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Int’l Labor Org, PH to launch liveihood project in Tacloban

GENEVA – The International Labour Organization (ILO) is working with the government, businesses and workers in the Philippines to launch an emergency employment programme to help the estimated three million people who have lost their livelihoods in the wake of the devastation wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan.

“The loss of life and the scale of the destruction are heart-breaking, and there are millions of people in desperate conditions,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “They need food, water, shelter, medical care – and they need to start rebuilding their lives right away. We’re working with government and social partners in the Philippines, and with our UN sister agencies, to help the communities affected by the tragedy and we call on the international community, and the public, to be generous in their support.”

The ILO is helping put in place emergency employment and ‘cash-for-work’ programmes as part of US dollar 301 million relief appeal launched by the United Nations today.

According to initial estimates, some three million workers have lost their livelihoods either temporarily or permanently. Some may not be able to return to their previous work due to the disaster. Of these, forty-four per cent are vulnerable workers – mostly subsistence farmers, fishermen and informal economy operators.

Much of the livelihood infrastructure, such as farm –to-market roads, fishing boat landing sites and field irrigation has been destroyed or blocked with debris and requires urgent reconstruction or rehabilitation.

The ILO disaster response programme will focus on employment opportunities to help rebuild the community infrastructure, including local markets, roads, drainage and access paths and debris clearance. It will also create jobs and develop skills to facilitate the construction of emergency shelters, and extend social protection to those employed, including a minimum wage and health and accident insurance.