UN humanitarian chief continues to be amazed by Filipinos’ resiliency
MANILA, Philippines—After returning from Yolanda-struck Tacloban, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs said she was also struck, this time, by the resiliency of the Filipinos.
“I continue to be struck by the resiliency of the Filipino people,” Valerie Ann Amos said at a United Nations press briefing at The Peninsula Manila Tuesday evening.
“Everywhere I visited, I saw families determined to rebuild their lives under the most difficult of conditions,” said Amos, who also served as UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.
“I would like to ensure them and the Philippine government that the UN and the international community continue the stand,” she added.
She said the relief efforts has improved since aid arrived after Yolanda’s devastation with “early signs of entrepreneurship” sprouting in Tacloban.
“People, to the extent, are traumatized but at the same time they are trying to look into the future so it’s important to support them.”
“Today was different, relief effort has scaled up substantially and people are making an effort to rebuild their lives,” Amos said.
“There are women cooking, selling food, and other people are removing debris.”
Amos said humanitarian partners of the UN have reached 1.1 million people with food aid and the Philippine government has distributed 837, 900 food packs in the affected areas.
“My office, the UN Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs, is setting up a coordination hub in Guiuan,” Amos said.
Coordination hubs will also be located in Tacloban, Roxas, Ormoc and Cebu.
Amos said these hubs will be aided by local officials so as not to duplicate relief efforts.
To further improve the relief effort, Amos said cash-for-work programs are essential to help the people and encourage them to move on their own and not to rely on relief too much.
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