Caritas Internationalis spends P3.2B for ‘Yolanda’ victims

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An official of the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said the Catholic charity group Caritas Internationalis has spent more than P3.2 billion in assistance of victims of super typhoon Yolanda for the last two years.

Of the P3.2 billion allocated by Caritas for the Philippines, around P39.8 million has been allocated for typhoon victims living in northern Cebu, said Fr. Edwin Gariguez, NASSA-Caritas Philippines executive secretary.

Around 1.8 million people, or 20 percent of the Yolanda-affected population from nine worst-hit provinces, including Cebu, have been assisted by the collaboration between NASSA and Caritas Internationalis.

Gariguez said the P3.2 billion allocated for Yolanda victims had been used to provide shelter, livelihood, water, sanitation and health (WASH); disaster risk reduction, ecosystem recovery and capacity building.

Gariguez and other officials of Caritas Internationalis were in Cebu Friday to commemorate the second year since Typhoon Yolanda hit the country.

Aside from the Archdiocese of Cebu, representatives of dioceses in the provinces of Leyte, Western Samar, Eastern Samar, Palawan, Antique, Capiz and Iloilo were also present.

Aside from members of NASSA and from the nine typhoon-affected dioceses, there were also representatives from Caritas Internationalis member organizations from the US, United Kingdom, Spain, Austria, Germany, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemborg, Singapore and from the Czech Republic.

Proceeding towards their third year since Yolanda, Gariguez said they were now focusing on empowering communities that they helped and provide them with sustainable livelihood.

NASSA-Caritas and representatives from the nine typhoon-affected dioceses also held a summit on Community-Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR).

Gariguez said that through the summit, they want to get the best practices from the typhoon-affected dioceses especially from communities who are actively involved in various disaster mitigation measures.

Gariguez said that two years since Yolanda, developing capacity building on the communities they assisted remained one of their challenges.

He said that while it was easy to provide aid to affected communities, developing them into resilient and sustainable communities was still a work in progress.(PNA)

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