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Czech aid in Aklan and Iloilo

The wide public support of the Czech citizens and the significant humanitarian assistance extended by the Government of the Czech Republic enabled a substantial increase of Czech assistance allotted to the needs of the victims of the typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Samar, Panay, Negros and Leyte islands. The Czech support for Typhoon Yolanda rehabilitation efforts is apparent in two particular municipalities in the Visayan region—Makato, Aklan and Ajuy, Iloilo, Panay.


Among the international agencies that have extended support for the rehabilitation efforts with the grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic is the Adventist Development and Relief Agency - ADRA Czech Republic, a humanitarian agency which provides community rehabilitation and risk reduction programmes. In Makato, Aklan, the ADRA programme, which is jointly funded by the Czech Republic, United Kingdom and Norway, addresses the need of communities displaced by Typhoon Yolanda for more durable housing solutions and sustainable shelter assistance. The counsellor of the Czech Embassy in Manila, Jan Vytopil, who recently visited Makato, notes that “with thousands of houses destroyed, housing and rebuilding of homes became necessary factors for the communities to be able to start anew.” Six barangays of Makato, Aklan—Baybay, Alibagon, Tugas, Calimbajan, Cajilo and Mantiguib—were beneficiaries of this programme. 83 new houses were given families whose houses were completely destroyed by the typhoon, and 101 houses were repaired. Aside from providing repairs and construction materials, the communities are also given regular orientations by shelter specialists on structure building and are given shelter kits which can be used for emergency shelter repairs. ADRA in Makato also provides assistance in formulating and implementation of barangay Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) plans. Part of the ADRA DRR activities is the provision of Early Warning System (EWS) devices as well.

"The aim was to ensure that especially the most vulnerable people would live in decent conditions. New homes were no longer built in the immediate vicinity of the coast, so that they were not again exposed to the dangers another disaster," said Jana Škubalová, project coordinator of ADRA Czech Republic.


On the other hand, the ADRA Philippines programme in Ajuy, Iloilo, funded by the ADRA Czech Republic, addresses the post-disaster livelihood needs in the municipality. Their Boat Repair Assistance Grant project has successfully distributed 357 boat repair material kits to assist fishing households whose boats were damaged by Typhoon Yolanda.  Furthermore, 1,187 fishing kits have been distributed to the local fisher folks, while 15 fiberglass boats have been granted to selected families.

To enable the families in Ajuy to have an alternative source of means while rebuilding their community, ADRA also implemented the Cash for Work programme where beneficiaries earned Php245 per day while participating in various livelihood restoration activities like coastal clean-up, net weaving and mangrove planting. 33 barangays in Ajuy have also received DRR trainings and vital DRR kits which include early warning devices and life-saving equipment in order to strengthen the communities’ resilience against natural disasters.

“Such ADRA programmes which have received funding from the Czech Republic have significantly contributed to the continuous recovery of Makato and Ajuy from the rubbles left by the wake of Typhoon Yolanda,” Jan Vytopil mentioned. He further added that “such disaster risk reduction plans jointly implemented by both Czech and Philippine ADRA are a step to the right direction in our goal to build disaster-resilient communities.”


This and other successful Czech projects that were realized around the Philippines in last twelve months has given confidence to Czech Ambassador to the Philippines, Jaroslav Olša, jr., that “the government of the Czech Republic will continue to support humanitarian and small development projects that aim to rehabilitate communities affected by natural calamities in the Philippines.”  [E]