By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
MANILA – The South Korean government is providing USD300,000 (approximately PHP15 million) to support the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its efforts to rebuild shelters in provinces affected by Typhoon Odette.
The UNDP Philippines on Wednesday said this partnership with South Korea will focus on providing immediate relief and long-term resilience-building to affected communities in Dinagat Islands.
“To support UNDP’s initiative, the Republic of Korea has provided USD 300,000 to help rebuild shelter in several provinces. The selected beneficiaries will be trained in designing and rebuilding their own houses with typhoon-core shelter designs that can withstand strong winds and floods,” it said in a statement.
The Korean shelter support is part of Seoul’s USD2 million (PHP102.4 million) humanitarian assistance for communities affected by Typhoon Odette.
Of this funding, USD600,000 or approximately PHP31 million will be used to deliver food to around 4,000 vulnerable households in Bohol, Southern Leyte, and other heavily-impacted areas.
About USD700,000 or PHP36 million, on the other hand, will fund water, sanitation, and hygiene services (WASH) in Surigao del Norte, Southern Leyte, and Dinagat Islands.
“The Embassy of the Republic of Korea is working together with the World Food Program for food assistance, UNICEF for the provision of WASH, and the Philippine Red Cross and the UNDP for housing of resilient resettlement,” the Embassy said in a statement.
Prior to this, the Korean Embassy last December 29 made an initial delivery of 1,500 sacks of rice and 740 hygiene kits valued at USD50,000 (PHP2.5 million) to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
“The Embassy of the Republic of Korea hopes that the lives of the Filipino people affected by Typhoon Odette will return to normalcy at the soonest time, and (we’ll) continue to work together with our friends and partners toward this objective,” it said.
Typhoon Odette struck the country in December 2021, affecting more than 8 million people.
To date, the agriculture sector has incurred an estimated damage worth almost PHP16 billion while the damage to infrastructure has reached over PHP17 billion. The typhoon also left 1.4 million damaged houses and displaced around 339,000 people.
Recognizing the Philippines’ “high vulnerability” to natural disasters, the UNDP has also invested USD650,000 (PHP33 million) in the response and resilience work in Odette-hit areas, particularly for Cebu, Siargao, and Dinagat Islands.
In addition, its efforts to restore critical connectivity information structure and the emergency telecommunications services for the government responders are ongoing in partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
“UNDP focuses to support corrective measures that will reduce the existing level of risks. We are working hand-in-hand with key government agencies and LGUs to enhance their capacities in risk management to reduce vulnerability and exposure to threats and hazards,” UNDP Philippines Resident Representative Selva Ramachandran said.
“We also want to strengthen the aspect of digital governance to make social services more accessible to people, especially in the events of natural calamity,” he added. (PNA)