ADB Vice President Stephen P. Groff has just returned from the region that was hit by Typhoon Haiyan on 8 November. He talks about what he saw in and around the city of Tacloban that was completely devastated by the storm, and about ADB's support for the relief effort.
Title: ADB's Response to Typhoon Haiyan
Description: ADB Vice President Stephen P. Groff has just returned from the region that was hit by Typhoon Haiyan on 8 November. He talks about what he saw in and around the city of Tacloban that was completely devastated by the storm, and about ADB's support for the relief effort.
Stephen P. Groff
Vice-President (Operations 2)
Asian Development Bank
The scale of the destruction there is just immense. The images that we see in the media are heartbreaking but when you go down there and actually see the scale and the scope, it’s really breathtaking. It really gives you a sense of how really key the response is going to be and the contributions that we a development partners for the Philippines can make. So, I think it’s important to go down there and have a sense of that scale and a sense of that scope as we help device the strategies and the assistance package that we’re putting together to support the government in their response and reconstruct and built back in these areas.
Q: Is it a question of rebuilding from scratch?
A: That’s going to be something that has to be considered in the coming weeks, and months, and years really. You know, certainly the scale of the destruction as I said is immense, there are standing structures but every single structure in the city of Tacloban and surrounding areas has been damaged. And so, there are going to be questions that are going to emerge in this process around what we are doing, are we building back in place exactly as it was before? Is there an element of building back better to this response? Is there an element of actually having to relocate some communities given the exposure that they have to this kind of drastic events? So, all of that is under consideration at the moment, no decisions have been taken, it’s too premature. But, these are the kind of discussions that are going to have to engage in with the government, with the affected communities. And ADB is going to be there to support the government and these communities as they work to built back.
Q: Did you manage to go out and see the impact in the outlying areas?
A: We did a visual exploration by air of some areas around Tacloban. We had teams though from other parts of the ADB that we’re embedded with the WFP and other teams doing assessments in Northern Cebu, in areas around Romblon, in both the Eastern and Western Visayas. So, I think collectively as an institution, we’re getting a better sense for the scale of the damage and the need that the response is going to be required. I personally didn’t get on the ground outside of Tacloban itself. But we did have teams that doing the work over the course of the last week.
Q: How is ADB’s $23 million donation likely to be spent and where?
A: The first $3 million that ADB has given as grant has already been disperse and that’s gone for government priorities in its immediate relief effort and that’s where it was intended. The next 20 million is on the course of being discussed at the moment with the government. And that’s going to focus on livelihood restoration and we hope that that will be release in the coming couple of weeks. So as far as grant fund from ADB is concern that $23 million is going towards both immediate relief effort and towards some livelihood restoration for some of the affected communities.