and by improving the economic and social conditions of vulnerable populations.
During the inauguration ceremony organized in the presence of all the beneficiaries of the project, French Embassy Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Laurent Legodec, ACTED Philippines Director Thibault Henry, French Development Agency Philippines Director Christophe Blanchot, Mr. Simon Cordier of the Alstom Foundation, Mr. Jurry Tormis of Lafarge Holcim, and a number of personalities and local officials, 126 families, who have lived in the no-build zone and whose houses were destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, were given the keys to their new homes.
The challenge remain numerous, but ACTED, with the support of France, continues its work today by launching operations in Mindanao, in response to the different crises related to internal conflicts, through the implementation of an emergency response mechanism for those affected by these crises. Moreover, ACTED actively contributes in extending emergency humanitarian response following the political-security crisis which recently hit Marawi City.