Philippines

Habitat for Humanity building permanent homes six months after Typhoon Haiyan

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Habitat aims to build 30,000 homes in the Visayas for affected families

Bangkok, 8 May 2014: Global non-profit shelter organization Habitat for Humanity is progressing with construction of permanent homes at four sites in areas severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The typhoon that struck the Visayas area of the Philippines six months ago killed 6,300 people and damaged or destroyed more than 1 million homes, according to government figures.

“We broke ground on our first construction site in February 2014, just three months after Typhoon Haiyan struck, and then progressed to building homes at an additional three sites soon after. We intend to keep up this pace, and break ground at many more sites in coming months,” said Rick Hathaway, Habitat for Humanity Asia-Pacific Vice President.

“Alongside building permanent homes for families affected by the typhoon, we are continuing to distribute shelter repair kits. More funding is needed to carry on this work and reconstruction is likely to take many years. Habitat for Humanity is committed to supporting affected families in the Visayas for the long term,” continued Rick Hathaway.

Habitat for Humanity Philippines aims to distribute more than 30,000 shelter repair kits and build 30,000 core homes, depending on availability of funding. Construction work has begun in Santa Fe on Bantayan Island and in Daanbantayan, both in Cebu, and at Tacloban and Javier, two sites on the island of Leyte.

Habitat started distributing emergency shelter kits just days after Haiyan struck, shifting to shelter repair kits as needs changed. To date, Habitat has supported nearly 18,000 families with emergency shelter and shelter repair kits.

“I was seven months pregnant when the typhoon hit. We went to another house to seek shelter. I was crying and in shock,” said Jovelyn Ypsor, 22. “We returned to find our collapsed home.”

Jovelyn Ypsor and her young family in Daanbantayan, Cebu, received a shelter repair kit from Habitat for Humanity Philippines.

“We repaired our house using the donated materials, incorporating parts of the old house. I am happy to have somewhere to rest and sleep. Our house is now bigger, and better than it was before. My dream is to have a concrete house, even if it is just partially concrete,” added Jovelyn Ypsor.

In addition to operations to help families affected by Typhoon Haiyan, Habitat for Humanity Philippines has also started rebuilding thousands of homes in Bohol for families affected by the earthquake that struck on 15 October 2013.

Since 1988, Habitat for Humanity Philippines has played an active role in working with families to build decent homes. Through a network of project offices in rural and urban areas, Habitat for Humanity Philippines has built and repaired tens of thousands of houses.

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Notes to Editors

· Shelter repair kits contain plywood, lumber, galvanized iron sheeting, hammer, handsaw and nails. Habitat provides training of safe building practices when conducting shelter repair kit distributions.

· Donations can be made at http://www.give2habitat.org/philippines/ReBuildPhilippines

To set up interviews, receive photography or further information, please contact Heron Holloway, +65 9068 1892, hholloway@habitat.org or Michele Soh, +65 9233 1544, msoh@habitat.org [Photography and B-roll of shelter repair kit distributions and construction work are available.]

About Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1976. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and supports a variety of funding models that enable families with limited resources to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. Habitat has supported an estimated 1.5 million individuals in the Asia-Pacific region, where it has been active since 1983. To get more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit habitat.org/asiapacific or follow us at facebook.com/habitat.

Contacts:

Heron Holloway
+65 9068 1892
hholloway@habitat.org

Michele Soh
+65 9233 1544
msoh@habitat.org