JICA to help in post-Yolanda reconstruction
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) announced Tuesday, November 26, that it would send disaster recovery experts to areas hit hard by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
The experts have "extensive experience on recovery planning and implementation” when it comes to countries affected by disasters, the agency's announcement said.
They will propose steps and disaster risk reduction (DRR) investments that the Philippine government can take advantage of to mitigate damage should calamities strike in the future. Proposed DRR investments would depend on the team's assessment of the situation, but would likely include proposed improvements to roads, drainage systems, and infrastructure.
JICA cites this as a “Build Back Better” paradigm, where rebuilding efforts focus on proper land use and the integration of such disaster risk reduction investments to create more resilient communities following devastating natural disasters.
The agency has taken the concept to other countries before in addition to Japan itself, using the concept to rebuild communities after the East Japan and Haiti earthquakes in 2011, as well as the 2011 Thailand flood.
In the 2011 East Japan earthquake, JICA established a emergency response headquarters in the area after the quake. It also provided other countries with lessons that could be used for disaster prevention and response by analyzing studies conducted by universities after the quake.
JICA also responded to the 2011 flooding in Thailand, sending agriculture survey teams, as well as water utility and underground railway experts to the country. The agriculture survey teams assessed the flood damage to crops and offered assistance and plans to prevent or mitigate future flood damage, while the water utility and railway experts were on hand to help assess infrastructure damage following the flood.
JICA is an independent governmental group tasked with facilitating developmental assistance on behalf of the Japanese government. Given the effects of Yolanda on the country, JICA has sent two medical teams to help in the relief effort, in addition to other forms of aid. (Read: Japan sends Filipino-speaking aid workers to calamity areas)
JICA has also worked with Philippine agencies before, providing support in other disasters and holding capacity-building activities for PAGASA, PHIVOLCS, and the Office of Civil Defense. - Rappler.com
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