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San Francisco Based Give2Asia Will Focus Long-Term Philippines Recovery Work on Guiuan in Eastern Samar

February 4, 2014 Destination ASEAN No Comments Email Email

Give2Asia, a San Francisco-based 501(c)3 social enterprise, announced today that it will focus its long-term disaster recovery efforts following Typhoon Yolanda on the municipality of Guiuan, in Eastern Samar, Philippines.

Operation-SmileGuiuan, home to approximately 12,000 households, was the first municipality struck by Super Typhoon Yolanda when the storm hit in early November, 2013. Over 10,000 homes were totally destroyed with another 1,600 partially damaged, affecting 54,000 people in total. The major source of livelihoods in the area, fishing and coconut farming have also been lost, along with the required boats, nets, and arable farmland.

Based on an on-site assessment by Give2Asia, the disrepair that remains in Guiuan nearly three months after the storm is staggering. Prior to the Yolanda, Eastern Samar was the Philippines’ third-poorest province and vulnerable to regular typhoons, making an already challenging situation worse. During Give2Asia’s evaluation, over 1,400 tents were destroyed when a tropical storm passed near Guiuan, a reminder of the immediate need for adequate long-term shelter.

The announcement for Give2Asia’s role in recovery efforts was made Thursday Jan. 30, by Give2Asia Chairman of the Board, Dr. Ta-lin Hsu, at a press conference in Atherton, California.

“By investing in one municipality, Give2Asia can foster collaboration between the municipal government, local non-governmental organizations, and international donors,” said Dr. Hsu. “We believe this is a win-win scenario that meets local needs through promotion of effective on-the-ground NGOs, and allays donors’ concern of corruption and waste.”

Since the Super Typhoon made landfall, claiming the lives of more than 6,000 Filipinos, Give2Asia has raised $1.5 million for long-term recovery efforts through corporate contributions and crowdfunding campaigns.

The Guiuan municipal government is currently bracing for the departure of many relief-focused international non-governmental organizations (INGO) that are currently active, by conducting a livelihood needs assessment and re-convening local cooperatives of fishermen, farmers, and women’s groups. Philippines-based Medical Action Group (MAG), and local Guiuan Development Foundation, Inc. (GDFI) are also working to re-establish health systems, and protect the environment to ensure sustainable livelihoods, respectively.

“In the 10 years Give2Asia has been responding to natural disasters, we have learned that for long-term recovery to happen, it is best to work with local organizations like Guiuan Development Foundation Inc. and Medical Action Group,” explained Uyen Tran, Program Officer and Disaster Response Lead at Give2Asia, “Their local expertise helps to guide the recovery process from the grassroots level.”

In addition to working with grassroots organizations, Give2Asia’s strategy for Typhoon Yolanda response includes collaborating with the efforts of national and public organizations working on the ground. Discussions on long-term recovery partnerships in Guiuan currently include, the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD), Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), and Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF). By creating partnerships with these organizations and others, Give2Asia can help address the emerging needs of affected communities.

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