Australian Government, UNDP Approve Additional PhP184.9M to CCC for DRRM in 12 Yolanda Areas

The Australian Government, UNDP approved additional contribution of PhP 184.9 Million to Climate Change Commission for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in 12 areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda

MANILA, Philippines, 31 May 2014— As the Philippines moves forward on the road to recovery after Typhoon Yolanda, the Australian Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced on May 2014 an additional contribution of US$4.3 M to the Australian Aid Programme-UNDP-Climate Change Commission (CCC) Project Climate Twin Phoenix for its disaster risk reduction and management efforts in the areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda. The announcement was made with two major events as backdrop: the hosting of the Philippines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) on disaster risk reduction and management on June 4-6 and the celebration of the United Nation’s World Environment Day on June 5.

“Our partnership with the Australian Government and UNDP has strengthened over the past years after the successful implementation of our joint initiative—Project Climate Twin Phoenix, in the cities (Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in Region X) severely affected by Typhoon Sendong in 2011 and the provinces (Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley in Region XI) hardest hit by Typhoon Pablo in 2012”, says CCC Vice Chairperson, Secretary Lucille Sering.

“The Climate Change Commission receives this additional funding with the challenge of working closely with communities and involving them in the process so they are empowered to understand their vulnerabilities and are made better equipped to take responsibility in managing their disaster risks” Secretary Sering added.

Initially covering the Sendong and Pablo areas only, the additional support will now be used to implement an expansion of the project in 12 local government units (LGUs) of Eastern Visayas. Dubbed as the Resilience and Preparedness for Inclusive Development (RAPID) Program, this initiative builds on the work done by Project Climate Twin Phoenix and similarly strives to strengthen the institutional capacities for disaster risk reduction and management of government at the local level as well as to mainstream climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management in local development and land use plans and into the national policy framework, as a whole.

“The UNDP has been actively providing technical assistance to the government, specifically the Climate Change Commission, to put in place a long term capacity development program for cities and municipalities by addressing disaster risks from climate change and other related natural hazards”, says (UNDP Representative).

“This includes support for short-term programs aimed to enhance the institutional capacity and individual competency of key players in disaster risk reduction and management.”

The RAPID Program targets rural communities along the coastline of San Pedro and San Pablo Bay which have been identified to be vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as sea level rise and extreme weather events such as storms and floods. These coastal communities include Tacloban city, the seven municipalities in the province of Leyte, and four municipalities in the provinces of Western and Eastern Samar as partner LGUs or roughly 98, 531 households.

Benefiting from the knowledge acquired under Project Climate Twin Phoenix, the RAPID Program will implement various activities such as the conduct of intensive vulnerability assessment, formulation and testing of local contingency plans and early warning systems, use of technologies in multi-hazard mapping to integrate climate and disaster risks into planning, and training of local partners and community leaders to build their capacities to respond to and manage their own risks.

“The Australian government is very positive that through its additional $4 million support to CCC and with assistance from UNDP, the RAPID Program will be able to make a real difference in helping communities affected by typhoon Yolanda to know their risks, reduce their vulnerabilities, and, ultimately, regain their resilience”, says (the Australian government’s Representative).The CCC and UNDP will implement this project as an expansion of Project Climate Twin Phoenix.

On November 2013, Typhoon Yolanda wreaked havoc in Eastern Visayas and left almost 4 million people homeless and damaged close to P89.6 billion worth of property and infrastructure. Six months after the massive destruction brought by the typhoon, thousands of families in the affected areas have yet to get back on their feet and recover their livelihoods amid a worsening environmental situation.

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