12/04/2013, 00.00
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Caritas Philippines: long-term projects for victims of Typhoon Yolanda

After initial emergency response, Nassa and Caritas international study reconstruction projects in the areas most affected. Particular attention is devoted to the work of prevention, with the launch of a plan for the first quarter of 2014. The president of the bishops conference invites volunteers and faithful to read and "apply" Evangelii Gaudium .

Manila ( AsiaNews) - After the immediate response to the emergency , Nassa and Caritas Internationalis are working on a joint project for long-term recovery of the areas ravaged by the passage of Typhoon Haiyan (renamed Yolanda in the Philippines ) on November 8 . In a meeting held recently at the Archbishopric of Cebu, the leaders of the Philippine Charity ( the National Secretariat for Social Action - Justice and Peace , Nassa ) and a group of colleagues in the international section studied " a detailed program of recovery and reintegration " the initiative also devotes particular attention " to the work of prevention in the area and to reduce risks " related to natural disasters, and will be launched" in the first quarter of 2014".

Fr. Edwin Gariguez , Nassa executive secretary , explained the strategies of coordination of interventions in the affected dioceses , the role of the coordinators at a diocesan level , and how the recovery process can be speeded up. "Our priority - he added - is the Diocese of Palawan , San Jose de Antique , Jaro , Kalibo, Capiz , Cebu, Calbayog , Borongan and Palo ."

Meanwhile, Msgr. Broderick Pabillo , national director of Nassa , asked the prelates and the heads of the dioceses most affected by Yolanda to explain the situation and make a list of priorities, in order to plan the best interventions . During the meeting the methods of intervention and recovery of other nations, in similar cases of natural disasters or natural calamities were also analyzed.

The Filipino bishops intend to proceed with the operations of aid and assistance , based on the guidelines laid down by Pope Francis in the apostolic exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium" . It is a heartwarming document, said Msgr  Socrates Villegas , Archbishop of Lingayen- Dagupan and new president of the Bishops' Conference of the Philippines ( CBCP ) , and " must be applied in real life every day " because it shows the way " for evangelization in the 21st century."

According to the latest report released yesterday by Nassa, Haiyan - which hit the Visayas islands in central Philippines on November 8 - left 5,632 dead, over 26 thousand wounded and 1,759 missing. The numbers are, however, a rough estimate because the real figure of victims could be much higher . The displaced , nearly a month after the disaster , are about 3.8 million and more than 851 thousand families. The extent of the territory, its fragmentation and difficulties still present in some areas still represent a serious obstacle to relief efforts. Almost 11 million inhabitants have suffered damage or losses for various reasons, scattered among 574 municipalities and different cities.


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