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UNDP aid boosts Tacloban’s disaster preparedness

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By Philippine News Agency

The city government here is more capable now to respond to emergencies after the equipment and trainings were provided by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with funding support from the European Union (EU).

MB FILE—A file photo shows houses which were wrecked after a storm surge caused by super-typhoon Yolanda ravaged Tacloban City three years ago. Thousands of people died due to the onslaught of the super-typhoon. (Manila Bulletin)

Yolanda-hit Tacloban City (Manila Bulletin File Photo)

City disaster and risk reduction management office chief Edilbrando Bernadas said the foreign aid has raised their capability not just on response, but also on training communities.

Through the new equipment provided by EU and UNDP, the city government aims to train 2,000 rescue volunteers from the city’s 138 villages to boost local disaster preparedness capability.

“We really want to mobilize our village volunteers to start up with a disaster preparedness from their very roots, so that when they organized themselves, it would be easier for us to respond from the city level,” Bernadas said.

The UNDP turned over on Thursday a multi-purpose training center, search and rescue equipment, and communication equipment to the local government. The donations are intended to raise the capability of volunteers.

“All this assistance pushed us to be more eager to help others,” he added.

Mayor Cristina Romualdez said the EU and UNDP donations in the city after the devastation of supertyphoon Yolanda on Nov. 8, 2013 had contributed a lot to the recovery and building back better initiatives of the city.

“In the future, I believe that we can be a model in terms of disaster preparedness at least in the region. We are also in a better position to help during emergencies in nearby provinces or cities in the region,” Romualdez said.

In the three-year program implementation for Yolanda response, the EU, together with its member states through UNDP, had provided PHP26 billion assistance to Yolanda affected families by constructing cold storage facilities, housing resettlements, financial assistance, livelihood assistance and community evacuation centers with rescue equipment and facilities.

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