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IOM, USAID provides over 1,000 transitional shelters to Typhoons Odette and Agaton-affected families in Leyte

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Leyte, Philippines, 19 December 2022 – Over 1,000 transitional shelters have been handed over to families who have lost their homes to Typhoons Odette and Agaton. These shelters aim to support families whose places of origin have been declared “unsafe” to return to and are likely to be in long-term displacement. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), together with the Government of the United States and local government partners in the Municipality of Abuyog and Baybay City, Leyte, have organized ceremonies to mark a key milestone of their combined efforts in disaster response and recovery.

One year ago, Typhoon Odette struck the Philippines, affecting over 12 million individuals, displacing almost 3.9 million people, and leaving a trail of destruction across 10 regions. Odette was the strongest typhoon that hit the country in 2021 and the third strongest ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere. Tropical Storm Agaton then followed in April 2022, which exacerbated the devastation to communities already impacted by Odette.

“The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is fully committed to remain an active partner of the Government of the Philippines in helping your barangays recover from the devastation brought by the Typhoons,” said Mr. Ryan Washburn, the USAID Mission Director to the Philippines, Pacific Islands and Mongolia. “Recognizing the close family ties and the strong bonds within communities, my wish for this holiday season is that these shelters will bring your family and communities together again in a safer environment,” continued Mr. Washburn.

“I hope that this assistance has helped contribute to your efforts to rebuild lives and pave the way for resilient recovery,” said Tristan A. Burnett, IOM Chief of Mission in the Philippines. Noting that more than 2,300 families continue to be displaced as the result of Typhoons Odette and Agaton, Burnett highlighted the strong need for “a collective and continuous effort in identifying and promoting durable solutions to displacement, including sustainable reintegration, local integration, and relocation.”

Since the landfall, IOM, with USAID support, continued to work closely with local governments to address needs and promote self-recovery through community empowerment. In addition to over 1,000 families supported with transitional shelters, more than 10,000 families have been provided with shelter repair kits, cash assistance and training on proper construction techniques, 33,000 individuals were reached with hygiene promotion activities, and 6,880 government officials, community leaders, and families were assisted with its mental health and psychosocial support initiatives across Eastern Visayas and the CARAGA regions.

The event was attended by local government stakeholders who expressed their gratitude to the Government of the United Sates and IOM. “These transitional shelters provide a solution to our displaced communities. The experiences through our engagement in this initiative will be shared as a benchmark in the province and across the Philippines to foster more resilient and self-sustaining communities,” said Hon. Octavio Traya, Jr., Mayor of Abuyog. Hon. Jose Carlos Cari, Mayor of Baybay City, was grateful that “the displaced families are able to celebrate Christmas in their new homes and found renewed hope for their future.”

The handover ceremonies were held on 19 Dec 2022 at:

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM New Pilar Relocation Site, Brgy. Tinalian, Abuyog, Leyte

14:00 PM – 15:00 PM Brgy. Maypatag, Baybay City, Leyte

For more information, please contact: Tristan A. Burnett, IOM Philippines Chief of Mission at [email protected]

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