World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Philippines six months on

Philippines six months on: plan to relocate thousands of Haiyan survivors set to fail, warns Oxfam

Up to 200,000 survivors of last November’s deadly typhoon Haiyan are at risk of worsening poverty because the government plans to relocate them without sufficient consideration as to how they will earn a living.

Haiyan– known as Yolanda in the Philippines – was the strongest cyclone ever recorded at landfall. It killed 8,000 people and left four million people homeless.

A new report today by worldwide aid agency Oxfam, The Right Move? Ensuring durable relocation after typhoon Haiyan, says that earning an income is the top priority for typhoon survivors at risk of resettlement. Yet the government is planning to move 200,000 people away from the coast, to protect them from future storms, without integrating job opportunities into its relocation plans. Fisherfolk, labourers and vendors are among the people most affected.

The findings are based on a survey Oxfam conducted with communities targeted for post-Haiyan relocation in Eastern Samar, Leyte, and Cebu provinces. Almost half (49 per cent) of the 453 people surveyed said that earning an income through their current or a new job should be the most important consideration for relocation planning. The next greatest concern was safety, for 32 per cent of people.

Justin Morgan, Oxfam’s country director in the Philippines said: “The government has committed to the principle of 'building back better' but it has yet to prove that through its relocation efforts. Relocation is not only about houses it’s also about jobs, safety, transport. These cannot be afterthoughts.

“Millions of pesos will be spent on relocation. If this process is not done well – everyone loses. Families are being forced to choose between safety and putting food on the table. The government also risks wasting valuable funds that could really make a difference to the lives of poor people.”

In some places relocation sites are up to 15 kilometres away from people’s current homes. Several families in Leyte told Oxfam they had decided not to relocate because transport costs were too expensive from their new homes back to the coast where they work. While many people are afraid to stay near the sea and worry about the safety of their families, they need to be able to earn money.

Oxfam’s report showed that only seven per cent of people were consulted or informed about relocation plans by a government official. Worryingly, 81 per cent said they didn’t know their rights around relocation and one in three people said they were accepting relocation because they felt they had no choice. Half of the people said they didn’t know where they were moving to.

Morgan said: “The government has a constitutional obligation to consult communities about every detail of their relocation. Consultations are crucial for authorities to understand people’s priorities. Previous disaster responses have shown that when people aren’t consulted, plans don’t match their needs and they will either leave the relocated areas or become poorer.”

Typhoon Haiyan devastated the livelihoods of six million workers, as 33 million coconut trees were destroyed in Eastern Visayas, one million tons of crops lost, and 30,000 fishing boats damaged or destroyed.

ENDS//

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: Announces Mission To Combat Ebola

Ebola outbreak: a peacekeeper with the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) wears a protective mask while on duty at UN offices in the capital city of Monrovia. UN Photo/Andrey Tsarkov More>>

Syria: Life-Saving Food Aid In Jeopardy For Millions Of Syrians

18 September 2014 – The United Nations World Food Programme ( WFP ) today warned that it is running out of funds to provide food for almost 6 million Syrians receiving its life-saving assistance. More>>

UN Warns: Hundreds Of Yemeni Families In Need Of Aid

Two displaced girls stand in front of the classroom where their family has been living in Aden, Yemen. Photo: UNHCR/P. Rubio Larrauri More>>

Ukraine: Victim "Tortured By Russian-Sponsored Militants"

GENEVA, September 17, 2014 – Irina Dovgan, a Ukrainian woman who made international headlines after she was publicly abused by Russian-sponsored militants in eastern Ukraine, testified today before the UN Human Rights Council. More>>

Gaza: Detention Conditions Of Palestinians Arrested By Israelis

PCHR Follows up Detention Conditions of Palestinians Arrested by Israeli Forces in Latest Offensive on the Gaza Strip More>>


UN: ‘Heinous’ Murder Of British Aid Worker By Islamic Militants

A wide view of the Security Council in session (file photo). UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras More>>

ALSO:

UN: Nuclear Programmes Of DPR Korea, Iran Remain Serious Concern

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano (left) delivers his introductory statement at the Board of Governors Meeting in Vienna, Austria. Photo: IAEA/Dean Calma More>>

Libya: Closer To Brink Of Protracted Conflict And Strife

Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Bernardino Léon. UN Photo/Evan Schneider More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news