EU Ambassador Véron visits Siargao Island

The European Union Ambassador to the Philippines, Luc Véron, visited the island of Siargao from August 15 to 18 to follow EU humanitarian aid and development projects and discuss the recovery with local authorities and communities.

It’s been eight months after Typhoon Odette and Ambassador Véron’s fourth outreach mission to see the realities on the ground while respecting health protocols. Since last year, he has been involved in development programs in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Quezon Province.

“I am happy to visit Siargao for the first time to meet the people of this beautiful island and see how our humanitarian and development programs are able to help the island bounce back better after Typhoon Odette,” said the Ambassador Veron.

“I look forward to meeting the communities that benefit from our development and livelihoods initiatives and hearing about the challenges they still face.”

Ambassador Véron also paid tribute to aid workers and EU partners on the island.

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“I commend our aid workers for their relentless and selfless efforts to provide the most urgent humanitarian assistance to the communities of Siargao,” he said, as his mission also coincides with the observance of World Health Day. humanitarian aid which is celebrated every August 19th.

Ambassador Véron visited Caridad Elementary School in Pilar to speak with school officials and communities who have benefited from programs such as education in emergencies, shelter repair, water, sanitation and hygiene and EU protection related interventions. After the typhoon hit the island, the EU provided a multipurpose learning space as a temporary location for teaching and learning activities.

Together with humanitarian aid partners, he will also launch “The Last Mile” photographic exhibition which aims to raise awareness of the impact of the typhoon on communities in Siargao and other affected provinces and the achievements and challenges encountered by NGOs and humanitarian aid organisations. to reach the most vulnerable families on the island.

The EU Ambassador also led a ceremony to highlight a Community Solar Island Tourism and Livelihoods Platform (SMILE) project implemented by the Global Fund on Anajawan Island. This SMILE project provides 24/7 access to renewable energy to four isolated island communities, develops sustainable ecotourism opportunities and helps mitigate the impact of climate change.

In line with the objective of reducing social and economic marginalization, Ambassador Véron traveled to Sitio Campinganon, Barangay Maribojoc to interact with women fishermen benefiting from the project “Enhancing Women Fishers’ Livelihood Opportunities in 34 Coastal Barangays of Siargao Island Protected Landscape and Seascape Women Managed Areas”. ” promote women-led businesses and the active participation of women fishermen in the local management of protected areas. The project is implemented by SIKAT.

While in Siargao, he expected to meet with local business and government leaders, including Surigao del Norte Governor Lyndon Barbers, Pilar Mayor Maria Liza Resurreccion, General Mayor Luna Sol Matugas, Mayor of San Benito Ma Gina Menil and Mayor of Del Carmen Alfredo Matugas Coro. 2nd.

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