Speech Joyce Sylvester – herdenking Filipijnen 8 november 2015
My name is Joyce Sylvester and I am the chair of the Dutch joint Appeal Alliance, better known as Giro555.
It is impossible to imagine the horror people in the Philippines went through when typhoon Yolanda hit their country, today exactly two years ago. People lost everything: their houses, their jobs, their loved ones.
Thousands of local and international aid workers immediately provided live saving support to the survivors. But to recover from this total devastation, more is needed than emergency relief alone. That is why money of Giro555 will be used until the end of 2015 to help people to get new or better sources of income, to improve healthcare and education, to build typhone-resistant houses and to train people to be prepared for new disasters. And after 2015 aid-organizations will continue to provide help with other than Giro555 funds.
Important progress has been made in the Philippines. That was partly thanks to the overwhelming contributions of people in the Netherlands, including the Philippine community here, to Giro555. More than 36 million euro was raised. A major contribution to emergency relief and reconstruction.
We are grateful for the work of the thousands of local and international aid workers who did a tremendous job in extremely difficult circumstances, in close collaboration with the Philippine government and the communities themselves.
Aid financed with money raised in the Netherlands reached hundreds of thousands of people in the Philippines. Until now most money has been spent on the provision of shelter, water and sanitation and sources of income.
The disaster is a huge trauma and it will take much more than two years to heal. Today our thoughts are with the people in the Philippines who lost their lives, and with their relatives who stayed behind.
Today is a day to commemorate.
But today is also a day to celebrate. To celebrate the incredible resilience of the people in the Philippines to cope with their trauma and to rebuild their communities in order to provide a better future for their children. The people in the Philippines themselves are the most important reason for progress. Their strength is a big inspiration for all of us.