(JTA) — The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee donated 10 boats to Filipino fishermen who lost their livelihood during a typhoon.
JDC delivered the boats to the villagers of Lat-Asan, located in one of the regions hit hardest by Typhoon Haiyan. The November storm devastated large areas in the Philippines and claimed the lives of over 6,000 people.
The boats were the first of 36 in total earmarked for Filipino fishermen in the area in the central island of Panay.
Each fiberglass boat costs approximately $600, a sum that the average Filipino earns in approximately three months, according to World Bank figures from 2013.
Countless fisherman were rendered jobless because the storm destroyed their boats.
The boat donation is one of a number of rebuilding and development projects carried out by JDC on the island nation, with over $2.6 million raised. Other programs include helping farmers rebuild destroyed coconut groves and teaching emergency skills to reduce loss of life in future disasters.
Another technique involves teaching fishermen growing aquaculture such as mussels and oysters to switch to floating cages.
“When typhoons hit, the fixed cages are likelier to be lost, while the floating cages can be recuperated, but constructing floating cages involves techniques and materials that not everyone is familiar with or has access to,” said Adam Steinberg, 28, a Melbourne doctor who recently completed a stay of several months in the Philippines as JDC’s coordinator of the organization’s aid operation there.