To mark the one-year anniversary of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, Development and Peace is organizing a conference in collaboration with its partners in the country to assess the progress of reconstruction efforts to date and learn from the lessons of the past disasters of the Southeast Asian Tsunami and the earthquake in Haiti.
The two-day conference will be held in the city of Tacloban, which was one of the hardest-hit areas of the typhoon. It will bring together 150 participants from various sectors to discuss the status and challenges of the reconstruction process.
“Sadly, the ‘disaster capitalism’ that was witnessed in other countries is also a risk in the Philippines. Poor coastal communities that have lost everything are facing evictions to make way for tourism, shopping malls and industrial fishing, and this needs to be monitored,” says Jess Agustin, Programs Officer for the Philippines at Development and Peace.
Development and Peace raised over $12 million to help victims of this disaster, and for the last year has been supporting emergency relief and reconstruction projects, including building shelters and helping people regain their livelihoods.
However, one of the primary concerns of the organization is the sustainability of reconstruction efforts and the participation of the most poor and marginalized in the process. It is working with local organizations to help communities become better organized in defending their rights and diminishing their vulnerability to future disasters.
“With our partners, we recognize that responding to this disaster is not simply about recovery and reconstruction. The greatest honour we can give to those who have lost their lives and their homes in this tragedy is to ensure that we have done everything to address the underlying risk factors which resulted in such massive loss of life,” says Agustin.
The conference, entitled A Year after Haiyan: People’s Stories of Survival and Recovery towards Building resilient and Empowered Communities, and Building Solidarity, will be held Nov. 13-14 and will feature guest speakers from partner organizations of Development and Peace, including Claudette Werleigh, former Prime Minister of Haiti, and Yuli Kusworo lead-architect of Urban Poor Associates in Aceh, Indonesia, who will both speak to the post-disasters experiences in their own countries.
Development and Peace, which also ran long-term reconstruction programs in Haiti and Indonesia, has planned a response to the typhoon that will last until 2016.
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For more information please contact:
In the Philippines:
Kelly Di Domenico, Communications Officer
514 257-8711 ext. 365