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UN sets for long-term rehab plan for Yolanda-hit areas

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 02:17 PM December 03, 2013

AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—A United Nations official said that their restoration efforts in areas hardest hit by Supertyphoon Yolanda will start from the ground up, a statement said.

Haoliang Xu, Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement that the UN and the Philippine government are making “significant” strides in the recovery efforts.

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Xu said that UN and international relief and development teams are helping the Philippines “street by street and bucket by bucket” on the country’s road to recovery and sustainable development.

He added that the goal is for people to return to their normal lives, putting children to school, getting men and women to work, re-opening hospitals and re-launching basic public services.

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“This is the road to recovery—building back communities able to withstand future super storms,” Xu said.

According to the statement, around 345 workers are currently taking part in the UNDP plan and expected to reach 500 on Wednesday and with a goal to reach 10,000 at the end of the year.

Xu said that workers are paid $6 (P262.65) and each person can work to a maximum of 15 days and all are equipped with protective gear and vaccinated against tetanus in accordance to government policies.

“Our objective include clearing debris to allow easy access for aid to reach affected, enabling people to bring home much needed income, injecting cash into the local economy, and developing ownership in the recovery process,” Xu said, adding that the scheme also reduced the risk of disease through proper waste disposal.

Xu added that the jobs from the cash-for-work programs are given to those in desperate need, especially in Tacloban, and has rolled out in two schools and two hospitals among other sites.

In addition to the cash-for-work programs of UNDP, the recovery plan includes providing start-up kits and quick grants for small business developments like solar and wind energy.

The UNDP is also working to rehabilitate farms and markets, providing mobile sawmill and establishing workshops for carpenters to recycle fell timber into housing materials.

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