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Philippines: Community World Service Asia: Capacity building strengthens quality and accountability in the Philippines

24 April 2015 - 7:47am
Source: People in Need Country: Philippines

New case study: Community World Service Asia - Capacity building strengthens quality and accountability in the Philippines

This case study highlights the capacity building that Community World Service (CWS) Asia undertook in the Philippines following typhoon Yolanda in 2013. It details how to maintain focus on HR during a disaster, particularly regarding the skills, knowledge, and attitude required and expected of an aid worker to deliver high quality services to communities.

In the period immediately following a disaster, it is a challenge to ensure good HR practice remains part of the way of working. Local NGOs sometimes need to recruit up to three times the normal workforce size within a very short timeframe, and HR practices may easily get overlooked in the name of urgency.

The CWS programme, Strengthening Humanitarian Assistance Capacity Building, was undertaken to improve Quality and Accountability (Q&A) processes and practices in the immediate aftermath of typhoon Yolanda. At a time of rapid escalation of NGO and INGO involvement in the immediate disaster response and early recovery period, it was crucial to quickly embed Q&A measures to ensure that services were effectively delivered and that accountability of all actors was guaranteed. The work also aimed to ensure that CWS Asia would be able to independently undertake a major Q&A deployment in the future, with limited support from consultants or external expertise.

This project addressed three areas:

community education and capacity building for aid agencies and their staff,

capacity building indirectly for local communities, and,


By coaching and mentoring staff, technical advisor Uma Narayanan built on existing local and regional capacity and capability, developed in-house skills, and reduced reliance on external consultants. Uma suggests that leaders and managers in NGOs and INGOs can make basic changes in their HR practices to continue implementing what has been learned and documented from other disasters.

Philippines: Helping communities survive the next storm in the Philippines

23 April 2015 - 2:02pm
Source: ShelterBox Country: Philippines

‘After surviving Typhoon Haiyan, we had to cope with three more typhoons. But now that we have moved into our new shelter, I know my family is finally safe.’ These are the words of Anna Lisa Calvadores, a young mother who lives in small, tight knit community on an exposed hillside in Eastern Samar in the Philippines.

Toby Ash who is the Philippines country coordinator for ShelterBox, recently met some of the people who are involved with ShelterBox’s projects to create resilient ‘transitional’ shelters in the country following the damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan.

For more than a year, Anna Lisa and her family lived in a tiny, makeshift shelter cobbled together from tarpaulins and materials salvaged from her old home, which was completely destroyed when Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the country in November 2013.

The typhoon was one of the strongest storms ever recorded and destroyed not only homes and buildings, but people’s livelihoods too, leaving them without the income to start rebuilding. She and other vulnerable families are now moving into safe, resilient shelters being built by ShelterBox and our project partners across areas hardest hit by the disaster.

The generosity of our donors following the extraordinary scale of destruction wrought by Haiyan has enabled us to continue our assistance to those who lost their homes. Working in partnership with four larger international aid agencies, ACTED, Handicap International, Islamic Relief and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), we are constructing almost 1,700 ‘transitional’ shelters, made largely from locally sourced materials. We are working in Eastern Samar, where Haiyan first hit landfall, in Leyte, close to the devastated city of Tacloban, and on the island of Bantayan.

In addition to the creation of the shelters themselves, the projects promote a wider understanding of how communities can best protect themselves in the future by passing on, and training carpenters in, techniques to rebuild safer shelters. In this way, communities are taking an active role in the recovery process and helping themselves to become more resilient to future disasters.

One such carpenter is 50 year old Nilo Visto, from the municipality of AlangAlang in northern Leyte, who underwent 15 days of training as part of the project we are carrying out with our implementing partner ACTED. He now has a certificate from the Philippines’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) after demonstrating his knowledge of safe building practices. Since graduation, Nilo has helped construct 20 strong shelters for us in his village. With his newfound skills, Nilo believes that he will be able to find more regular work to help support his family and also be able to assist his neighbours rebuild safely.

The shelter projects we are supporting target the most vulnerable of society – often the elderly, physically challenged and families who have limited capacity to recover on their own. Other members of the community are often happy to help out with the construction work even though they will not be beneficiaries themselves. In Anna Lisa’s village, where we are supporting the work of CRS, we found a large group of residents busy making gravel from large boulders, which will be used in the foundations.

The projects we are undertaking also engage the wider community in build back safer awareness activities, from catchy build back safer songs to house-to-house visits. These activities clearly paid dividends in December last year when Typhoon Hagupit struck areas we are working in. This time they were far better prepared, with many households tying down their shelters and reinforcing their roofs in the hours before the storm hit. None of our newly built shelters sustained any damage.

The reality of climate change is that super typhoons such as Haiyan are no longer one off events. So far this year, the Philippines has already endured three powerful typhoons. Our continued engagement is helping to ensure they are better able to withstand extreme weather events in the future, minimising not only the future risk to life, but also the need for us to return with emergency aid in the years to come.

Philippines: Philippines: EU supports climate change adaptation in disaster-stricken Samar

23 April 2015 - 8:40am
Source: European Union Country: Philippines

SAMAR – On 22 April, the European Union and the Philippines Red Cross will officially hand over 2,000 temporary core shelters to families affected by Typhoon Yolanda in Samar. Another 1,000 families were given shelter repair assistance.

In 2013, 22 million people worldwide were displaced by natural disasters – three times as many as war refugees. 4.1 million of them were Filipinos affected by typhoon Yolanda. The number of climate refugees is growing rapidly, making emergency assistance and climate change adaptation crucial.
EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux took the opportunity of the field visit to Samar to reiterate the need for a comprehensive approach to fight climate change. "Climate change adaptation should form part of our daily lives as everyone holds a stake in environment protection and disaster risk reduction in the same manner that we must all do our share to cut our emissions", he said adding that the European Union adopted its climate change targets including a 40 percent cut in emissions by 2030.

The EU has contributed € 30 million or Php 1.8 billion to families hit by Typhoon Yolanda since 2013. Part of this assistance was used by the EU to provide assistance to affected families in Samar. Each shelter was built with the participation of families affected by the typhoon using the cash-for-work strategy. Construction of the houses started in April 2014 until end of December 2014. Community participation was therefore ensured during the construction of the shelters. Each house is built in six days and an agreement is made with the land owners. Each shelter is 18 square meters made of coco lumber and is supported by six posts and a system of floor girders and top beams.

During the turnover ceremony, Ambassador Ledoux commended stakeholders for their resiliency and for their efforts and collaboration to put their lives back to normal.

Ambassador Ledoux was joined by Spanish Red Cross Head Ana Montoya, German Red Cross Head Emilio Tejeira, Finnish Red Cross Head Toni Jokinen, Philippine Red Cross Secretary-General Gwendoloyn Pang and Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon. Local government officials were also present during the meeting and turnover.

In the municipalities of Basey and Marabut (Western Samar) alone, the European Union through its Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) provided Php 155 million worth of shelter assistance to around 15,000 people through the Spanish Red Cross with the German, Finnish and Philippine Red Cross as co-implementing partners.

Philippines: President Aquino approves release of P2.2 billion for government employees affected by ‘Yolanda’, Bohol quake

22 April 2015 - 11:13pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA, April 22 -- President Benigno S. Aquino III has approved the release of P2.259 billion in financial assistance to national government employees who were affected by Typhoon Yolanda and the Bohol earthquake, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said on Wednesday.

The financial aid is for the first batch of 48,995 employees of national government agencies based in the Mindoro-Marinduque,-Romblon-Palawan region, the Bicol region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and Eastern Visayas, whose houses were totally, heavily, or partially damaged by the two natural disasters that struck the country in 2013, he said.

Secretary Coloma noted that President Aquino has also directed all concerned Cabinet secretaries to fast-track the implementation of all programs, activities and projects pertaining to the rehabilitation and recovery of all areas hit by Typhoon Yolanda.

“He reiterated the importance of building back better and more resilient communities,” he added.

A special cabinet meeting was convened on Wednesday to discuss the ‘Yolanda’ Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan.

On October 15, 2013, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake rocked Central Visayas, devastating Bohol and Cebu, where 222 people perished and 797 others were injured.

Two weeks later on November 2, the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall struck much of Eastern Visayas. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, an estimated 6,300 people were killed, 28,689 others were injured, and 1,061 went missing when Typhoon Yolanda hit the country. Damages were estimated at P89.59 billion. (PCOO/PND (ag)

Philippines: Phl Red Cross turns over additional houses to Yolanda victims

22 April 2015 - 10:47pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA, 23 April (PIA) – Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chairman Richard J. Gordon led yesterday the symbolic turnover of 3,000 more houses to victims of the super typhoon Yolanda in Basey and Maribut, Western Samar.

Gordon was joined by PRC Secretary General Dr. Gwendolyn T. Pang and officials of Red Cross’ partner national societies.

The symbolic turn-over of scale model houses and the handover of Certificates of Ownership to five beneficiaries were witnessed by Basey Mayor Igmedio Junji E. Ponferrada and Maribut Mayor Percival A. Ortillo, Jr.

As of April 17, 2015, the Red Cross has constructed 54,075 houses out of the targeted 83,127 with 702 more homes still under construction. PRC and its partner societies have spearheaded the construction of new homes for those who lost their homes during the typhoon, knowing the hazards that living without reliable shelter can bring.

The housing project is part of PRC’s recovery program which is being implemented in provinces affected by the super typhoon with the help of different Red Cross Societies such as the Finnish Red Cross, German Red Cross, and Spanish Red Cross. (PRC/RJB/JEG/PIA-NCR)

World: Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit Missions in 2014

22 April 2015 - 6:02am
Source: ReliefWeb, UN Environment Programme, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Georgia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Philippines, Serbia, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, World

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) respond to environmental emergencies through the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit (JEU). JEU combines UNEP's environmental expertise with the OCHA-coordinated humanitarian network. This helps to ensure an integrated approach by coordinating international efforts and mobilizing partners.

Philippines: Roxas City gets 70 core shelters

21 April 2015 - 11:56pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

April 21, 2015 Jemin B. Guillermo

ROXAS CITY, Capiz, April 21 (PIA) – Seventy completed core shelters were turned over by the UN Habitat and Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman to residents of Roxas City.

According to Leah Joy Alba of UN Habitat Roxas City Office Knowledge Management Junior Officer, Soliman together with UN Habitat Project Manager Warren Ubongen handed over the certificates to household partners in the three Home Owners Associations.

Soliman was the guest of honor during the formal opening, April 10, of the seven-day Capiztahan festival in Capiz.

The UN Habitat post-Yolanda support for safer homes and settlements project to Capiceños has the funding support of the government of Japan and DSWD, she said.

Alba said that of the 70 core shelters that were turned over to the associations, 26 of which are for the Mercedes D. Panganiban Home Owners Association, Inc in barangay Baybay, Roxas City, 23 for the RJ Medalla Milagrosa HOAI also of the same barangay and 21 for Ramon Dinglasan Estate HOAI in Libas, Roxas City.

In her message, Soliman lauded the active participation of the community in building their homes with the UN Habitat.

She cited that the community, particularly the project beneficiaries, took part in all the stages in building their homes from the planning up to the implementation of said plan.

Soliman likewise congratulated the people for their energetic and determination to recover from the onslaught of supertyphoon Yolanda that heavily affected the people here.

For the shelter beneficiaries, RJ Medalla Milagrosa HOAI President Juan Higo expressed their sincerest thanks and appreciation to the DSWD, Japan government and the UN Habitat for helping them to have their own home again.

Present during the event were Baybay Barangay Captain Reynaldo Magallanes, Ramon Dinglasan Estate HOAI President Delia Romualdo, Mercedes D. Panganiban HOAI President Leony Aguilar and the project beneficiaries. (JCM/JBG/PIA6-Capiz)

Philippines: Philippines Prepares for Storms

21 April 2015 - 2:07pm
Source: ACT Alliance Country: Philippines

Disaster preparedness is an important part of ACT Alliance members’ response in the Philippines after supertyphoon Haiyan.

It is only a matter of time when the next powerful typhoon or some other natural catastrophe hits this extremely disaster-prone country. However, next time does not have to be deadly, as a lot can be done to mitigate the impact of a disaster.

That is the message of ACT Alliance members when they conduct Disaster Risk Reduction Trainings in the communities they are working with.

“If the community is prepared, it can cope with the impact of a disaster”, says Education Officer Edward Santos from ACT member the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP).

The training participants in Odoc, a fisher village badly damaged by Haiyan, listen attentively. They are poor farmers, fishers, housewives, youngsters and elderly. They have all been battered by storms.

“I decided to attend Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction training, because I want to know how to protect my family during a storm”, says Erlinda Torbeles, 48.

Philippines has usually 20 typhoons every year, with five of them destructive. The effects of climate change come in the form of more intense and erratic storms, sea level rise and increasing heat. In addition, the Philippines is situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire, where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.

About a third of the population lives below the poverty line. The poor are hit hardest by calamities, as they have very limited means to protect themselves.

But something can always be done. In fact, the knowledge of what to do is there already – not with the experts or humanitarian workers, but with the local people. Their quiet knowledge of their own area is taken up and discussed together in the trainings.

The participants identify and assess the risks, vulnerabilities and capacities of their own village. Together they brainstorm the preferred activities what the village can do to reduce risks, what NCCP can do to assist, and what remains the responsibility of the local government.

The objective of the trainings is that communities can develop comprehensive preparedness plans (counter disaster plan). Another goal is to create a change of mindset toward self-relience and responsible ownership of the survival of the community.

Disaster Risk Reduction training means increasing people’s capacity to cope or withstand impacts of disasters and address the causes of people’s vulnerability.

“I really learned a lot. As we have no evacuation center in the village, we need to think in advance where to find shelter during a powerful storm. It’s very important that the community works together in this. We need to think, how to riprap the river which always floods after strong rains. Some unsafe bridges also need to be replaced”, Torbeles says.

After compiling the disaster preparedness plan, the next step in Odoc will be to make a proposition to NCCP for assistance for the riprapping work. As the bridge repair and building a storm wall at the sea front are the responsibility of the municipal government, NCCP can help the community with advocacy efforts towards the municipal government.

Beside the Disaster Risk Reduction Trainings, ACT members continue shelter and livelihood support in the typhoon Haiyan affected areas during the Haiyan Follow-on Appeal period 2015-2016.

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 15–21 April 2015

21 April 2015 - 8:35am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, Vanuatu, World, Yemen

Snapshot 15–21 April 2015

Iraq Violence has displaced 14,000 families in and around Ramadi: 7,000 in Anbar; 5,000 in Baghdad, 2,000 on their way to Baghdad. Checkpoints and insecurity hamper IDP movement. UNICEF estimates 8.29 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, up from 5.2 million in February.

Burundi: Pre-election violence and intimidation has caused 7,100 Burundians to flee to Rwanda and 900 to Democratic Republic of Congo. Burundians report incidents of harassment and disappearance of family members associated with the political opposition. In Rwanda, people are staying at two reception centres, in Nyanza and Bugesera. Efforts are underway to relocate the refugees farther away from the border. Some 60% of the arrivals are children.

Updated: 21/04/2015. Next update: 28/04/2015

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

Philippines: Leading the Way: Applied Humanitarian Leadership Learning in the Haiyan Response

20 April 2015 - 12:24pm
Source: Save the Children Country: Philippines

Executive Summary

A unique partnership was born the day that Stephen McDonald from Save the Children walked through the doors of Deakin University to share his ideas on leadership training in the humanitarian sector with Dr Phil Connors from the MICD program in 2011. In the intervening period this partnership has expanded its global reach to include other actors in the humanitarian sector and has resulted in the development of the GCHL/HLP. Over three years this course has proved enormously popular with over 1000 applicants, some 120 graduates and currently has over 200 participants worldwide. The course utilises a combination of cloud based and intensive located learning pedagogies to provide world leading education.

The research was commissioned to ascertain the effectiveness of the applied learning for graduates and current students involved in leadership roles in the humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda that devastated central Philippines in November 2013.

The findings from the research indicate that the structure and content of the course is relevant and very effective in building the self-awareness, self-confidence, resilience, reflective practice, strategic thinking and relational leadership skills of graduates and current students. All informants indicated the course had assisted them to become better leaders within their organisation’s response.

The research also identified limitations in the current structure. The course is restricted in its reach because it can only accept limited numbers in each iteration due to the nature of the intensive located learning units. Currently the programme is run once a year, due to budget and staffing restrictions, and is taught in English, limiting its impact and reducing access for potential non-English speaking students. There are plans to expand delivery through partnerships with other educational institutions, humanitarian organisations and private sector partners. Discussions are currently underway with the University of Indonesia, University of Nairobi and the Asia Institute of Management in Manila. It is also planned to have the course available to be taught in Bahasa Indonesia and other languages as part of this process. Negotiations for a Francophone version are also underway. A wider reach can only benefit the sector as a whole.

To realise the transformation of the sector through a focus on leadership, as indicated in the multitude of reports on the subject over the last decade, it is important that scale is achieved. What this report identifies is that the course and process has significant impact on the leadership capabilities of graduates. Expansion of the course into other regions and languages will make it more accessible to a greater variety of humanitarian actors. Essential to the process is maintaining the pedagogical integrity of the course while contextualising the content to suit the focus and diversity of the region in which it is being delivered. By making the course available across regions achieves the outcome of building local capacity to be able to lead responses to complex disasters. The benefits of this would enhance the necessary transformation of the sector making it more sustainable and more proficient in coping with the increasing demands being placed upon it.

Philippines: DSWD, Leyte local execs identify sustainable industries for ‘Yolanda’ survivors

17 April 2015 - 2:22am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will continue to extend livelihood assistance to some 90,078 Typhoon ‘Yolanda’-affected families in Leyte under its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

DSWD has allocated more than P547 million for SLP implementation this year.

“The Department will continue to support the economic activities and enterprises of ‘Yolanda’ affected families in Leyte to lift them from poverty,” DSWD Assistant Secretary Camilo Gudmalin said during the ‘Salubungan’, a workshop conducted under the Accelerated and Sustainable Anti–Poverty Program (ASAPP) of the Human Development and Poverty Reduction (HDPR) Cluster. The workshop was held in Palo, Leyte recently and organized by the DSWD as head of HDPRC.

Asec. Gudmalin together with Leyte Governor Dominic Petilla, 40 municipal mayors of the province, and 26 heads/representatives of national agencies attended the ASAPP workshop. During the workshop, the local government units identified lead enterprises that have the capacity to employ, while representatives of national government agencies presented their respective poverty–related programs that could be harmonized and synchronized for ASAPP implementation.

The lead enterprises identified to be undertaken along with ASAPP are eco-tourism and agriculture for the municipality of Kananga; chicharon production for Tunga; port development for San Isidro, Calubian, and Tabango; water-refilling, hot spring development, and electricity expansion for Burauen; soft broom and hollowblock-making for Julita; and eco-tourism and peanut production for Dulag.

Asec. Gudmalin also shared that aside from the SLP, DSWD’s Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services – National Community-Driven Development Program (Kalahi-CIDSS), the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and Social Pension Program will also contribute to the ASAPP framework to reduce poverty.

Governor Petilla, for his part, shared the provincial government’s interventions, specifically after ‘Yolanda’ hit the region.

“We talked about recovery, rehabilitation, trauma, healing, but one thing we have to fight is poverty caused by the typhoon,” Gov. Petilla said.

He further said that prior to the disaster, Leyte ranked as the 4th biggest producer of rice and the second for coconut, adding that coconut farmers belong to the poorest sector even before ‘Yolanda.’

Gov. Petilla shared that the province received some 63,000 sacks of certified rice seeds from Europe in December 2013, and that rice production has fully recovered.

He further shared that six million coconut trees were damaged by ‘Yolanda’ but the Philippine Coconut Authority is already helping them rebuild the industry.

The local chief executive expressed his optimism that with the local and national government agencies converging their services, the province is on the way to total recovery.

Philippines: Capiz towns get shelter aid

17 April 2015 - 2:17am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Provincial officials of Capiz conveyed their gratitude to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for undertaking rehabilitation programs to support poor families affected by Typhoon ‘Yolanda’.

“In November 2013, ‘Yolanda’ devastated us,” said Capiz Governor Victor A. Tanco during the opening ceremonies of the ‘Capiztahan.’ “Today, we are deeply humbled, as one of the persons who supported us during those difficult times is joining us. We extend our special thanks to DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman and to the members of her office for reaching out to Capizenos.”

During the said ceremony over the weekend, Gov. Tanco handed over a plaque of appreciation and a copy of the resolution to Secretary Soliman, who was in the province to check on the implementation of the DSWD rehabilitation programs for ‘Yolanda’ affected families.

Gov. Tanco stressed that the ‘Capiztahan’ is an opportune time to celebrate the “collective resiliency, perseverance and the attitude of the Capizenos to never surrender.”

“Gone are the days of ‘Yolanda’. As we celebrate ‘Capiztahan,’ our faith and our sheer will to live have shown what true Capizenos are,” he said.

Service with a smile

Meanwhile, Sec. Soliman expressed gratitude to Gov. Tanco, local goverment officials, and all Capizenos for recognizing the Department’s efforts in serving the people, particularly during calamities and disasters.

“Ginagawa po namin ito dahil kami ay lingkod-bayan tulad din ng ibang nagtatrabaho sa gobyerno. Pangalawa, salamat dahil ito ang pinagkukunan namin ng lakas upang tuloy -tuloy na makapaglingkod na may ngiti (We are just doing our duty as public servants. We thank you for this recognition because this gives us the strength to continue serving with a smile),” said Sec. Soliman.

The Secretary said that aside from rehabilitation efforts for ‘Yolanda’ affected families, the Department continues to implement the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Service-National Community Driven Development Program (Kalahi-CIDSS), Sustainable Livelihood Program, Supplementary Feeding Program, and Social Pension, among others.

Thankful ESA recipients

Aside from government officials, affected families of ‘Yolanda’ also expressed gratitude to the national government for providing them the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA). The ESA was created to allow less fortunate families to have a CHANCE to rebuild their homes.

Igleceria Bulquerin of Roxas City said, “Salamat po Sec. Soliman. Salamat sa DSWD sa pagtugon sa aming pangangailangan. Ginamit po namin ang P30,000 para muling itayo ang aming bahay (Thank you Sec. Soliman. Thank you DSWD for responding to our needs. We used the ESA amounting to P30,000 to rebuild our house).”

“Salamat sa pagtulong ninyo para muli kaming makabangon. Hindi lamang ninyo itinayo muli ang aming bahay, binuo niyo rin muli ang tiwala namin sa gobyerno. Dahil dito, muli kaming natutong mangarap (Thank you for helping us so we could recover from the devastation of the typhoon. You not only repaired our house, you also restored our trust in the government. We have learned to hope for the future again),” said teary-eyed Bulaclac Jardiolin of Panay, whose house was totally damaged by ‘Yolanda’.

ESA provides P30,000 and P10,000 financial assistance to ‘Yolanda’ survivors whose houses were totally and partially damaged, respectively.

The ESA is given to affected families who have no permanent sources of income or whose income is below the poverty threshold of the region (houses located in safe areas; listed in the Disaster Family Access Card (DAFAC); families whose heads are not permanent or regular employees and do not have access to housing loans; fixed monthly salary below P15,000 and have not received the same assistance from other agencies).

To date, the DSWD has released P1.9 billion for ESA in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental.

Of this amount, Aklan received P348.7 million; Antique, P213.2 million; Capiz, P798.2 million; Iloilo, P437.9 million; and Negros Occidental, P138.9 million. ###

Philippines: PAGCOR to award P3B to DPWH for construction of additional classrooms

16 April 2015 - 9:26pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu

TARLAC CITY, April 16 (PIA) -- Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) shall award Friday, April 17, a check amounting to P3 billion to Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for construction of more classrooms in public schools under its “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan” project.

PAGCOR Chair and Chief Executive Officer Cristino Naguiat Jr., assisted by Education Secretary Armin Luistro, shall turnover the check to DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson in a ceremony at Tarlac National High School main campus with President Benigno Aquino III as witness.

PAGCOR earlier allotted P7 billion for the project.

“The P10 billion total allotment is the biggest funding ever provided by our agency for a single project,” Naguiat said in a press statement.

“This is our biggest legacy to the Filipino youth, to provide a comfortable and healthy environment that will encourage students to study even more. We will continue to do our share with the valuable help of Department of Education (DepEd) and DPWH,” Naguiat added.

Under the project, DepEd identifies the public schools which are in need of new classrooms while DPWH handles the construction.

Out of almost 4,500 classrooms being built under the first P7 billion funding, about 1,124 in 239 sites had been completed.

To date, PAGCOR’s school building project has reached even far-flung communities including Tawi-tawi, Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato, Lanao del Sur, Catanduanes, Palawan, Bukidnon, Masbate, Compostela Valley, and Bogo City and Bantayan Island in Cebu.

Moreover, close to 1,300 typhoon-resilient classrooms are being constructed in over 300 sites in areas devastated by “Yolanda” in 2013.

Each classroom measures 7 x 9 meters, which is bigger compared to the typical 6 x 7 meters to 7 x 8 meters.

They also have higher ceilings and are elevated and can accommodate up to 60 students with still ample space to move around.

Other major features of the buildings include storage rooms, a stage, a walkway, and wheelchair access for students with disabilities.

For multi-storey edifices, separate comfort rooms for boys and girls are provided.

The school buildings also have a concrete gutter with parapet and an iconic architectural design that would easily distinguish it as PAGCOR’s. (CLJD-PIA 3)

World: Emergency Risk Management and Humanitarian Response Report 2013-2014

14 April 2015 - 5:13pm
Source: World Health Organization Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Iraq, Jordan, Liberia, Mali, occupied Palestinian territory, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World


Beginning in 2011, WHO underwent a restructuring of its emergency work to align it with the ongoing reform of the global humanitarian system led by the Inter-agency Standing Committee (IASC). This report describes the emergency risk and crisis management work of the Organization in 2013 and 2014, in the wake of this restructuring, and provides examples of how its new policies and procedures guided the implementation of specific activities for risk management and emergency response.

The scale and frequency of humanitarian emergencies in 2013 and 2014 overwhelmed response and preparedness systems globally. From 2013 through the end of 2014, WHO responded to more than 40 graded emergencies, six of which were classified as Grade 3: the conflicts in Central African Republic and the Republic of Iraq, the Syrian Arab Republic regional crisis, South Sudan’s civil conflict, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. In addition, WHO has provided technical advice and assistance to over 100 countries to help them strengthen their national capacities for disaster risk reduction in the health sector.

Disasters can have devastating and wide-ranging health impacts in any country. In those with limited capacity to prepare and respond effectively, the results may be truly catastrophic, undoing decades of population health gains, weakening health systems and damaging precious health infrastructure. In all types of emergencies, the poorest and most vulnerable people are affected disproportionately. Over the last two years, this has been shown repeatedly, whether in conflict situations, natural disasters or disease outbreaks.

Every crisis highlights the need for a consistently strong and coordinated response, as well as the critical importance of risk reduction and preparedness. As a technical, development, operational and humanitarian agency, and the lead agency of the Health Cluster, WHO plays a key role in emergency risk management for health.

The lessons learned from the mega crises of the past years, especially from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, have prompted Member States to call for a reform of WHO’s capacity to respond to future large-scale and sustained outbreaks and emergencies. This will better enable the Organization to support and build Member States’ capacity to prevent, detect, prepare for and respond to such outbreaks and emergencies.

Philippines: ICRC activities in the Philippines in 2014 - April 2015

10 April 2015 - 7:05am
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross Country: Philippines

In 2014, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) continued working to protect and assist people affected by decades of non-international armed conflict and other situations of violence. It also coordinated with authorities to prioritize the welfare of detainees and promote awareness of and respect for international humanitarian law (IHL) among various stakeholders.

Many communities already beleaguered by cycles of armed conflict further suffered the effects of successive natural disasters in 2013. Despite the immediate outpouring of aid, these communities needed continued support to be able to rebuild their lives. The ICRC, which had provided life-saving assistance in these situations, also sustained its response to cover the remaining needs of the people affected. Together with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), the ICRC implemented programs to help survivors recover their livelihoods, rebuild their houses and regain stable access to clean water and health care.

Armed conflict and volence

Conflict and armed violence continued to affect certain parts of the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao, where improvised explosive devices and armed clashes caused deaths, injuries or displacement. Often these areas, also afflicted by poverty, were difficult to reach and had minimal or irregular access to basic services.

In 2014, the ICRC completed several projects to support livelihoods and improve access to clean water in these communities. Key hospitals and community health facilities enhanced their capacity to provide timely and adequate care to the weapon-wounded, thanks to continued support from the ICRC and local health authorities.

  • 360 weapon-wounded patients were treated in ICRC-supported hospitals
  • 154 additional patients received individual support for their treatment across Mindanao
  • 534 disabled people obtained physical rehabilitation services – enabling some to walk again – at the ICRC-supported Davao Jubilee Foundation
  • 4,000 people in rural communities of Negros Occidental and Surigao del Sur gained regular access to clean water via two new water-supply systems built with their involvement
  • Over 38,000 people in Mindanao and the Visayas restored or reinforced their livelihoods, aided by veterinary support, seed, tools and equipment
  • Over 14,000 people used cash grants to improve or launch their own income-generating activities, such as vegetable gardening
  • Almost 5,000 people augmented their household income through cash-for-work projects in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental, and Loreto, Agusan del Sur

Zamboanga conflict response

The humanitarian needs in Zamboanga City lingered long after the hostilities ended in September 2013, as hundreds of families struggled with prolonged displacement in evacuation centres and transition sites. In response, the ICRC continued to assist them by improving their access to water, sanitation and hygiene, addressing the nutritional needs of the most vulnerable groups, and providing opportunities to earn short-term income through cash-for-work activities.

  • Over 12,000 people in 5 evacuation centers had a steady supply of potable water trucked in by the PRC/ICRC
  • Displaced people in 2 transition sites, and the host community, benefited from increased water supply, through projects coordinated with the Zamboanga City Water District
  • The construction of 102 latrines, enhancements to drainage systems, and hygiene-promotion sessions improved sanitation conditions and curbed the spread of diseases in evacuation centres and transition sites
  • 19,000 consultations done at the Philippine Red Cross-operated basic health-care unit inside the Joaquin Enriquez stadium, with support from the ICRC and the City Health Office (CHO)
  • Almost 11,000 patients benefited from the repair of the Rio Hondo barangay health station and 2 new multipurpose halls (hosting health activities at the Tulungatung and Taluksangay sites), all of which received medical supplies and equipment
  • The CHO also received similar support with 7 barangay health stations and the Zamboanga City Medical Center was provided with material support and medicines
  • PRC/ICRC health staff supported CHO mobile teams in conducting weekly primary health-care activities in Mampang site (Masepla)
  • Over 3,000 displaced families (almost 16,000 people) eased their living conditions with received essential household and hygiene items
  • Around 2,800 vulnerable families (almost 14,000 people) received food packages as a preventive measure to reduce the risk of malnourishment
  • 571 moderately malnourished children under five years old and pregnant or lactating women improved their nutrition through a supplemental feeding programme; out of them, 289 received additional food packages
  • Almost 40,000 displaced persons improved their food consumption, started small businesses or rebuilt their homes using unconditional cash grants
  • Over 6,400 heads of households (nearly 35,000 people) earned short-term income through cash-for-work activities, such as garbage disposal, which also benefited the displaced population


2014 was an intensive year for the ICRC's vast work with Philippine authorities to improve detainees' living conditions, through mechanisms aimed at reducing prison overcrowding, improving health information systems and the management of tuberculosis (TB), and enhancing essential services and infrastructure in places of detention.

Repeated visits were also conducted by the ICRC to people detained in relation to armed conflict and other situations of violence in order to assess their treatment and living conditions and to ensure that internationally recognized detention standards were respected. Detainees were able to maintain links with loved ones through family visits facilitated by the PRC and the ICRC.

  • 321 visits to 70,701 detainees, of whom 928 were visited and monitored individually
  • 1,273 pending cases were submitted to different courts by the ICRC-supported Task Force Katarungan at Kalayaan (Justice and Freedom), comprising several government agencies led by the Supreme Court, leading to the release or sentencing of more than 350 detainees
  • 400 Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) paralegals participated in workshops to ensure that inmates receive ample support concerning the status of their cases
  • 10,000 inmates in 7 Metro Manila jails were given health cards to strengthen the health information systems, through cooperation with the BJMP and Department of Health
  • Support offered to the New Bilibid Prison and Quezon City Jail with mobile digital X-ray machines for TB screening, and rehabilitated their TB treatment working stations, laboratories and isolation facilities
  • Almost 15,500 inmates were screened for TB in these two detention facilities
  • Over 690 inmates with TB, including 99 with drug-resistant TB, were diagnosed with the disease and provided proper care
  • Around 30,000 inmates in the two detention facilities benefited from TB advocacy, communication and social mobilization
  • 50,000 inmates improved their access to health care through mobilization of detaining and health authorities, while 30 detention places received health-monitoring visits
  • 136 increased bed capacity for the infirmary of the Davao Penal Colony
  • 3,000 inmates in 11 jails saw improvements in their living conditions following the renovation of water/sanitation systems, outdoor areas and other facilities
  • Over 12,000 inmates in 16 facilities were given hygiene and/or recreational items

Typhoon Haiyan response

Although the path to recovery was predictably long and arduous in communities in Central Philippines that suffered utter devastation from Typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda) in November 2013, many survivors successfully transitioned from reliance on relief to self-sufficiency.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement delivered aid to the most affected communities in Cebu, Leyte, Palawan, Panay and Samar. The ICRC, together with the National Society, focused its response on Samar island – also partly affected by armed violence – where it had been supporting communities for years.

  • Survivors restored contact with relatives via Red Cross messages, phone calls and the ICRC's family links website (familylinks.icrc.org)
  • 4,461 families in eight municipalities were given new storm-resilient houses built with the help of community members, including more than 1,000 carpenters who received training on good construction principles
  • Over 72,500 individuals benefited from consultations, surgeries and deliveries in field hospitals, basic health-care units and mobile clinics set up in Basey and Balangiga during the emergency response
  • 79 health facilities received medical supplies/equipment
  • 2 district hospitals, 6 rural health units, and 7 barangay health centers were rehabilitated and around - 2,600 children under five years old received various vaccines
  • 500 people were given mental-health/psychosocial support
  • 75,000 people – including 33,000 people in Guiuan – regained access to water through rehabilitated water-supply systems and the installation of hand pumps and slow sand filters
  • Almost 236,500 people sustained themselves through distributions of food rations or food-for-work projects
  • Over 227,000 of them started vegetable gardens using ICRC-donated seed
  • Almost 226,000 people received essential household and hygiene items
  • Around 147,500 people received unconditional cash grants to cover basic expenditures
  • Over 10,000 breadwinners supported their families (more than 54,000 people) with wages they earned in exchange for clearing debris or participating in shelter-construction projects
  • Over 71,000 people received cash grants with which they pursued fishing, agricultural, livestock and other business ventures

Humanitarian law

Activities to promote awareness of IHL, or the law of armed conflict, continued in 2014 for various stakeholders – from weapon bearers to members of the judiciary to members of the academic community.

In the field, the ICRC conducted IHL dissemination sessions and meetings with armed groups, influential circles and communities affected by armed conflict, to help enhance respect for the law and ensure that civilians were protected.

  • 1,455 members of the military and police increased their understanding of IHL and/or human rights laws applicable to their duties
  • 300 members of armed groups, influential religious leaders and scholars enhanced their awareness of IHL
  • 14 law schools participated in the annual moot court competition on IHL, organized with the PRC and the Court of Appeals
  • 28 political science professors in Mindanao were trained on IHL

Working with the National Society

The ICRC continued working closely with its main operational partner in the country, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), while supporting its capacity to respond to emergencies, including natural or man-made disasters.

In 2014, the ICRC helped build the capacity of 24 PRC chapters prone to man-made or natural calamities, by training their Red Cross Action Teams and providing them with equipment and supplies.

The ICRC also supported the deployment of volunteers in ICRC-PRC emergency operations.

Philippines: LGU-Naval extends new assistance to farmers

9 April 2015 - 5:17am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

NAVAL, Biliran, April 9 (PIA) – With the ultimate goal of augmenting the income and uplifting the economic status of fish and agri farmers in the municipality of Naval, its local government unit (LGU) urged them to use new farm equipment and implements at a much lesser cost.

Naval Municipal Agriculture Officer Nascencia Abad, disclosed in a recent interview that the LGU now owns one unit four-wheel tractor which is capable of plowing and harrowing plantation areas and paddies in a shorter period of time and lesser cost as compared to manual farming. It is capable of plowing and harrowing two hectares of farmland in a day.

The equipment is rented out at P500 a day exclusive of gasoline and meals however for the tractor operator.

Aside from the four-wheel tractor, there is also one unit cultivator which is capable of making plots ready for planting in small planting areas and one unit corn sheller, which could be accessed by the farmer here, the report added.

The farmers' equipment were given by the Department of Agriculture (DA) through Secretary Proceso Alcala in his recent visit to Naval last October as an aid to farmers who were victims of typhoon Yolanda, Abad informed.

She added that another two units of portable corn mills were donated to the LGU by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for farmer-victim of typhoon Yolanda.

The portable corn mill can be transported to areas in that are in need of the mill such that corn farmers need not go to far-flung areas such as Kawayan, Cabucgayan, and the mainland of Leyte facing Biliran province where corn mills are available. Milling charge is also much lesser at P3/kilo than other commercial millers at P10/kilo.

Naval LGU imposes reasonable charges for the maintenance of the said farm implements and ensures that all farmer-victims can avail of its services.

Aside from the cost-efficient farm implements and equipment, LGU-Naval is also pushing for organic farming, by availing the carbonized rice hull, vermicast, and foliar fertilizer that are on sale at LGU-Naval, Abad said. (aen/fj/mlt/PIA8 Biliran)

World: The rights of climate displaced persons - a quick guide

7 April 2015 - 11:18pm
Source: Displacement Solutions Country: Bangladesh, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, World


The aim of this guide is to provide practical, easy to follow advice on what people displaced from their homes and lands by climate change can do to get help. It is written directly for climate displaced persons and their advocates.

It explains in non-technical language what climate displacement is, what rights you are entitled to as a climate displaced person, and what you can do to protect your rights.

It also gives examples of how climate displaced people around the world have organised themselves to obtain help from the authorities in their countries.

To achieve climate justice, communities affected by climate displacement must organize themselves, and individually and collectively claim, assert and enforce their rights.

Philippines: Relief on the Philippines

7 April 2015 - 10:58am
Source: Interchurch Organisation for Development Co-operation Country: Philippines

Houses and lands are restored, fishermen got new boats. But there was also attention to psychosocial support and land rights. A year after the devastating typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines we see that the local partners of ICCO and Kerk in Actie have already done a lot of work for the victims.

All assistance was aimed to enable people as quickly as possible to rebuild their own lives. This infographic gives an overview of what ICCO and Kerk in Actie have achieved in one year.

Philippines: Turnover of Japan- Funded Submersible Fish Cages and Provincial Health Office for Typhoon Yolanda Affected Areas

3 April 2015 - 2:32am
Source: Government of Japan Country: Japan, Philippines

2627 Roxas Boulevard, 1300 Pasay City, Philippines
Phone: 551-5710 Ext. 2314/2316 Fax: 551-5784
E-mail: press@ma.mofa.go.jp

The Government of Japan turned over the submersible fish cages and reconstructed provincial health office to the Government of the Philippines in ceremonies held on March 24, 2015 in Municipalities of Basey, Samar and Palo, Leyte in relation to the Japan-funded Quick Impact Projects under Urgent Development Study on the Project on Rehabilitation and Recovery from Typhoon Yolanda, the total cost of which is 1 billion yen. The ceremony was attended by Mr. Hiroyuki Uchida, Minister for Economic Affairs of the Embassy of Japan in Manila and Mr. Noriaki Niwa, Chief Representative of JICA Philippine Office.

The submersible fish cages turnover ceremony was also attended by Senator Panfilo Lacson, the Former Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery, Governor Sharee Ann T. Tan of the province of Samar and Mayor Igmedio Junji E. Ponferrada of the Municipality of Basey. Meanwhile, the provincial health office turnover ceremony was attended by Governor Leopoldo Dominico L. Petilla of the province of Leyte. In each ceremony, representative recipients were present to express their appreciation for the much needed assistance that will hasten the return to normalcy and rebuilding of lives after disaster.

The Quick Impact Projects is composed of projects which targets restarting of economic activities, reconstruction of daily lives and strengthening of capacities in implementing supportive measures of government organizations. This turnover is one among 15 such projects, the total cost of which is about 317 million yen. The submergible fish cage Japan donated is supposed to benefit about 5,300 people living in 4 fishery villages in Municipality of Basey. Reconstruction of the provincial health office is supposed to benefit 9 District Hospitals, 3 Community Hospitals and 44 Regional Health Units in the Province of Leyte as well as users of the office. Besides these projects, promotion of local products to improve livelihoods, improvement of municipal capacity for disaster-resilient construction management through reconstruction of public markets and some other projects are going to be implemented.

In addition to these Quick Impact Projects, hazard maps, resulting from field surveys and scientific analyses based on storm surge, wind strength and flood data, which were turned over to 18 LGUs affected by Yolanda last month, will be used in reviewing the comprehensive land use plans of LGUs with technical support from the study team. Including this project, the total amount of support from Japan to the Typhoon Yolanda victims reaches 62 billion yen.

Same as the Philippines, Japan has experienced numerous natural disasters. To share knowledge and technology for disaster risk reduction accumulated through the experiences, Japan has promoted cooperation as much as possible in the international community and hosted two UN World Conferences on Disaster Risk Reduction in the past. In the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction which was also hosted by Japan in Sendai city this year, Japanese Prime Minister Abe announced the "Sendai Cooperation Initiative for Disaster Risk Reduction". With this initiative, Japan will implement cooperation for disaster risk reduction that effectively combines three approaches: (i) non-material assistance, such as human resource development and institutional development, (ii) material assistance centering on the development of quality infrastructure, and (iii) the promotion of global and region-wide cooperation. For this purpose, in the coming four years, Japan will provide cooperation amounting to 4 billion US dollars to the world. Japan will likewise train 40 thousand government and local officials to play leading roles in national efforts for disaster risk reduction and post-disaster "Build Back Better."

In addition to this, cooperation for DRR efforts in ASEAN region is one of the Priority Policies in the "Development Cooperation Charter" which decided on February of this year by Japanese Cabinet.

Japan, as the top ODA donor to the Philippines as well as a disaster-prone country itself, has supported the Philippines' disaster mitigation efforts by sharing its experiences and lessons learned from past natural disasters. This project, with its policy of "Build Back Better", is expected to further foster the strategic partnership between the two countries and serve as a model for other disaster-prone areas of the Philippines.

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 25–31 March 2015

31 March 2015 - 9:36am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Vanuatu, World, Yemen

Snapshot 25–31 March 2015

Ukraine: Fears are growing of a new offensive in Mariupol, as non-government troops appear to be gathering nearby. A recent assessment has found that more than 1.6 million people need humanitarian assistance, nearly 1.1 million of whom are in non-government-controlled areas. 20–30% of IDPs are at risk of losing their status and benefits, due to a new mechanism to verify the addresses of IDPs.

Nigeria: Opposition candidate Buharu has been declared winner of the presidential election, but irregularities have been alleged, and there have already been protests in Rivers state. Boko Haram is suspected of attacks in Gombe state, including on polling stations, which killed seven, and there have been attacks on polling stations in Bauchi.

Yemen: Saudi-led aerial bombing has reportedly disabled the Houthis’ air force. It has also displaced some 4,500 people to refugee camps in Hajjah. Airstrikes killed 45 people in Mazraq refugee camp, and 25 in Sanaa. The Houthis advance south continued; they and their allies have taken Lahj governorate and Aden airport

Updated: 31/03/2015. Next update: 08/04/2015

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface