TACLOBAN CITY, PHILIPPINES -- During a one-day visit to areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao expressed empathy and deep concern for survivors dealing with the super storm's aftermath as he assessed potential sites for assistance and inaugurated ADB's new office in Tacloban, Leyte.
"What I have seen here today, however, is not only a picture of great loss and devastation. It is also one of tremendous strength and spirit, and it is an inspiration to all of us as we move toward reconstruction," Mr. Nakao said. "As a longstanding development partner to the Philippines -- the country which is also our home -- ADB is fully committed to supporting the government's leadership on reconstruction and promoting a recovery driven by the affected communities."
Mr. Nakao visited affected communities in Tacloban and an elementary school in Bislig, 20 kilometers south of Tacloban in the municipality of Tanauan, where he noted that it is essential to build back better so communities can become more resilient to disasters.
ADB also opened an office in Tacloban, which will coordinate and monitor the use of funds, as well as advise local governments on the road to recovery by providing technical back up in project activities.
ADB's assistance will help rebuild critical social infrastructure such as schools and clinics, as well as restore different sources of income in rural communities. It will also build the capacity of local governments to implement risk-sensitive land use planning and disaster preparedness in anticipation of future calamities.
ADB supported the government in assessing damages, losses and needs ?across various sectors. ADB's work is centered around Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) , the government's strategic plan for recovery and reconstruction, which coordinates assistance from all its partners.
To date, ADB has approved nearly $900 million assistance for immediate recovery efforts and long term reconstruction and rehabilitation. This includes a $3 million grant for emergency assistance; a $20 million grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction; a $372 million loan to expand an existing community-driven development program into typhoon-affected areas; and a $500 million loan for budget support to the government to cover costs associated with the relief and recovery efforts.