Geneva-based group hikes aid to areas hit by storm | Inquirer News
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Geneva-based group hikes aid to areas hit by storm

/ 10:46 PM January 16, 2013

The Geneva-based International Organization for Migration (IOM) stepped up relief efforts in typhoon-lashed Mindanao, distributing 5,600 family emergency shelter kits to remote and hard-to-access areas.

In a briefing paper released in Manila, the IOM said that a further 6,400 kits—consisting of plastic sheets, tools, jerry cans, and kitchen and cooking utensils—will arrive in the stricken region. Target beneficiaries number 60,000 people on completion of the distribution.

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The agency said the relief aid would ease the plight of many of the hundreds of thousands made homeless by Typhoon “Pablo”—international name “Bopha”—on Dec. 4.

The typhoon left more than 1,000 people dead and 800 missing.

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Several international donors have made generous donations to IOM’s appeal for $7 million to support shelter, camp coordination and camp management, health, and communication with affected communities. Last week, additional funding of $600,000 was received from South Korea.

A “debris-to-shelter” program has also started in the municipalities of Cateel, New Bataan and Trento, the IOM said. It is made up of two components which utilize local materials and labor to fabricate critically needed shelter material.

Local people are being supported to use fallen coconut trees and scattered building material as shelter framing and cross-bracing material. They are also producing nipa palm shingle and amakan (bamboo matting) for wall construction at displacement sites.

This activity also serves as an emergency livelihood to displaced people, the vast majority of whom have lost their sources of income, the IOM said.

The continuation of education is also being facilitated by last week’s distribution of solar lights. Apart from bringing safety to women after dark, the lamps are allowing children to continue their education in two of the worst-affected provinces, Compostela Valley and Agusan del Sur Provinces.

“We use three flashlights in order for my children to study at night. We are very thankful for the bright solar light. It is a very big help to us,” said Virginia Lacarion, mother of four school children, currently staying in an evacuation center.

A further 14,400 solar lamps will shortly be distributed in the coming weeks in areas where restoration of electricity may take some time. The water-resistant lights can provide light for up to six hours from one eight-hour charging.

Click here for more weather related news.

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TAGS: International Organization for Migration, IOM, Mindanao, relief efforts, Typhoon, Typhoon Pablo
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