Church’s ‘Yolanda’ housing project almost done

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MANILA, Feb. 11, 2015—The housing project the Church has been setting up for survivors of natural calamities, most recently by “Yolanda” (international name: “Haiyan”), is over 80 percent completed.

In an interview over Radyo Veritas, Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s National
Secretariat for Social Action, Justice, and Peace (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines, is confident the project will be finished by the end of March.

Caritas Philippines will be building 3,753 shelter units (ten designs, eight resilient features) in nine dioceses (118 communities) across Visayan Region under the #REACHPhilippines Project. (Photo: NASSA/Caritas Philippines)

The priest, who was in Cebu City to meet with representatives of nine dioceses most seriously hit by disasters, shared NASSA/Caritas Philippines is targeting as many as 3,753 houses for survivors and their families.

Besides giving them safe and decent shelter, Gariguez added the project will have a concrete livelihood component to ensure survivors will have the means to support themselves and their families.

“One more beautiful aspect of our program is that it is not just about shelter, but we respond to integrated human development, part of that is livelihood at security, even spiritual formation, community organizing, resiliency is also community empowerment. So this is the entire package. The beauty of this is that the people get to participate, they themselves build the houses,” the priest said in an earlier CBCP News report.

The Catholic Church in the Philippines rolled out as much as €9.7 million, or Php 563 million, in the relief, rehabilitation, and recovery of over two million individuals directly affected by super typhoon Yolanda in Nov. 2013.

The amount, donated by 41 Caritas Internationalis member-organizations in six continents, made up the total budget of the Church’s humanitarian arm for typhoon Yolanda recovery.

The funds were  used to implement the integrated human development program REACH Philippines (Recovery Assistance to Vulnerable Communities Affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines), particularly in areas severely devastated by the calamity, including 35 parishes in the Archdioceses of Iloilo, Capiz, Cebu, and Palo; the Dioceses of Kalibo, Antique, Borongan, and Calbayog; and the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCPNews)

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