Philippines: UNDP gives US$ 5 million to help kick start Haiyan debris removal

18 Nov 2013

Millions more still urgently needed for rebuilding and recovery

As the international community continues to transport and distribute aid to the victims of typhoon Haiyan under extremely challenging circumstances, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has pledged US$ 5 million to help kick start the removal of  some of the millions of tonnes of debris left over from the storm. (Lee versaun Tetum iha ne'e)

But, given the enormity of the disaster, more resources, funds, and supplies, are needed, as the recovery phase will be long and complicated for the country.

“UNDP’s US$ 5 million can help kick start clearing away debris which is blocking roads, limiting access to assistance, and hampering relief efforts,” said Helen Clark, Administrator of UNDP. “But this initial contribution is only the beginning of what’s needed.  We urgently need to raise US$ 20 million to achieve our objective of clearing rubble initially for one million people in provinces affected by Typhoon Haiyan.” Helen Clark noted that the UN as a whole is requesting over US$ 300 million for the overall response to the typhoon.

Clearing debris is the first of many activities that UNDP plans to implement in the Philippines to help those who have lost homes, businesses, and jobs as a result of the typhoon. Among the benefits of debris removal is a reduction of the threats to life and health which are caused by unsanitary environmental conditions. And, because the typhoon hit areas where there was already widespread poverty, the work UNDP plans will support the immediate creation of temporary jobs. Thus entire communities will benefit from debris and waste management activities and support for rebuilding initiatives. This is vital for the more than 200,000 people whose crops, jobs, and businesses were wiped out by the typhoon.

UNDP launches donor appeal

Meanwhile, UNDP has called on the public to contribute to the Philippine recovery effort, and has launched a website for donations to its work.

Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, struck the Philippines on 8 November. One of the most powerful storms on record, it has caused widespread damage, overwhelming defences across the country. Almost 13 million people are affected by the storm, 1.9 million have been displaced, and thousands have died..

“As the government and the people of the Philippines recover from this terrible tragedy, UNDP will be working hard  to support recovery and strengthen the nation’s resilience to future shocks,” Helen Clark said.


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