ASEAN to lead conference on renewed Yolanda assistance

From the Department of Foreign Affairs


A major regional high-level conference will be held in Manila on August 14 to drum up new support and further encourage international partners to assist the Philippine government in the implementation of national and local recovery and rehabilitation plans after typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).

This was announced by Ambassador Elizabeth P. Buensuceso, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ASEAN, during a pre-conference briefing attended by members of the diplomatic corps, media, and the private sector at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta on July 15.

Ambassador Buensuceso said that the ASEAN High-Level Conference for the Recovery of Yolanda-Affected Areas (ARYA), which will be co-convened by the Philippines through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Office of the Presidential Assistant for Recovery and Rehabilitation, and the Secretary-General of ASEAN in his capacity as the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator, presents ASEAN a golden opportunity to develop an effective and strategic template in responding to future major disasters.

“The Philippine government is committed to seeing through the complete and effective implementation of this rehabilitation and recovery strategy. The conference aims to drumbeat support for ongoing recovery and rehabilitation efforts,” Ambassador Buensuceso emphasized.

“It will be followed by a Community-building technical workshop where best practices on resilient recovery could be shared, especially by representatives of ASEAN Member States similarly afflicted in the past but have fully recovered, such as Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand. A third activity also to be held in August is the Community Rebuilding Stakeholders Meeting whereby local government units of the affected areas will be trained to formulate concrete strategies and proposals to carry forward the commitments made during the high-level conference.”

She added that the recovery task is daunting and formidable but it is not impossible, especially if ASEAN’s international partners will sustain their support to those people who want to rebuild their lives and reclaim their futures.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Min Lwin, Chair of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN and Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to ASEAN, emphasized that the presence of the Ambassadors, Dialogue Partners, and the private sector at the pre-conference briefing sends a strong message “that we are united in our goal of continuing our support to the communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines.”

Echoing the same view, ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh, who also spoke at the pre-conference briefing, pointed out that the region’s “experience clearly shows that ASEAN solidarity is evident, with ASEAN responding as one” and affirms “ASEAN’s commitment to support the recovery efforts in the Philippines as an integral part of building a caring and sharing ASEAN Community.”


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