Rebuilding Livelihoods After Typhoon Haiyan

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For immediate release
5 February 2014

Three months after Super Typhoon Haiyan hit parts of the Philippines, the ILO response programme is expanding with the support of the Governments of Norway and Japan, the International Maritime Employers’ Council and other partners.–en/index.htm

It has been three months since the strongest tropical storm ever recorded on land – known as Super Typhoon Haiyan – hit the shores of the Philippines, leaving behind a trail of massive devastation. In addition to the loss of lives, the disaster had a massive impact on the local communities, many of which will take months, if not years to recover.

As of today, at least 14.2 million people have been affected by the Typhoon, including over 5.9 million who lost their primary source of income. Out of those workers, more than 2.6 million were already in vulnerable employment and living at or near the poverty line even before the disaster.

“During my recent visit to the Philippines, I could see for myself the massive damage and devastation caused by the Typhoon,” said Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. “The Philippines is in the middle of a critical process of reconstruction. It is crucial that the international community continues to support the recovery efforts. Norway has increased its allocation to a total of NOK 255 million (approx. USD 42 million), including NOK 20 million (approx. USD 3.2 million) to the ILO’s support for livelihood recovery. It is clearly pressing to create opportunities for those affected to earn an income, start returning to their normal lives and rebuild their local communities.”

With the help of a number of donors and through allocation of ILO resources, emergency employment programmes were put in place under the Early Recovery and Livelihood humanitarian cluster.

“The contribution from the Norwegian Government has been very timely. Together with the financial support from the International Maritime Employers’ Council and Japan, coupled with a quick internal ILO allocation of funds, we were able to start-up the first emergency employment activities shortly after the disaster,” said Lawrence Jeff Johnson, Director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines.

“Importantly, this is fully in line with the strategy of the Philippine government, which calls for actions that enable people to return to income-generating activities as soon as possible,” he added.

Since Haiyan struck on 8 November, the ILO supported the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in creating over 20,000 jobs under the emergency employment programme, reaching out to 100,000 people during the initial phase in 2013 to help improve their living and working conditions. The support from donors and partners will further bolster on-going initiatives with the Philippines government through DOLE and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Norway and the international community have not forgotten the Philippines. Now that the acute emergency relief phase is over, it is important that priority is given to providing enough resources for reconstruction of the affected communities and giving them opportunities to generate sustainable income through decent jobs,” said Ambassador Knut Solem, of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila.

ILO response strategy

The ILO programme consists of both short and medium-term measures, which together aim to address the immediate needs of those affected by the typhoon and offer them a pathway to re-establish livelihoods and regain self-reliance.

In the first months, in line with the overall humanitarian Strategic Response Plan, the ILO is providing immediate short-term jobs using the emergency employment approach, which contribute to the massive efforts for debris clearing, clean-up work and temporary repairs of critical community facilities.

Other priorities involve gender responsive technical vocational training and skills development provided for affected workers as well as sustainable employment generated through recovery of enterprises.

“With the currently available funding, the emergency employment programmes will engage approximately 700 workers per day over the coming four months,” said Lawrence Jeff Johnson.” We will aim at equal participation rate of men and women in all activities.”

In the second phase of the programme, the ILO will aim to create jobs and generate income at the community level through local resource-based approaches for infrastructure and environmental investments, by using labour-based technologies and community-contracting, and by working through local partners in the calamity stricken areas.

About 20 per cent of workers initially involved in the emergency employment are expected to engage in the second phase of the project, receiving skills training and transitioning into community-based work. It is expected that the programme will create 100,000 work days before the end of December 2014.

In addition, about 250 potential entrepreneurs will receive support on business development and recovery.

Finally, US$ 1.3 million will be injected into the local economy through wages and materials as well as tools purchase.
For further information please contact:

Minette Rimando
ILO Country Office for the Philippines
+63 2 580 9905 or 580 9900
+63 917 535 3162
[email protected]

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