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PH: Natural disasters and human-induced emergencies crucial to the discussion of homelessness

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 15:30

Ms. Adoracion Navarro, Undersecretary, National Economic Development Authority, delivers the PH statement at the 58th session of the United Nations Commission on Social Development


11 February 2020, New York – “The Philippines finds it crucial to discuss the issue of natural disasters and human-induced emergencies in any discussion of homelessness,” National Economic Development Authority Undersecretary Adoracion Navarro said in her statement while addressing representatives of Member States and UN agencies during the general discussion of the 58th session of the United Nations Commission on Social Development.

Ms. Navarro noted that the Philippines is among the countries most affected by extreme weather events, and that in 2019, more than 20 typhoons hit the Philippines, including Typhoon Ursula which damaged 527,201 houses. “Floods, earthquakes, monsoons, and volcanic eruptions add to the list of disasters and drive up to the extent of the damage,” she added. Ms. Navarro also noted that the eruption of Taal Volcano last month affected more than half a million people and that about 6,000 families from the Taal Volcano Island itself need to be relocated.

“We continue to be innovative to mitigate the risk of Filipinos being homeless during disasters and conflicts through various social assistance programs, such as temporary shelter construction, core shelter assistance program, emergency shelter, and cash-for-work program,” Ms. Navarro said, while noting the relocation of displaced families to decent  transition shelters in Marawi following the 2017 conflict.

Ms. Navarro also highlighted Philippine laws, policies and programs that address homelessness, including the Magna Carta of the Poor, the conditional cash-transfer program “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino” and the Building Adequate, Livable, Affordable, and Inclusive Filipino Communities or BALAI program.

The Commission on Social Development takes place from 10 to 19 February 2020 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.  The Commission is the advisory body responsible for social development pillar for global development. The theme of the 58th session of the Commission is “Affordable Housing and Social Protection Systems for All to Address Homelessness”. END