The Commonwealth Advocates for Recovery Efforts, which sprung out of the need to coordinate recovery efforts after Typhoon Soudelor three years ago, aims to work with recovery agencies again to efficiently aid those who were most affected by Super Typhoon Yutu.
John Hirsh, a board member of Commonwealth Advocates for Recovery Efforts and executive director of the American Red Cross-NMI Chapter, told Saipan Tribune that CARE has been looking at how the non-profit group fits into the plans for the CNMI’s long-term recovery.
“The board is still active so every week we’re re-assessing what our role is going to be in terms of long-term recovery. I think our work has to be in close collaboration with the local government and with [the Federal Emergency Management Agency],” he said.
Hirsh said that CARE wants to focus its resources on those who won’t be receiving assistance from FEMA.
“FEMA has a long-term housing mission and long-term housing program so we’re going to have to see, over the coming weeks, what sort of program are they going to start to implement here or if they’re going to have a program here. Once those kinds of things are established, then we can kind of see how the CARE organization…can fit into that equation,” he said.
Hirsh said the entire community will receive some kind of support but should remain patient because the road to recovery will be long due to the amount of destruction wrought by Yutu.
“We’re confident and we’re trying to be very positive about the outlook. I think our people here are very resilient and, with the resources from the Red Cross and from all the other agencies on the island, whether they’re non-profit or government or federal…[people are] all getting some level of support to begin this recovery process,” he said.
“The recovery is a very long-term process. …It’s going to take years…for everyone to fully recover… like we learned from Soudelor so I hope the community can continue to stay patient and appreciate their neighbors and their friends and everything people are going through,” he added.
According to a previous article on the Saipan Tribune, CARE would be focusing on individuals who either did not receive enough support from FEMA or are unqualified to be assisted by FEMA.
CARE was established following the onslaught of Super Typhoon Soudelor and ended its long-term recovery efforts only in August 2018. Altogether, about 600 homes were built by the organization, all for less than $1 million.