Nearly four months after a massive earthquake devastated parts of Bohol Island, the top United Nations relief official in the Philippines is calling on donors to provide an additional $19 million for urgent shelter needs, as well as health, education and early recovery efforts in the affected areas.
“We are continuing to support the authorities’ efforts on many fronts and will not forget the plight of people affected in Bohol,” said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Luiza Carvalho today as she noted that since the 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Bohol on 15 October last year, Philippines authorities and humanitarian partners have contended with a series of disasters, including Super Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the archipelago almost exactly one month later on 8 November 2013.
The UN Humanitarian Country Team released its revised action plan today, noting that donors have already provided $15.1 million toward humanitarians’ six-month joint action plan for Bohol covering the six months from the time of the earthquake to 15 April.
“Local and national non-governmental organizations are playing a key role in the Bohol response, and this is reflected in the revised action plan,” said Ms. Carvalho. “Two new national non-governmental organizations and five new local organizations have included projects in the revised plan. They all have the capacity to implement the projects in Bohol. But they urgently need funding to succeed.”
According to the UN, most of the nearly 368,000 people whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the earthquake are still living in their damaged houses or in tents nearby. With aftershocks still common, shelter assistance is urgently needed to help people out of these unsafe conditions. Landslides and aftershocks push them out of the house and into the tents, while flooding and heavy rains drive them back into unsafe homes.
Students are back to school with almost 100 per cent attendance, but 839 classrooms are in temporary learning spaces, pending the rebuilding of structures.
The requested funding for the revised Bohol action plan is $33.8 million, compared to $46.8 million in the original plan announced this past October. With the emergency now in a recovery phase, the UN reduced the funding request in line with the current outstanding needs, following detailed assessments by stakeholders and consultations with the Government. Targeted support of the Bohol humanitarian actors will complement the early recovery capacities of the provincial government.