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UNDP, UNICEF join hands for waste management in Typhoon Yolanda-affected areas

©UNICEF Philippines/2014
Abdul Alim, UNICEF Philippines Deputy Representative (middle), and Maurice Dewulf, UNDP Philippines Country Director (right), sign an agreement to implement a US$3.5M waste management project in Yolanda-affected areas. Looking on is Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator and UN Development Group Chair (left).

MANILA, 28 March 2014 — In a simple signing ceremony, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) have officially confirmed their agreement for the implementation of US$3.5 million for waste management in Typhoon Yolanda-affected areas. The project will be implemented by UNDP, with funding provided by UNICEF.

Abdul Alim, Representative ad interim, on behalf of UNICEF, and Maurice Dewulf, Country Director, on behalf of UNDP, have signed the agreement.

The signing was witnessed by the UNDP Administrator and UN Development Group Chair, Helen Clark, and the UN Resident Coordinator to the Philippines, Luiza Carvalho. Through the signing, the agencies committed to finalizing the full project agreement in the shortest time possible.

"We are very pleased to have started this unique partnership with UNICEF on this issue," Dewulf said.

"Waste, when not properly managed, can adversely affect the environment and thus children and their health," said Alim. "This is why this initiative is so vital. It is also a good example of interagency collaboration within the United Nations in the Philippines," he added.

Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck some of the poorest parts of the Philippines. Managing the mountains of debris left by the storm and the subsequent waste have been challenging with municipal systems severely affected.

UNDP launched a debris management programme within weeks of the disaster, which to date has provided emergency employment for about 40,000 people. They were each employed for up to 15 days, earning much-needed quick cash, while participating in the clean-up of their communities, helping communities to return to normalcy. Mountains of debris have been cleared that enabled 15 hospitals to start functioning again, 220 rural health units, 666 schools, 588 day care centers, 629 municipal government buildings, and 200 other essential public infrastructures.

The new funds committed by UNICEF to this programme will help boost the vital waste management work.



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