UNDP launches cash-for-work programme for destroyed communities in the Philippines

01 Dec 2013

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) began debris removal projects last week by providing cash-for-work to villagers hit hard by typhoon Haiyan. 

New Horizons - Local communities started clearing rubble and medical waste, earning much needed income to get back on track after the destruction from the typhoon, while also easing access routes for humanitarian supplies.

“The debris removal is an important part of the relief operation as streets without rubble are a precondition for aid distribution,” said Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific during his visit to the storm ravaged city of Tacloban.

Over the past weekend, an initial 180 men and women started removing rubble and medical waste in two hospitals, two schools and streets in three severely damaged neighborhoods (barangays) in Tacloban and in Palo through the UNDP organized cash-for-work programme.

They received basic equipment and tools such as generators, shovels, and wheelbarrows to begin the early recovery process.

With the assistance of the Australian aid agency, AusAid, 50 workers per day receive vaccinations against tetanus.

“In addition to contributing to the humanitarian effort, the debris removal is also a critical component of economic recovery,” added Haoliang Xu. “We’re going to create 200,000 temporary jobs in debris removal in the most affected municipalities over the next six months.”

The debris removal and waste management are part of a US$20 million early recovery plan which has building resilience of these communities at its core.

The programmes under the plan will help, among other things, rehabilitate local businesses, restore community infrastructure and will contribute to restarting the provision of services of the local government structures.


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