November 7, 2014
The National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) /Caritas Philippines has so far implemented the most massive recovery program by the local Catholic Church to the survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda.
The program called #REACHPhilippines (REcovery Assistance to Vulnerable Communities Affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines) has already reached 97,612 families from severely typhoon-battered areas across the country since it began its recovery efforts on April 1 of this year.
According to NASSA/Caritas Philippines National Director Archbishop Rolanda J. Tria Tirona, OCD, this is just the beginning of the three-year program intended for the rehabilitation of areas severely affected by ‘Yolanda’.
“Much still has to be done to rebuild and fully restore what have been taken away from our people who almost lost everything including their homes, livelihood and loved ones from the dreaded typhoon. But the good news is we are already getting there. And we owe this to everyone who volunteered and gave their support in all of our activities,” Archbishop Tirona said as the country commemorates the first anniversary of the devastation.
The #REACHPhilippines program is currently served to nine dioceses or provinces such as Leyte, Samar, Eastern Samar, Palawan, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, and Cebu.
The beneficiaries are selected from typhoon-battered areas that were least served by government and other non-government organizations, and belonged to the poorest of the poor.
The program’s focus are the provision of disaster-resilient homes, installation of water and sanitation facilities, food security and livelihood assistance and trainings, disaster risk reduction trainings, capacity building, and ecosystem recovery.
“Unlike other emergency response programs implemented in typhoon-stricken provinces, we devoted three months to community consultation to ensure that all of our projects are responding to the actual needs of the communities that will be served,” Archbishop Tirona explained.
The fastest emergency appeal responded to by 41 Caritas Internationalis members, this year’s budget alone for the rehabilitation stands at EUR 9.7 million (Php563 million). Of these, EUR 3.6 million have already been spent for the rehabilitation as of the end of September this year.
“Having 100% of the total appeal testifies to the capacity of NASSA/Caritas Philippines and the diocesan social action centers to transparent and honest spending. We make sure that every penny is accounted for by institutionalizing financial monitoring and evaluation policies, not to mention a regular monitoring and evaluation of programs done both in the national and diocesan levels,” the Archbishop said in closing.
Jing Rey Henderson
Senior Communications Officer
(0905) 546-9977 / 525-1924