Philippines

USAID Backs IOM Relief for Storm-Hit Families in Southern Philippines

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IOM has received an additional US$ 600,000 (Php25.7 million) from the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to deliver badly needed aid to families displaced by Tropical Storm Washi (locally known as Sendong) in Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

The funds will provide an estimated 1,130 families in the worst affected cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan with assistance to rebuild their homes with shelter repair materials and kits . They will also provide 200 people with short-term income generation opportunities through cash-for-work programs, and another 50 families with cash grants to promote safer building methods.

The latest figures from the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) show that there are still 4,727 families in evacuation centres in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities, and a total of 35,222 affected families outside of evacuation centres.

IOM, which serves as the co-lead with the DSWD in the IASC Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) cluster, is currently improving conditions in evacuation centres and transition sites by building privacy partitions, bed kits, latrines, bathing cubicles, multi-purpose halls and cooking counters.

It is also distributing shelter repair kits and essential non-food relief items to displaced families to allow them to leave evacuation centres and return to their homes.

IOM teams have already completed construction of 75 bunkhouses in the Lumbia relocation site in Cagayan de Oro City. The project provided short-term employment to almost 200 people from evacuation centres and host communities through a cash-for-work program.

According to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, which generates data on the needs of displaced families inside and outside of evacuation centres, there remains an urgent need for alternative evacuation and transitional sites. It also points to a need for more aid in the area of water and sanitation. This includes the provision of more drinking water, latrines and separate washing areas for men and women. (To view the report, please visit: http://ph.one.un.org/response/clusters/cccm/index.php.)

Tropical Storm Washi struck the northeastern coast of Mindanao on 16th December 2011, dumping over 142 millimeters of rain in just 12 hours. This triggered deadly flash floods from three major rivers, which killed over 1,000 people and displaced thousands of families – most of whom were forced to seek refuge in makeshift evacuation centres.

In addition to the USAID / OFDA funds, IOM has received EUR 700,000 from the European Commission through its Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO), CAD$ 175,000 from the Canadian International Development Agency and USD 1 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF.)

For more information, please contact Dave Bercasio at IOM Mindanao. Tel: +63.908.865.4546 .
Email: dbercasio@iom.int.

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