Typhoon victims help clear debris for food and cash
Saturday, November 23, 2013 - 01:33
Nov. 23 - Typhoon Haiyan victims participate in a work for cash program to help clear debris while earning money for food. Julie Noce reports.
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Typhoon survivors in Tacloban are starting to play a role in the cleanup process in an incentive based 'cash for work' program.
Locals are paid about 11 US dollars per day to help clear debris... they use the money to buy food and supplies. So far, the program seems to be working.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) TEACHER, ALEX VILLEGAS, SAYING:
"All of us has a problem with cash to buy something because the market is already open. So at least if we have this cash on work, at least we can buy vegetables, food."
Aid and relief has been flowing into the region at a steady pace.
But nearly two weeks after the deadly typhoon flattened the region volunteers say the extent of the damage and devastation is still overwhelming.
(SOUNDBITE) (English)OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE DIRECTOR JEREMY KONYNDYK SAYING:
"The damage in the affected areas was really on par with some of the worst destruction we have ever seen anywhere. It was similar to the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, it was similar to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, similar to Haiti in terms of the total destruction of so much, so much of the city."
Board by board, residents here do their best to carry on.
Here in front of an evacuation center, children erect a Christmas tree.
For the grownups, some of the hardest work is keeping their spirits high.
(SOUNDBITE) (Waray) TACLOBAN RESIDENT, 45-YEAR-OLD JOSEPHINE LLEGO SAYING:
"The small children just want to find some way of enjoying themselves. And as a parent, you want to make them happy. So we can't just sit there and give in to all the sadness around us. They'll be happy if you're happy, right?"
The death toll stands now at more than 5,000.
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