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Updated: 5 hours 3 min ago

Philippines: ‘Bahandi’ 2015 trade fair is back after super typhoon Yolanda

1 September 2015 - 3:21am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

NEIL D. LOPIDO

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, September 1 (PIA) – “Binagol,” “moron,” “sagmani,” and “suman balintawak,” are only some of the delicacies from the eastern part of the Visayas that will be showcased during the Bahandi 2015 Eastern Visayas Regional Trade Fair on September 2 to September 6 at SM Megamall, Megatrade Hall 2, Mandaluyong City.

This was announced by Regional Director Cynthia R. Nierras of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) during the recent Kapihan ha PIA dubbed “Panginsayod” who said that after more than a year of recovery and rehabilitation efforts, the participating Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have started to rebuild their enterprises towards expanded economic activity.

“We are happy that we are back in Bahandi 2015 in Manila. This is also a result of the assistance that we have been giving to Yolanda-affected MSMEs for the past two years,” Director Nierras said.

The five-day trade fair is expected to generate some P13 million sales from 88 participating SMEs in the region that will showcase products such as processed food items, decors, handicrafts, furniture, furnishings, fashion accessories as well as tourism destinations.

"When you buy from Region 8, you are helping the 'Yolanda' victims recover," she said.

Nierras even made special mention to the “suman balintawak” of Naval, Biliran who told the media that no less than DTI secretary Gregory Domingo said it was the “best suman” he ever tasted during the Bahandai 2012.

With the theme, “Products crafted with hope and determination; moving forward and beyond super typhoon Yolanda,” the holding of Bahandi 2015 shows also their perseverance and hope to bring out the message that they are back into business, she said.

“This is also a venue to recognize the programs of interventions and assistance provided by the government and international and local non-government organizations to Yolanda-affected SMEs to build back better their businesses aimed also at helping not only the producers but also the people dependent in them like the suppliers of raw materials as well as the workers to get back also to their source of income.”

This year’s Bahandi, which means treasure and wealth, is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Regional Development Council 8. (jrc/ldl/PIA-8)

World: Field Exchange No. 50 (August 2015)

31 August 2015 - 1:57pm
Source: Emergency Nutrition Network Country: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, World

Editorial

As this half centenary issue of Field Exchange contains a number of guest editorials by individuals who were involved in Field Exchange from the start, we are going to keep this one short. It is pretty much 20 years since the idea of a Field Exchange and the ENN was mooted at an inter-agency conference in Addis Ababa. A throw away comment by Helen Young at the meeting planted the seed of an idea; Helen remarked that the Addis meeting was unusually productive as it brought together field practitioners, academics and donors who could all learn from each-other and wouldn’t it be great if we could find a forum to enable this kind of ‘exchange’ to take place more regularly. The acorn tree that is now Field Exchange and the ENN grew from this one comment.

For the editors of Field Exchange, there has always been one core principle that has held sway. It is that the written word has unique value. Emerging from the ashes of the Great Lakes emergency in 1994/5 where mistakes and learning from previous decades appear not to have been heeded, Field Exchange was predicated on the realisation that institutional memory is fragile and that the written word can uniquely preserve learning. There is nothing wrong with the ‘oral tradition’ but memories are fallible in a way that the written word is not.

Over the 20 years of editing Field Exchange, we have also come to see how the process of writing up field experiences adds value. Those who put pen to paper are compelled to organize their thoughts and learning logically, to self-examine and to make only claims or recommendations that can be supported by written evidence which in turn can be scrutinised by others. Elements of learning that take place through the writing process would almost certainly not occur if simply recounted orally. The written word promotes accountability for what is said. Furthermore, it enables dissemination of learning at scale. The ENN has also learnt that even in situations where draft articles are withdrawn from publication (very othen for reasons of sensitivity and risk to programmers), the very process of writing has enabled the authors(s) and their organisation(s) to learn from the programme experience even though this learning may not be disseminated more widely.

Whether the written word appears in print or digitally is perhaps less important but is still relevant. Many of our readers only have limited or expensive online access. Furthermore, it is notable (if not a little surprising) to find in Field Exchange evaluations that our readers still have a strong attachment to the hard copy even when they have online access. Flicking through the pages of Field Exchange in a life that is dominated by ‘screen time’ for many may well be a welcome relief and a better reading (and learning) experience. We, of course, now produce Field Exchange (and its sister publication Nutrition Exchange) both in print, e-copy and online: we also plan to embrace multi-media developments, which may allow for wider and cheaper dissemination to our readership Over the years, the ENN has expanded into a range of activities including technical reviews, operational research, technical meeting facilitation, and development of guidance and training material.

Our activities are largely informed by from the privileged overview of the sector we obtain through pulling together Field Exchange. This expanded scope of work is thus a product of your work in contributing to the publication. Field Exchange has therefore been, and remains, the cornerstone of what ENN does.

On to the edition in hand; as ever, we have a wide range of articles covering innovations and challenges in programming. A special section looks at lessons and plans for delivering treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) at scale in Northern Nigeria, with three articles by UNICEF/ACF/Mark Myatt; ACF; and Results for Development (R4D) on the topics of coverage, costs, cost-effectiveness and financial sustainability of CMAM. This includes a proposed sampling based approach to estimate the number of deaths averted by the Nigerian CMAM programme which is accompanied by two ‘peer review’ postscripts.

An editorial by CIFF, a lead investor in the Northern Nigerian CMAM programming, introduces the section. Also on the theme of CMAM in Nigeria, an article by MSF documents malnutrition peaks associated with malaria peaks and highlights the fact that medical care typically does not come under CMAM funding, is implemented by different ministries and agencies and is often under resourced.

The logistical challenges of nutrition programming are reflected in an article from South Sudan by ACF, UNICEF and CDC, which describes the technical innovations that enabled nutrition surveillance in a vulnerable but quite inaccessible population. The response to flooding in Malawi in early 2015 is the topic of another article around CMAM by Concern. Whilst providing immediate support, they found lack of surge capacity and sub-standard existing SAM treatment services, despite longstanding external investment in the recent past. How to sustain long term CMAM programming once the NGOs ‘go home’, remains the 'million dollar question'.

At the other end of the spectrum, an article by Help Age International describes the burden of care and experiences of non-communicable disease (NCD) programming in Lebanon amongst older Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese. It reflects there is progress but a lot yet to be done to meet NCD and associated nutrition needs in humanitarian programming. The remaining articles cover a range of topics – infant feeding support in the Philippines from the perspective of a local NGO responding to Typhoon Haiyan in 2013; experiences of the Sustainable Nutrition and Agriculture Promotion (SNAP) programme in the Ebola response in Sierra Leone authored by IMC and ACDI-VOCA; and UNICEF experiences of a combined SMARTSQUEAC survey in Chad that saved on time and costs.

We have a run on views pieces in this edition, as well as a rich mixture of research summaries.

An article by Ajay Kumar Sinha, Dolon Bhattacharyya and Raj Bhandari on the challenges of undernutrition in India provides a fascinating insight into the complexities of national and sub-national programming and highlights the need for coordinated actions. India also features in a research summary from MSF that shares great insights into community perceptions and behaviour around SAM treatment in Bihar. Resilience and nutrition is the topic of an article by Jan Eijkenaar which provides insights into the ECHO funded Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative in the Sahel. There are also some must read articles on accountability to affected populations, a topic that hasn’t featured strongly in Field Exchange in the past and to which we all too easily pay ‘lip service’. One piece describes ground breaking work in the Philippines by Margie Buchanan-Smith et al and the other is a very personal but experience based viewpoint by Andy Featherstone on progress and pitfalls around accountability over the last 20 years or so.

As a final word, we would like to thank all those authors who have written material for Field Exchange in the past and encourage those who are thinking about writing in the future to get in touch with us to discuss potential topics. We are here to support you in many different ways, from a ‘brainstorming’ conversation to review of a fledgling idea to editing. In this issue, we’ve included a guide to the process to help. Over the years, our content has become more ‘technical’ but we welcome more informal contributions too; it is great to see a few letters in this edition and we would love to receive more.

We would also like to thank our many readers for taking an interest in the publication and sincerely hope that the hard won experiences and learning that appear in Field Exchange quickly and positively continue to inform your personal practice and agency programming for the benefit of those with whom you work. So here is Field Exchange 50 – Enjoy!

Jeremy Shoham & Marie McGrath Field Exchange Co-editors

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 11 August – 25 August 2015

27 August 2015 - 1:25am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Snapshot 11 August – 25 August 2015

Haiti: Insecurity has increased since legislative elections. Violence and intimidation were reported at many polling stations and a second round of voting is planned, following low voter turnout. Food security has deteriorated as a result of prolonged drought conditions since the beginning of 2015: poor households in Sud, Sud-Est, Nord-Est and Artibonite will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes through December. Recent cholera rates are triple those of the comparable time period in 2014.

Chad: Between 21 July and 21 August, over 41,000 people were displaced in the Lake Region because of the escalating number of attacks related to the Boko Haram insurgency and rapid deterioration of the security situation. The conflict has displaced 75,000 people since January.

South Sudan: There are widespread reports of renewed clashes between government and rebels. Some humanitarian organisations have evacuated staff to safer areas. The conditions inside PoC camps continue to deteriorate following an influx of over 61,000 IDPs since 30 June. In Malakal PoC the number of diarrhoea cases arriving weekly has doubled and the number of malaria cases has tripled.

Updated: 25/08/2015. Next update 01/09/2015.

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

World: NGO Perspectives of Humanitarian Response in L3 Crisis [EN/AR]

26 August 2015 - 3:35am
Source: International Council of Voluntary Agencies Country: Central African Republic, Iraq, Philippines, South Sudan, World

Executive Summary

This review outlines key NGO perspectives on Level 3 (L3) crisis designations by providing an overview of how national and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have understood and responded to four of the five declared L3 crises to date. Building on the Humanitarian Reform process, in December 2011 the Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) launched the Transformative Agenda (TA) as a set of actions that collectively represent a substantive improvement to the current humanitarian response model. Among these actions was the creation of guidance for response to L3 emergencies, major humanitarian crises which require system-wide mobilisation ‘beyond normally expected levels’. The TA’s guidance on L3 emergencies includes but is not limited to the engagement of national and international NGOs throughout the humanitarian program cycle. This review included a series of semi structured key informant interviews with NGO staff, coordinators and other humanitarian actors who had participated in L3 responses, as well as field visits to Iraq and South Sudan, both ongoing L3 crises at the time of writing.

Philippines: Pope Francis Village to give home to 550 families in Tacloban

26 August 2015 - 3:30am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA, Aug. 26 (PIA) – Soon, some 550 families affected by the super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ will have their new and permanent houses in the Pope Francis Village.

The ground breaking ceremony was recently held for the 12-hectare project site in Barangay 99, Diit, Tacloban City.

According to the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)-Caritas Philippines, the housing project is for families living the danger zones of Tacloban City.

It is also deemed as the first in-city permanent relocation, considering that other permanent shelter projects in Tacloban are situated in far-flung areas in the northern barangays.

“In-city relocation will allow every member of the family to earn a decent income and children to play in the playground,” Denis Murphy of Urban Poor Associates said.

Fr. Edwin Gariguez of NASSA/Caritas Philippines also said that the project proves that in-city housing is possible.

“We can provide permanent housing to the people of Tacloban without taking them away from their livelihood,” Fr. Gariguez said.

The location also houses day care center, a school, a chapel, and a basketball court.

The project is expected to be completed by September next year.

The project is being implemented by the FRANCESCO (Pope Francis for Resilient and Co-Empowered Sustainable Communities), a consortium composed of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, NASSA/Caritas Philippines, Urban Poor Associates, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Palo, and the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. (NASSA/CARITAS PHL/RJB/JEG/PIA-NCR)

Philippines: Philippines - More intense typhoons: What does a changing climate mean for food security in the Philippines? February 2015

25 August 2015 - 11:11am
Source: Government of Sweden, World Food Programme Country: Philippines
  • Despite impressive progress to address poverty and food insecurity, climate-related hazards could threaten these hard-won development gains.

  • Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the central part of the country in November 2013, and more recently Typhoon Hagupit are testament to the potentially devastating effects of climate on food security and vulnerable livelihoods.

  • Better understanding of climate risks and their impact on household food security is a critical first step for managing and reducing risks.

  • This year’s State of Food Security and Nutrition report examines the links between climate risk and food security, and should be used to initiate discussion about appropriate interventions.

Philippines: Nigerian Government Donates US$300,000 And Housing Materials To PHL Government To Support Post-Haiyan Rehabilitation Efforts

25 August 2015 - 7:35am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Nigeria, Philippines

24 August 2015 - Ambassador Buba Tekune, Charge d’Affaires of the Federal Government of Nigeria turned over to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, a donation amounting US$300,000.00 (equivalent to PH14,000,000.00) and housing/construction materials to support the Government’s Post-Haiyan rehabilitation efforts and to benefit the Filipino victims of Typhoon Haiyan in a turnover ceremony held at the DSWD on August 19.

The simple ceremonial turnover was also attended by DSWD Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera, Mr. Murtala Jimoh, Senior Counsellor/Head of Chancery of the Nigerian Embassy, Director Leilani S. Feliciano, Director, Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of Middle East and African Affairs, and some members of the Philippine media.

In his message, Charge d’Affaires Tekune stated that the financial (cash donation) and material assistance given reflects the Nigerian Government’s sincere desire to forge long-lasting bonds with the Philippines and the Filipino people. He added that the donation is also an expression of the Nigerian Government’s solidarity with and compassion for the victims of the November 2013 super typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan that caused unfortunate death and destruction in the Central Philippines.

After the turnover of the check and the signing of the deeds of donation, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Soliman conveyed the Philippine Government’s deep gratitude to the Nigerian Government for its generous donation which was given three months shy of the second anniversary of the typhoon in her acceptance message. END

Philippines: Nigerian government donates US$300,000 and housing materials to PHL government to support post-Haiyan rehabilitation efforts

24 August 2015 - 5:12am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Nigeria, Philippines

24 August 2015 - Ambassador Buba Tekune, Charge d’Affaires of the Federal Government of Nigeria, turned over to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, a donation amounting US$300,000.00 (equivalent to PH14,000,000.00) and housing/construction materials to support the Government’s Post-Haiyan rehabilitation efforts and to benefit the Filipino victims of Typhoon Haiyan in a turnover ceremony held at the DSWD on August 19.

The simple ceremonial turnover was also attended by DSWD Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera, Mr. Murtala Jimoh, Senior Counsellor/Head of Chancery of the Nigerian Embassy, Director Leilani S. Feliciano, Director, Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of Middle East and African Affairs, and some members of the Philippine media.

In his message, Charge d’Affaires Tekune stated that the financial (cash donation) and material assistance given reflects the Nigerian Government’s sincere desire to forge long-lasting bonds with the Philippines and the Filipino people. He added that the donation is also an expression of the Nigerian Government’s solidarity with and compassion for the victims of the November 2013 super typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan that caused unfortunate death and destruction in the Central Philippines.

After the turnover of the check and the signing of the deeds of donation, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Soliman conveyed the Philippine Government’s deep gratitude to the Nigerian Government for its generous donation which was given three months shy of the second anniversary of the typhoon in her acceptance message.

Philippines: The Impact of Humanitarian Work – Tacloban and Oxfam Canada

24 August 2015 - 3:19am
Source: Oxfam Country: Philippines

One of the best parts about my job with Oxfam Canada is that I get to see firsthand the amazing contributions of our staff and partners in the field and meet the women and men we work with. And my recent trip to the Philippines, to see the results of Humanitarian Coalition emergency relief and recovery efforts following Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013 did not disappoint.

As I touched down in Tacloban, the regional hub of the Leyetes and the city that bore the brunt of the storm I was surprise to see that the impact of the disaster is still evident. ‘topless’ coconut trees dot the landscape and wrecked buildings share streets with newly constructed homes. The psychological wounds were fresh too and everyone had a story from the day the 230 km winds and storm surges ravaged the city – of rescuing friends as they floated by second story balconies, of pets and possessions lost forever, of holding on to anything to stay afloat – the Oxfam driver told me how grasping onto the electric wires above the street as the ocean engulfed the city saved his life. And sadly of the many thousands of lives lost.

Oxfam and other agencies humanitarian work has moved on, as some 20 months after the typhoon most recovery projects are winding up or have long since transitioned to our development teams.

During the response, Oxfams work was in three sectors – Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (or WASH), livelihoods and shelter.

Our WASH work provided things like buckets, soap, water treatment sachets, towels, blankets, toothbrushes, women’s hygiene items and so on to help people maintain a level of cleanliness and dignity in the first chaotic days when they were living in the open or in shelters. Oxfam also worked on the towns water supply with local government and built toilets. After this immediate life-saving work Oxfam continued to support sanitation in affected villages and communities, supporting improved latrine construction and sewerage to support overall public health and disease reduction.

Shelter was one of the biggest needs faced by most people. Houses could be repaired but to ‘build back better’ so as to make people less vulnerable to future storms meant having to work on complex land rights issues. Oxfam also did significant work with women’s organizations to ensure that their needs for safety were met and to make sure they participated fully – in one case training groups of women to construct their own homes. Finding long-term shelter solutions is still a challenge – balancing the need for people to live close to where they work, tenants and landlord rights, and access to schools and services like water. In such a climatically vulnerable area these issues aren’t easily nor will they be quickly addressed.

Oxfam’s livelihood work initially provided food rations but quickly transitioned to cash and then to working with groups of farmers and fisherfolk to improve their livelihoods over the medium to long term. When I asked one rural co-op if all their members had recovered from the effects of Haiyan he confidently answered, ‘Yes’, and added, “in fact we are better off now”. Cabuynan Small Farmers Association received some equipment and training on coco wood construction techniques and is now (in addition to providing small loans and seeds to farmers) is busily building furniture for nearby (new) housing developments.

On my way back to the airport we drove through the hustle and bustle of the downtown that sits just in sight of an almost empty transitional shelter and near fishing villages. Recovery here has been a harder path and the answer to my simple question of whether people had fully recovered or not was anything but simple. For example, Fishermen and women told me they needed to live by the sea and moving inland, even for subsidized houses, doesn’t really help them. Local government authorities however want people protected from future storms and so are not encouraging infrastructure improvements (like sanitation facilities) in specific zones near the sea.

In the end, Humanitarian work can’t be a substitute for government-led, inclusive development. But in the case of Haiyan the work that was done in the aftermath of the Typhoon by Oxfam and other agencies has certainly put many people on the right path and left them less vulnerable than they were before the storm hit.

BY ANN WITTEVEEN

Director, Humanitarian Unit, Oxfam Canada

Philippines: $2.25 mln QRCS Development Project in Philippines

24 August 2015 - 2:54am
Source: Qatar Red Crescent Society Country: Philippines

Under the Qatar Alliance for the Relief of the Peoples of Somalia and the Philippines, Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) is conducting a large development project in the Philippines, including housing units, classrooms, and a depot, at a total value of $2,256,209 (QR 8,211,020).

The project is the product of an MoU signed in June 2014 by QRCS and the Philippine Red Cross Society (PRCS) as a framework for bilateral cooperation. Under that agreement, QRCS provided nonfood aid that included 594 tents, 4,488 mattresses, 3,510 blankets, 3,390 water tanks, and 592 tarpaulins. This assistance served 1,548 affected families in Leyte Province.

In September 2014, the project's agreement was signed, with subsequent amendments in March 2015 to adapt to the changes on the ground. The agreement involved building 650 housing units, seven classrooms, and a depot in Tacloban.

Seven classrooms will be built at the central school of northern Burauen, Leyte, at a cost of $150,000. A public tender was conducted in February, followed by another one that is in the process of awarding. A ready-made depot will be built near the PRCS branch in Leyte. A tender was conducted in February to select a construction contractor.

In cooperation with PRCS, QRCS is building 650 housing units in northern Tacloban. The houses are built of wood and cement, with a separate toilet and sewerage chamber each. So far, 112 houses have been finished, and work is in progress despite challenges such as unstable weather.

The 650 targeted families were selected based on case studies from among the families with totally destroyed homes; people with special needs; families whose breadwinners are children, women, or old people; and chronic patients. The beneficiaries are trained in safe shelter standards and emergency measures.

Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines on 8 November 2013, was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded. It is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, killing at least 10,000 people and rendering nearly 66,000 people homeless. Overall, it affected almost 9,800,000 people in nine regions with 44 provinces and 600 towns. State and community infrastructure was badly damaged, which resulted in severe basic services breakdown and worsened living conditions.

The Qatar Alliance was formed as a result of the Qatar Day of Solidarity with the Peoples of Somalia and the Philippines, held on Tuesday 19 November 2013, in response to the noble call by H.E. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, Emir of Qatar.

Apart from QRCS, which was assigned to implement the executive work of the campaign, the alliance involved Qatar Charity, Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF), Sheikh Eid bin Mohammad Al Thani Charitable Association, and Al-Asmakh Charity Foundation.

The alliance has already executed and organized many projects and events to mobilize financial and nonfinancial support for the campaign. These efforts are aimed at helping alleviate the suffering of as many victims as possible in the two countries.​

Philippines: UMCOR Completes Two Community Storm Shelters in the Philippines

18 August 2015 - 11:26pm
Source: United Methodist Committee on Relief Country: Philippines

UMCOR is helping at-risk communities protect themselves from typhoons and other hazards

By David Tereshchuk*

August 11, 2015—In the typhoon-prone Philippines, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has completed construction of two community storm shelters and is helping at-risk villages employ those shelters effectively, as part of an integrated disaster-readiness program the communities develop for themselves.

In the wake of the devastating 2013 typhoon known locally as Yolanda (and internationally as Haiyan), UMCOR is supporting the construction of up to ten such shelters across the Tanauan municipality in the country’s eastern province of Leyte.

Yovanna Troansky, executive secretary of UMCOR’s disaster risk reduction program, visited the region recently, just as the two shelters were being completed. The shining example of the new shelter built on Eastern Visayas University’s campus grounds impressed her with its simple but sturdy two-story construction.

“It was really exciting,” said Troansky, “to see the completed new building, a structure holding out the promise of huge benefits to the community. The question now for local people,” she added, “is how exactly to use the new building they have at their disposal.”

With strengthening community resilience as its principal aim, a new training program supported by UMCOR will teach local community leaders—and through them the broad population—the best practical steps toward readying themselves for a safe and orderly evacuation in any emergency.

These steps will include a disaster-risk-assessment survey, conducted with the full participation of villagers themselves; village-level planning of ways to reduce hazards; ensuring residents are prepared for such hazards; and agreeing on plans for organizing and mobilizing the population once a typhoon has hit the area.

Response teams

Another important step will be the formation of community emergency response teams. These will operate along agreed lines of contingency-planning, and will work out early-warning systems, holding repeated response drills and simulations.

UMCOR’s local partners for the training will include the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), which works across the Philippines, and the community-based organization, Rural Development Institute – Leyte, with its long and intimate knowledge of the area’s local villages.

Effective public education, information, and communication will be a vital element of the training program. These are now regarded as essential because they often appeared to be dangerously lacking at the time of Typhoon Yolanda, and many residents ended up confused about just what kind of deluge to expect.

“Analyses of Yolanda’s impact,” Troansky pointed out, “show that a major factor in the high casualty rate was incomplete understanding of what was happening. People didn’t understand the concept of a ‘five-meter (about 16 feet) storm-surge’ that was announced on the radio.”

Clearer messaging

As a result, residents did not know what they could do to avoid the surge’s worst effects, like seeking safety on the second floor of a secure building. Consequently more than 1,200 people, most of them trapped in low-lying places, died from the surge in Tanauan alone, compared with 45 killed by other aspects of the storm.

In an effort to encourage grassroots input into the new plans, a kind of writing workshop will be held in the communities to refine local knowledge about typhoon behavior in the area and collaboratively create what Troansky calls “the very best and most appropriate kind of messaging.” Having clear plans for just when to evacuate and by which carefully selected routes, based on good knowledge of previous disaster patterns, is critical.

Troansky summed up her visit saying, “I strongly sensed how huge a difference it makes when community members have real confidence in their leaders and in themselves. And how lifesaving it can be when they know just what to do when danger strikes.”

For Assistant General Secretary for UMCOR International Disaster Response, Rev Jack Amick, the Leyte disaster risk reduction program prompted the recollection of a verse (29:18) from Proverbs: “Without a vision, the people perish.”

Amick commented, “The training program will help prevent another major storm from becoming a major disaster. The people will have a vision, a plan, of just what they can do to protect themselves, their families and neighbors.”

*David Tereshchuk is a journalist and media critic who contributes regularly to www.umcor.org.

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 12 - 18 August 2015

18 August 2015 - 10:14am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Snapshot 12 August –18 August 2015

Yemen: The humanitarian situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate. 1.4 million people have become displaced since conflict escalated in March – a 12% increase since early July. Fuel shortages and access issues continue to affect provision of health services. 23% of Yemen’s health facilities are either partially funtional or non-functional.

Iraq: The security situation continues to deteriorate. Of the 3.17 million IDPs, 16% have been displaced since April. Many are stranded in conflict areas such as Ramadi and Falluja in Anbar and face access restrictions into neighbouring governorates. 8.6 million people are in urgent need of aid overall and 5 million are estimated to live in hard to reach IS-held areas.

Niger: A new assessment finds 2.7 million people severely food insecure during the June–September lean season in Niger, corresponding to 15% of the Nigerien population and indicating a severe humanitarian crisis. Population displacement in Diffa region and current flooding in central and southern Niger, affecting 20,000, also impact food security levels in the long-term.

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

Philippines: Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan Emergency appeal operation update n° 13 (MDRPH014)

18 August 2015 - 6:26am
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Country: Philippines

Summary:

Some 20 months since Typhoon Haiyan struck, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) continues to support the PRC in implementing recovery programmes in benefit of those who were mostly impacted. Provision of shelter repair assistance was completed in December 2014, with 18,344 households reached. A further 3,620 households have now also received core shelters together with latrines and septic tanks.

With regards to livelihoods, 24,877 households also received a conditional cash grant of up to Philippine peso (PHP) 10,000 (CHF 202) to support them in restarting their income generating activities. The livelihoods intervention is also now in the process of providing skills training to 577 youth members to expand their employment opportunities. The community-based livelihoods programme has also progressed, with training for facilitators, and orientation for 68 communities already completed. However, only 50 communities have committed to the programme.

Health continues to make good progress with the community-based disease prevention programme. Using the community-based health and first aid (CBHFA) programme, 68 communities have now successfully completed community assessments and are starting to develop community action plans. Out of a target of 20, 5 health facilities have also been completed, 4 of which were rehabilitated and 1 was reconstructed; and a further 14 are currently in progress of being rehabilitated or constructed. Water and sanitation are also making progress using participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation (PHAST) in 22 communities and children’s hygiene and sanitation transformation (CHAST) under way in 27 schools which also received facilities development support.
This is a good example of the integration of health with water, sanitation and hygiene, ensuring an appropriate and holistic response for the community.

The appeal also supports the PRC in improving its technical and material capacities in responding to disasters and delivering services. To strengthen community capacity in preparing for and mitigating the risks of disasters, PRC has incorporated disaster risk reduction (DRR) and management measures in its shelter, livelihoods, health, water and sanitation recovery interventions.

Philippines: 1,000 plus families benefit from Australia’s shelter recovery program

13 August 2015 - 12:57am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Australia, Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Aug. 4 (PIA) – Some 1,533 families or 8000 individuals are benefiting from the housing units formally handed over by the Australian Government as part of its broad assistance to communities affected by typhoon Yolanda.

The housing units were handed over in a simple ceremony recently at Palo Municipal Hall, Palo, Leyte followed by visits to the shelter sites in Barangay Libertad in Palo and in Barangay Bagacay in Tacloban, City.

The housing project was implemented by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Gawad Kalinga, the Philippine Red Cross and the local government units of Palo and Tacloban, City.

It was personally attended by Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell, Palo Mayor Remedios L. Petilla, Philippine Red Cross Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang, Gawad Kalinga Executive Director Luis Oquinena and CRS Philippine Response Coordinator Joshua Kyller.

“Australia and the Philippines have a deep and warm relationship covering broad areas including development, trade and defense cooperation. Australia will always stand ready to support the Philippines and the Filipino people in times of disasters,” Ambassador Tweddell said.

Mrs. Magdalena Dotado, resident of Barangay Libertad, Palo, Leyte was very thankful for being one of the recipients of the shelter assistance.

“My family and all the beneficiaries are very thankful and will forever remember Australia’s kindness, especially during the time of our greatest need. Rest assured we will take care of the houses that have been generously provided to us,” Dotado said.

The shelter recovery program is part of Australia’s Php2.6 billion immediate humanitarian assistance and recovery support for Yolanda-affected communities. (With reports from CRSajc//cba/PIA-8)

Philippines: Resilience amidst natural and man-made disasters in the Philippines

11 August 2015 - 2:00pm
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office Country: Philippines

Resilience is the ability of countries to resist, adapt, and quickly recover from a disaster or crisis. Strengthening the resilience of populations can help reduce the impact of disasters which affect millions every year. The EU places resilience as a central objective of development and humanitarian assistance and spent 13% (or €122 million) of the EU's humanitarian funding on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) activities in 2014.

The EU supports the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in its mandate to assist and protect victims of armed conflict and natural disasters and works with IFRC towards increasing the resilience of populations in need.

"During Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), we were told to evacuate, so we moved to my in-law's house up the hill. When it was over, we came back and our house was gone, completely washed away. The same thing with the crops – the bananas, cassava and sweet potatoes – we rely on these for food and they were all gone," recounted Leonila Garen, 30, a resident of Mabini village in Basey, Samar province, Philippines.

Coping in the face of disaster

Leonila, a mother of five, recalls how difficult it was during the first few days after the typhoon, when their world fell apart. If it was not for basic humanitarian goods reaching them, they would have had nothing to eat. Her family spent a few more weeks at a relative's house until her husband was able to gather enough scrap material for a makeshift shelter, using a tarpaulin as a roof.

With the crops gone, her husband – who used to earn a living farming and delivering copra, a coconut product, once a week– found himself jobless and without an income.

Village councilor, Efren Pacanas, summed up the hardship facing his community: "The people in our village have very limited sources of income, with the majority relying on upland farming for their livelihood. When the Typhoon came, all the crops were destroyed. The people had nothing."

A resilient community

Councilor Pacanas explained that before the typhoon, the remote village of Mabini had been facing problems of a different nature – armed conflict. "Upland farming is only done on a seasonal basis; it's purely rain-fed, which is one of the reasons why it is taking longer for our community to recover completely. Also, transporting crops downtown has always been a challenge for us owing to the poor road network. This is further complicated by the armed clashes that erupt occasionally in some districts." The most recent incident, he said, was in February this year.

Growing up in Northern Samar province, Leonila is no stranger to armed conflict. "Others, especially the children, still get scared when they hear gun shots, but I'm already used to it."

In 2011, as part of ICRC's work to support communities affected by armed conflict, a water network was constructed to supply clean water to more than 1 200 people in Mabini. Before this, villagers had to spend over two hours each day on paddle boats to collect drinking water from the Sohoton river.

Today, this access to water has helped the community recover more rapidly from the effects of the Typhoon. "With water readily accessible, we have more time to spend cultivating the land," said Rogelio Asis, a local farmer.

Building a more robust future

A year and a half after Typhoon Haiyan, Leonila and her family are living in their new home – this time, sturdier than the temporary structure her husband had built. "It would have taken us at least five years to build a house like this because our income is just enough to cover our most basic needs. With four of the children in school, we could only dream of having a house," she said, adding that having been chosen as a beneficiary of the Philippine Red Cross / ICRC shelter programme is an answered prayer. She is also very happy with the latrine that was built this year, as in the past, they had none of their own and had to use the toilet of their relatives nearby.

Leonila's family is among the 4 461 households who received storm-resilient shelters from the Philippine Red Cross and the ICRC in 2014. The ICRC, together with the National Society, focused its response on Samar island, where it has been working for years to address the needs of communities affected by armed conflict.

To complete the houses, individual latrines are being added this year with help from partners in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

As the people of Mabini strive to overcome the difficulties left behind by one of the world's most powerful typhoons and continue to deal with cycles of conflict, they remain resilient, facing challenges that come their way one day at a time.

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 5-11 August 2015

11 August 2015 - 10:32am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Snapshot 5-11 August 2015

Burkina Faso: Heavy floods in Ouagadougou, Kadiogo province, and Bobo-Dioulasso, Houet province, in early August affected around 19,780 people. Significant damage to houses and food stocks were reported. Additional flooding in the north could bring the total number of affected to 122,000. More than 1.5 million people are facing Stressed or Crisis food security outcomes in Burkina Faso, especially in the Sahel region in the north.

India: Floods caused by protracted heavy rains have affected an estimated 10 million people in India. Reported as the worst flooding in 200 years, it has displaced one million people.

Myanmar: Flooding and landslides linked to Cyclone Komen have, as of 10 August, affected around one million people and killed 99. 12 out of 14 states and regions have been affected. On 31 July, Rakhine state, Chin state, Sagaing region and Magway region were declared natural disaster zones. Close to 200,000 people have been displaced.

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

Philippines: ACF Philippines Bulletin Volume 5 Issue 2, April-June 2015

10 August 2015 - 2:47am
Source: Action Contre la Faim Country: Philippines

HLA, ACF Collaborate to Improve Disaster Resilience in the Philippines

MAKATI CITY – The Humanitarian Leadership Academy, a global consortium of aid organizations designed to help communities become more resilient in the face of disaster and give them training and skills to respond to crises in their own countries, and ACF, signed a memorandum of understanding on May 27, 2015.

Christopher John Lane, director for global operations of HLA, and Javad Amoozegar, ACF country director, in the presence of ACF disaster risk reduction referent Mark Cervantes and Sarah Dominguez, learning and development manager of HLA, held “HLA-ACF MOU Signing Ceremony” in Makati City to begin the documentation of case study on experiences, lessons and good practices of ACF in its disaster risk reduction and resilience programming in the Philippines.

The memorandum of understanding highlights the development of case studies with practical information on humanitarian response, disaster risk reduction and preparedness, climate change adaptation, recovery, resilience programming, and crisis-sensitive development, following the experiences of local community actions introduced in Arakan valley in North Cotabato by ACF through its integrated approach in development programming. The HLA is expected to disseminate the best practice and knowledge in vulnerable crisis affected countries and communities.

In the Philippines, ACF is implementing programs on nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), food security and livelihoods (FSL), advocacy and governance that directly result to reduced vulnerabilities and increased resilience of vulnerable people.

The HLA tapped the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), with 40 years of experience in working directly with the rural poor in developing countries to improve their lives by building their unique assets and strengths, to help develop the tools.

The cooperation agreement represents a new space for ACF to establish links with other actors, jointly with HLA, launched in London in March 2015, and IIRR, in the fields of disaster risk management and community resiliency building.

The HLA, launched in London in March 2015, empowers people around the world to prepare for and respond to crises in their own countries.

Philippines: Building more resilient farming communities after Typhoon Haiyan

5 August 2015 - 2:54pm
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization Country: Philippines

To help build the resilience of small-scale rice-, corn- and coconut-based farming communities severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan, some 40,000 households have received recovery support in the form of water- and pest-resistant storage containers, along with training that will help farmers protect their seeds and reduce post-harvest losses.

One of the most important post-harvest activities is the storage of grains and seeds. However, according to a recent FAO Post-Harvest Haiyan Report, many farming households lose an average of almost 60 kg during the storage period.

“Appropriate storage facilities can play a crucial role in reducing seed and grain losses when natural disasters like floods or typhoons occur,” said Jackie Pinat, FAO Area Coordinator for Region VIII.

The report revealed that the majority of households were storing part of their rice seeds in rice sacks, which were not protected from extreme weather conditions.

“We know that other typhoons will come, so these air-tight storage containers, being pest and water-resistant will help farmers to minimize their losses and will enable them to store up to 80 kg of seeds, which equates to being able plant two hectares of rice paddy,” said Ms Pinat.

“There are also economic benefits to proper seed storage. Farmers will not be put under pressure to sell their produce straight away in order to meet their immediate needs, so this increases farmers’ bargaining power, as they have the option to delay selling while negotiating a better price.”

In addition, Ms Pinat explained that the storage drums can keep seeds for up to four months, allowing the farmers to save good seeds from the previous harvest for the next cropping season.

One of the recipients was Edgarde Montoya, who has been farming rice in Palo, Leyte for more than 20 years. His coastal community was first hit by the Typhoon, and then by the resulting tidal surge. “When Yolanda came, all the crops were washed out. Even the houses were destroyed,” he recalls.

Edgarde has since built back his livelihood through receiving training on better farming practices, along with a household farming kit and farm inputs, including the seed storage container.

“The assistance really helped us get through the crisis so that we could get back to farming. Now I can grow and sell crops again. The money that I earn from selling my crops, I can use to buy my families daily needs,” he says.

The inputs and trainings that have been provided to small-scale farmers like Edgarde enables them to implement the practices they’ve learned and ensure safer grain and seed storage to reduce losses, thereby increasing their resilience to natural disasters and their ability to recover.

Edgarde is well aware that more typhoons will surely come, but his outlook is optimistic: “I think I am now better prepared, because I am now more experienced, and more trained. I have readily available seedlings and I can use the grain storage container if another typhoon like Yolanda comes again. But I pray that it won’t happen.”

The Rice and Corn Recovery programme and Coconut-Based Farming Systems programme are part of FAO’s USD 39.7 million Typhoon Haiyan Strategic Response Plan, which aims to address the recovery needs of affected farming families. The programmes are funded by the Governments of Canada, Finland, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom.

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