Football used to shine spotlight on Haiyan recovery needs
TACLOBAN, Philippines – As a visit by sports superstar and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham whipped up football fever in the Philippines’ typhoon-hit city of Tacloban on Thursday, February 13 renowned Swiss Filmmaker, Michael Steiner started the cameras rolling there on a new documentary set for release on 4 March at the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) annual Match Against Poverty to be played in Bern, Switzerland.
For the 11th year running, UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors and football legends Zinédine Zidane and Ronaldo will rally their team of internationally renowned football players for a friendly match against the Bern professional football club, the BSC Young Boys and Friends.
This year, two-thirds of the funds raised from ticket sales and television rights will help communities affected by the biggest storm ever recorded globally to rebuild their lives in the Visayas regions of the Phillippines. Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) devastated one of the poorest parts of the Philippines last November, affecting millions, leaving them homeless or without incomes. Over half (51%) of fisher folk and 29% of farming households reported that their livelihoods were completely destroyed.
“Many of the people here were already living in extreme poverty, reliant on subsistence agriculture or fisheries. We must help them restore their lives quickly,” said UNDP Country Director in the Philippines, Maurice DeWulf.
Within weeks of the crisis, UNDP had rolled out an emergency employment scheme, which has already enabled 25,000 people to gain much-needed cash, while helping to clear several hundred thousand cubic metres of debris. Working with other UN agencies, UNDP is now looking at ways of creating new, longer-term jobs by, for example, recycling debris, such as felled coconut lumber. But, this vital effort remains severely under-funded.
“People here are determined to fight their way back after this disaster,” said Mr DeWulf.
“But, they can’t do it alone. Through this documentary, we want to shine a spotlight on the urgent need for recovery support,” he said.
Swiss Filmmaker, Michael Steiner, who has volunteered his time, is one of the most successful directors in Switzerland today. His new documentary will tell the story of recovery in Visayas through the plight of local football players, many of whom have participated in UNDP’s emergency employment scheme.
The annual match against poverty - which is televised globally - is supported by both football’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
The 11th Annual Match Against Poverty in Bern will start 8:00 pm on March 4, 2014. Ticket prices range from CHF 20.00 up to CHF 60.00 and are available at www.stadedesuisse.ch/tickets or www.ticketcorner.ch
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