“In genuine partnership with Taguig City and organisations such as Gawad Kalinga, we are investing in practical measures to ensure Filipino communities are safer and more disaster-resilient. It is hoped Taguig will serve as a model for other cities in Metro Manila,” said Mr Rudd.
Australia and the Philippines Working Together to Reduce the Impacts of Natural Disasters
Australian expertise and aid is helping transform the lives of thousands of poor Filipino families living in crowded urban areas extremely vulnerable to flooding and natural disasters.Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd today visited Taguig City in Metro Manila, where Australia will help provide around 9,000 people with safe housing and access to water, sanitation, roads and electricity, while also assisting with broader land-use planning, and community disaster-preparedness training. The BRACE Program (Building the Resilience and Awareness of Metro Manila Communities to Natural Disasters and Climate Change Impacts) is being piloted in Taguig City and will assist city planning with state-of-the-art digital elevation maps to model risks and vulnerability from flooding, earthquakes and high wind. BRACE will also assist with the rehabilitation of major drainage canals and waterways that will potentially benefit tens of thousands of the poor in Taguig. "The Philippines is the third most vulnerable country to natural disasters in the world, with an average of 20 typhoons making landfall annually, five to seven of which are destructive," said Mr Rudd. "In densely urbanised areas like metro Manila, such natural disasters wreak havoc both to the economy and the lives of the poor. “Recent disasters, such as Typhoons Quiel and Pedring which have killed 101 people, affected 4.2 million, and left an initial damage bill of $333 million, reinforce the terrible cost of natural disasters in the Philippines. While we cannot stop earthquakes, typhoons or flooding rains, we can act to limit the loss of life, hardship and economic damage they regularly cause,” Mr Rudd said. Australia and Taugig City will each contribute $31.5 million to BRACE, and Australia will also work with local organisations, such as the internationally renowned Gawad Kalinga, which provide cost-effective, safe housing for the poor. “In genuine partnership with Taguig City and organisations such as Gawad Kalinga, we are investing in practical measures to ensure Filipino communities are safer and more disaster-resilient. It is hoped Taguig will serve as a model for other cities in Metro Manila,” said Mr Rudd. 23 October 2011