TACLOBAN City, Nov. 10, 2014—Catholic Relief Services (CRS) plans to build as many as 20,000 housing units for survivors of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the next three years.
Apart from shelters, Arnaldo Arcadio, emergency program manager of CRS Philippines, told Church-run Radyo Veritas in an interview that the Catholic organization also intends to generate livelihood opportunities for 9,000 affected families and provide 23,000 decent latrines.
“Now, we’re focusing on some projects. Our target includes constructing 20,000 houses, coming out with livelihood recovery assistance for Yolanda-hit families, and setting up 23,000 latrines,” he shared.
According to Arcadio, CRS has been in the “ground zero” of Yolanda conducting relief operations and building emergency shelters, especially in the first three months after the devastation.
“We’ve been in the communities struck by Yolanda since day one, helping out families, ensuring they had food to eat and emergency shelters where they could stay temporarily … And because it often rained then, we also distributed tarpaulins … So we were able to help as many as 43,000 families, most of whom are in the provinces of Eastern Samar and Leyte, including Tacloban City and other towns and cities under the Archdiocese of Palo,” he said.
Arcadio added that the “Cash for Work” program CRS launched in the first three months after Yolanda, benefitted roughly 6,400 families.
CRS is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States.
It carries out the commitment of the bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas.
Inspired by the Gospel, CRS vows to “cherish, preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, foster charity and justice, and embody Catholic social and moral teaching”. (Raymond A. Sebastián)