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HFH Philippines Seeks Volunteers To Continue Building Sanitation Facilities And Man Soup Kitchens For Families Hit By Typhoon Ketsana

Next Phase Of Philippine Response Involves Provision Of Up To 10,000 House Repair Kits In Philippines; HFH Vietnam Secures US$100,000 Grant For Roof Repairs; HFH Cambodia Set To Offer Construction And Technical Assistance

BANGKOK, 16th October 2009: In the wake of Typhoon Ketsana which affected three Southeast Asian countries, Habitat for Humanity is responding with different initiatives.


Habitat volunteers working hard to build sanitation facilities at evacuation centers in Metro Manila.


HFH Philippines also needs volunteers to help man soup kitchens at the evacuation centers.


In Vietnam’s badly affected Quang Nam province, neighbors helped to lift the wooden frame of a damaged house to set it on the old foundation.


Cambodian families in Prasath Sambo district have put up make-shift tents from tree branches and plastic sheeting.

In the Philippines, Habitat volunteers have been mobilized to build much-needed sanitation facilities at evacuation centers in Metro Manila. To date, Habitat staff and volunteers have built 16 sanitation stations at two evacuation centers in Marikina City. They continue to build toilets/sanitation facilities at several elementary schools which serve as evacuation centers in Muntinlupa City and Quezon City.

At least 120 toilets will be built in ten evacuation centers under a co-funding partnership between Philippines National Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. The centers identified to date are in Marikina, Pasig and Quezon City, all part of Metro Manila.

Volunteers from “Friends of Habitat for Humanity Philippines” including students from Rizal Technological University, and Hands on Manila, a local non-profit organization affiliated to the US-based Hands On Network, are currently assisting HFH Philippines. But more volunteers are needed for on-going relief efforts such as construction and the running of soup kitchens at the evacuation centers as well as upcoming repair and rehabilitation efforts.

The next phase of the response envisages providing house repair kits for up to 10,000 families. Each family would receive a US$150 kit containing hand tools and construction materials for rebuilding their home. HFH Philippines is discussing with a non-governmental organization over partnership opportunities in community coordination such as identification, prioritization and distribution. HFH Philippines is seeking to raise US$2 million for these relief efforts as well as provision of house repair kits.

Meanwhile, various Habitat programs in the region and Habitat’s partners have lent a hand through funding support. HFH Australia has secured a A$200,000 (US$183,870) grant from Australia’s The Charitable Foundation for the Philippine response while HFH Korea responded with a seed gift of US$10,000 within 24 hours of the flooding. India’s Aditya Birla Group, a strong donor of HFH India and the 2009 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter work Project, has also confirmed a US$100,000 grant for the Philippine response.

Funding proposals have been submitted by numerous members of the Habitat for Humanity Global Funding Network: HFH Canada, HFH Great Britain, HFH China, HFH Netherlands, HFH Germany, and HFH Japan. In the US, numerous Habitat affiliates are considering specific tithe support. HFH Oakland, for example, has made an initial commitment of US$25,000.

In Singapore, local media company MediaCorp will air a TV charity show on 19th October across multi-media platforms in aid of Habitat for Humanity and Singapore Red Cross. More than 100 MediaCorp, local and Southeast Asian artistes will take part in Project Hope, to raise funds for families affected by Typhoon Ketsana and the Sumatra earthquake in Indonesia. The show will be broadcast live over Singapore’s English and Malay television channels, digital television on public buses, taxis, ferries to Indonesia’s Bintan island and on outdoor screens at Orchard Central mall.

For the response to Typhoon Ketsana in the Philippines, Habitat is supporting the work of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Task Force on Natural Disasters, co-chaired by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The IASC is an inter-agency forum involving key United Nations and non-UN humanitarian partners. It is coordinating international assistance to manage the efforts of Typhoon Ketsana, as requested by the Philippine government.

In Vietnam, Habitat will use a US$100,000 grant from United Nations Development Program to provide roofing materials for 600 families affected by Typhoon Ketsana in Quang Nam province. The corrugated iron sheets could be re-used for house reconstruction after the emergency period is over.

Quang Nam, on the south-central coast of Vietnam, suffered significant losses with more than 155,000 houses having their roofs damaged. After Typhoon Ketsana tore down on eight coastal and central highland provinces in Vietnam on 29th September, more than 294,000 houses were destroyed, damaged or flooded.

Habitat for Humanity Vietnam has also secured funding commitments from local corporate offices of Swiss cement supplier Holcim for US$30,000 and US-headquartered energy company Chevron for US$15,000.

HFH Vietnam is working on plans for transitional housing solutions including new roofs, house repairs and addressing water and sanitation needs. It anticipates establishing a Habitat Resource Center in Danang to coordinate short and long-term housing solutions for typhoon-affected families. The HRC will have specialists in disaster response, construction, community coordination and logistics.

Over in Cambodia, which also lay in the path of the typhoon, Habitat is set to offer technical and construction assistance after an initial assessment. Habitat for Humanity Cambodia sent a team to assess the damage in Ratanakiri province in the northeast. The other three affected provinces are in Prey Vihear, Siem Reap and Kampong Thom.

HFH Cambodia has met the governor of Ratanakiri province, government departments and other NGOs to coordinate disaster response initiatives. Possible resource and funding support is being explored with Habitat programs in Australia, Hong Kong and Germany.