UN expert to gov’t: Fulfill vows to ‘Yolanda’ victims

Tent City Tacloban Yolanda Victims

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED Aug. 3, 10:38 a.m.) – A United Nations human rights official urged the Philippine government to follow through with its promises to devote attention and resources to the internally displaced victims of super typhoon Yolanda.

UN special rapporteur on rights of internally displaced persons Chaloka Beyani recently expressed concern over the inconsistencies in delivering basic needs of the survivors of the 2013 disaster.

“Attention and resources appear to be waning before durable solutions are achieved and some IDPs remain in dire solution,” Beyani said.

“Displacement, whether due to conflict or development, not only destroys the homes and livelihoods of indigenous peoples, but has an incalculable impact on their cultures and ways of life that are part of the rich and diverse heritage of the Philippines that must be protected or otherwise lost, perhaps forever,” Beyani added.

The special rapporteur recognized the significant progress in providing transitional and permanent homes to those affected and restoring livelihood opportunities through policies like “Build-Back-Better.”

While Beyani noted points of improvement for the Philippine government, he also praised the government for its responses to the massive internal displacement brought by typhoon Yolanda and thanked them for cooperating with his mandate.

“The government has much to be commended for with regard to its responses to Typhoon Haiyan. It has shown leadership and put in place institutional and policy structures and frameworks that have proved to be effective in the immediate crisis response period and as the national and local authorities and displaced persons alike began the difficult process of rebuilding shattered lives either in their former places of origin or in new displacement locations,” Beyani said.

Beyani’s call came out at the conclusion of his ten-day to the visit to the Philippines when he assessed the impact of all forms of internal displacements, including those caused by disasters, armed conflict and development projects on the ancestral lands of indigenous people.

Between July 21 and 31, the UN expert traveled to Tacloban, which was greatly affected by the typhoon in November 2013 as well as other provinces in Visayas and Mindanao prone to conflicts and disasters namely Tanauan, Zamboanga and South Cotabato, among others.

Malacañang, meanwhile, assured the public that government will respond to needs of the victims of typhoon Yolanda. The government also expressed gratitude for the commendation of Beyani.

Source – http://www.philstar.com/

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