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Church's Typhoon Response Builds Resilience, Boosts Economy

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Church's Typhoon Response Builds Resilience, Boosts Economy

NEW YORK, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Episcopal

Church in the Philippines (ECP) has completed the initial relief phase

of its response to Typhoon Haiyan - known locally as Yolanda - and

will continue to assist impacted communities in rebuilding homes and

rehabilitating livelihoods. Episcopal Relief & Development supplied

funding and technical support for these activities, which have

strengthened relationships among participating communities, built

local resilience and created economic growth.

Typhoon Haiyan struck the central Philippines on November 8, 2013,

causing widespread flood and wind damage. ECP immediately sent

locally-sourced relief supplies and medical teams to areas that had

not been reached by larger humanitarian efforts. From November to

February, ECP staff and volunteers distributed a total of 10,317 food

and hygiene relief packs. ECP purchased the food items from

Church-based cooperatives in the northern part of the country, and

volunteers packed the supplies in bags crafted from surplus donated


Sara Delaney, Program Officer for Episcopal Relief & Development,

commented that "ECP sees disaster response as part of their larger

work, and looks at how the response can utilize programs they already

have while strengthening communities to be more resilient to


For the first round of long-term recovery work, Church staff

identified four barangays (municipalities) on the island of Leyte,

where severe winds destroyed homes and wiped out crops. Local farmers

are now starting over with all-natural, harvest-boosting fertilizers

and techniques from the Church's Tadian Demonstration Farm.

Supplemental food assistance will continue during this time of

rehabilitation, as farmers have been able to replant their fields but

will not be able to harvest for several months.

Economic rehabilitation is essential for the long-term recovery of

typhoon-affected areas, and ECP is working with the Philippine Center

for Social Enterprise to restart existing businesses and develop new

ones. For supplier communities outside the impact zone, participating

in the typhoon response led to an increase in production capacity,

which will position them to compete in the regional market.

Additionally, many of the products are organic, strengthening their

competitive advantage and responding to the growing demand in the

Philippines for organic food.

With wind speeds peaking at 195 miles per hour, a majority of

residents in the four selected barangays experienced severe or total

damage to their homes during the storm. Utilizing Interlocking

Compressed Earth Block (ICEB) technology pioneered by the locally

based JF Ledesma Foundation, residents will be able to use local

materials to produce low-cost, durable bricks for home

reconstruction. Recovery plans include other proven risk reduction

strategies such as planting trees and other vegetation to combat wind

and erosion.

Looking ahead, ECP plans to explore the potential for long-term

recovery partnerships in four additional barangays that were impacted

by the storm. By applying a "receivers to givers" methodology, ECP

enables program participants to eventually "give back" by contributing

labor or a portion of income to help other groups start projects of

their own.

Following their asset-based approach, ECP will accompany communities

through the relief and rehabilitation phases of disaster recovery,

laying a foundation for further community development beyond just

rebuilding to pre-typhoon status. "The aim of the ECP disaster

response is to help communities identify their own strengths and

capitalize on them," Delaney said, "so that after several years of

growth, they are not only fully recovered, but stronger."

Episcopal Relief & Development is the international relief and

development agency of the Episcopal Church and an independent

501(c)(3) organization. The agency works with Church and ecumenical

partners to fight poverty, hunger and disease.

Logo -

SOURCE Episcopal Relief & Development

-0- 03/04/2014

/CONTACT: Faith Rowold, 1.855.312.HEAL (4325), ext. 7546 / 212.518.0546


/Web Site:

CO: Episcopal Relief & Development

ST: New York Philippines




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0000 03/04/2014 16:50:00 EDT

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