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Philippines: FAO emergency programme helps rice farmers regain livelihoods after Typhoon Haiyan

23 November 2015 - 4:26pm
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization Country: Philippines


“When the typhoon hit, our rice was almost ready and we were expecting a good harvest,” Susan Gaspay says looking out over the rice field she farms on. Striking between two farming seasons, the typhoon severely damaged ready-to harvest, harvested and newly planted rice, in addition to seed stocks and tools.

“We lost everything!” she continues, “our ready-to-harvest rice, our stored seeds, and our rented tractor. Not to mention our house,” she says gesturing behind her at what remains of her house. Susan’s family is one of the almost 100 000 rice farming households supported by FAO following the devastation that Typhoon Haiyan left in its wake on 8 November 2013.

Susan lives with her husband Erwin in Barangay Paitan near Burauen, some 30 minutes south of Tacloban. They have seven children ages four to 18 who are all in school. Before the typhoon they were small-scale tenant farmers working on one hectare of rented land.

“With this help we were able to plant before it was too late, enjoy a good harvest, and I hope to pay back our debts,” she says. Farmers in affected regions often rent the land they farm on and borrow money to pay for inputs, making their situation even more desperate.

“Without these seeds I don’t know what we would have done,” Susan recalls. “We could only just afford the school fees for our children, so that would have been the first thing to cut. We would have had to borrow even more.”

Ensuring farmers were able to plant in time for the December/January planting season was FAO’s primary concern in the month following the typhoon, to ensure that farmers could get back on track in terms of restoring their livelihoods. If they missed the planting season they would not have been able to harvest until the next harvest season in October 2014, and would have had to rely on food aid for almost a year.

FAO, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture of the Philippines, was the first organization on the ground to deliver rice seeds. By March/April 2014, the 1 800 tonnes of rice seed FAO distributed in regions VI and VIII yielded enough rice to feed around 650 000 people for a whole year, at an estimated market value of USD 84 million.

Philippines: Household Cash Transfer Assessment - Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Response - Promoting Resilient and Sustainable Livelihoods, June 2015

21 November 2015 - 5:31pm
Source: CARE Country: Philippines


An estimated 16.1 million people were affected by typhoon Haiyan, with 1.1 million damaged or destroyed homes and as many as 4.1 million people displaced – nearly four times as many as those left homeless by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. At least 6,300 people lost their lives and another 5.9 million workers lost the sources of income to support their families.

This report documents the operations of CARE’s Household Cash Transfer (HHCT) Program in Leyte,
Western Samar and the four provinces of Panay Island (Capiz, Iloilo, Aklan and Antique) during the period from March to December 2014. The HHCT Program was initiated by CARE to address the needs of the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.

CARE’s overall Haiyan recovery response is integrated and multi-sectorial. The food security, shelter reconstruction and livelihoods components of the response are expected to contribute to the overall Program Goal, which is: “Affected communities (men, women, boys and girls in Region 6 and 8) have recovered, built back safer and have increased resilience.” .

Program Background

CARE’s livelihood assistance program aimed to reach the most vulnerable families in villages assisted previously by the food distributions and emergency shelter program.

Household targeting was undertaken for the first round of cash transfers (CT1) using an economic and vulnerability selection tool. Barangay Selection Committees —comprising of women, men, younger and older people— managed the targeting process under the guidance of CARE and its partnerorganizations.

Household livelihoods assistance was provided to 27,040 households across 17 municipalities in Leyte (8), Western Samar (1) and Panay (8). CARE selected the most vulnerable households with the lowest monthly income to benefit from the livelihoods cash grant. Selected households nominated a household member to participate in seminars on improved money management and livelihoods planning. Once a simple business plan has been completed, families receive about USD181 (PhP8,000) in two installments to (re) start a quick-impact livelihood or income-generating activity (IGA) over a 6-12 month period.

The program was implemented in partnership with seven NGO partners who have active presence in the provinces assisted.

The Haiyan response was the first time that CARE undertook cash transfer programming on a large scale in the Philippines. This assessment report aims to provide analysis, indicate additional findings about livelihood outcomes, and identify lessons learned from the program.

Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan Two-Year Update | November 2015

20 November 2015 - 12:03am
Source: American Red Cross Country: Philippines

American Red Cross Issues Two-Year Report on Typhoon Haiyan

The American Red Cross today released a two-year report on its work in the Philippines and how donations have helped families recover and rebuild following the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.

The report can be found here.

More than one million homes were damaged or destroyed when Typhoon Haiyan—the strongest storm ever recorded in the Philippines—made landfall on November 8, 2013.

In the past two years, the American Red Cross has continued working with the Philippines Red Cross to provide assistance to those impacted. Because of American Red Cross support, 10,000 families are now living in safer shelter including more than 3,200 families who are living in brand new homes and more than 6,600 families who received cash, materials and technical support to reconstruct their house to better withstand future disasters.

The American Red Cross has ensured people have better access to water and sanitation, repairing or installing more than 100 hand pumps and communal toilets in 10 municipalities and providing more than 3,200 families with toilets. Before the storm, one in four families in the Philippines did not have a toilet. In addition, the American Red Cross have repaired schools and outfitted them with latrines and water pumps, so that kids have a safe place to study and families have a secure evacuation center during future storms.

More than 10,000 households have received cash grants to help them restart their businesses or create new income-generating opportunities.

In all, American Red Cross support will help more than 80,000 men, women and children live in better conditions following Haiyan.

The global Red Cross network reached 1.3 million people with emergency assistance and is supporting the recovery of more than 500,000 people in their recovery. During the first months after the storm struck, American Red Cross emergency relief specialists supported the global Red Cross response in distributing tarps, water cans, mosquito nets, hygiene kits, cash grants and other relief supplies to families.

“Typhoon Haiyan donations to the Red Cross have helped thousands of people rebuild their lives and rebuild their homes. They have helped people restart businesses, improve their access to water and sanitation, and be better prepared with safer housing. The generosity of American Red Cross donors has made a huge difference in the lives of thousands impacted by Haiyan,” said Harold Brooks, senior vice president, International Operations, American Red Cross.

As of September 30, 2015, the Red Cross has spent or committed to spend 98% of the more than $88 million donated to it for Typhoon Haiyan relief and recovery efforts.

Red Cross Public Affairs, Phone: (202) 303-5551, media@usa.redcross.org, FOR MEDIA ONLY

Philippines: Philippines bets on appeal of education to fight child labour

19 November 2015 - 5:41pm
Source: AlertNet Country: Philippines

Author: Astrid Zweynert

SAN MIGUEL, Philippines, Nov 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Marnel Arcones's face lights up with a huge smile when he talks about going back to school after years of toiling as a child worker in factories, on farms and as a domestic helper.

Read the story on the Thompson Reuters Foundation

Philippines: Humanitarian Coalition Philippines Typhoon Appeal –Part A: Discussion Paper

19 November 2015 - 10:39am
Source: Humanitarian Coalition Country: Philippines


Based on the literature review commissioned by the HC, this discussion paper aims to provide recommendations for Canada-based humanitarian agencies and donors looking to improve their involvement in urban-based humanitarian responses.

The Literature Review focuses on the lessons learned, best practices and common challenges for urban shelter, WASH and livelihoods interventions during the Typhoon Haiyan response. As such, the recommendations presented both reinforce learning and best practices found by similar review exercises, and include new perspectives that aim to spark discussions amongst Canadian actors for future urban humanitarian responses.

The focus of the Literature Review is on responses that occurred within existing cities or towns under the authority of a municipal government. These urban areas are typically characterized by a growing population living and working within a fairly dense and contiguous built form and local “urban” economy under a municipal government responsible for the provision of public infrastructure and services. As a general observation, within the post-disaster context, urban areas experienced higher rates of population growth resulting from induced displacement and rapid urbanization in the form of urban infill (ie., formal or informal occupancy of previously vacant or underutilized land) or peri-urban extensions (ie., formal and informal occupancy of lands on the perimeter of urban areas). Moreover municipal governments and urban populations have a much higher exposure to risk due to disaster-induced damage and displacement and the resulting administrative, financial and capacity strain on public infrastructure and services and due to lack of protections, basic needs and opportunity within the emerging post disaster context. Considering this uneven distribution of risk, many of the main recommendations focus on municipalities (as the governance framework and service provider) as a critical focal point for improving humanitarian response outcomes including increased urban resiliency and disaster risk reduction.
The main recommendations in this paper are divided into two categories – policy recommendations and recommendations for operational agencies.

Policy Recommendations include:

Recommendation 1: Set the stage for early recovery from the outset by using an integrated, incremental “relief to recovery” approach for program design.

1.1 Agencies should plan for early recovery from the outset of a response by integrating the necessary flexibility into program design through the use of incremental strategies that effectively link relief and recovery activities.
1.2 Agencies should include housing, land and property rights as a central element of any “incremental approach” to relief and recovery in urban area from the outset.
1.3 Agencies should use planning tools such as community and regional plans to assess, analyze and respond to the greater effects of post-disaster relief and recovery interventions.

Recommendation 2: Provide sufficient flexibility in emergency response funding mechanisms to enable humanitarian agencies to develop integrated, incremental, “relief to recovery” programming.

2.1 Donors should provide sufficient flexibility in emergency response funding mechanisms to enable implementing agencies to adapt programming where necessary based on updated, urban appropriate needs assessments, situation and response analyses.

2.2 Donors should provide sufficient flexibility in emergency response funding mechanisms to enable implementing agencies to adapt and develop integrated, cross-sectoral programming that strengthens existing municipal services as part of first phase response. This includes capacity building of municipal departments and the use of integrated and/or area-based approaches.

2.3 Donors should provide increased funding for recovery efforts that involve participatory planning efforts and partnerships between local government, local civil society and affected communities.

Operational Recommendations Include:
Recommendation 3: Adopt cross-sectoral, neighbourhood, or area-based approaches when implementing responses in densely populated urban contexts

3.1 Implementing agencies should plan responses to displacement so they reflect beneficiaries’ new contexts and sense of place post-disaster, integrating essential and secondary services so that sectoral activities support, reinforce and multiply one another’s impacts.
3.2 Agencies should make more use of geographically focused targeting methodologies when implementing responses in dense urban environments, as part of an integrated area-based approach.
3.3 Agencies should adapt existing assessment and program design tools so they better reflect the complexities of the urban environment, needs of host and displaced populations and capacity of municipal service providers to respond.
3.4 Agencies should integrate sectoral programming with cross-cutting livelihoods strategies reflective of preexisting regional and local urban economies and the emerging reconstruction economy.

Recommendation 4: Establish partnerships with municipalities and local authorities to plan for, and deliver, integrated “relief to recovery” interventions from the outset of humanitarian operations – even prior to emergencies.

4.1 Agencies should work in partnership with municipalities and local authorities to plan for interventions by aligning first phase response plans with essential public services and infrastructure, as well as identifying challenges this will engender for recovery assistance.

4.2 Agencies should strengthen existing municipal services and local infrastructure as part of first phase response. This may include capacity building and systems support for the municipal departments, civil society and/or private sector actors responsible for the delivery of essential services such as water, waste management, transportation, and health among others.

Recommendation 5: Include participatory planning approaches for community design in relief and recovery interventions in urban areas; including incremental approaches to land tenure, housing and infrastructure.
5.1 Agencies should facilitate an open, accessible, participatory community planning process that incorporates communities and the local government into shared decision-making regarding organization of the public realm (services and infrastructure).

World: Japan-World Bank Program Supporting Developing Countries’ Drive for Climate Resilience

18 November 2015 - 11:21pm
Source: World Bank Country: Japan, Philippines, Vanuatu, World

Increasing temperatures and storm frequency from climate change, coupled with rising seas, are driving important changes in risk profiles in Asia and across the world. In response to these critical impacts of climate change, the world is coming together in Paris to formalize a new climate treaty – both to mitigate the causes of climate change and also to help countries adapt to the consequences of a warmer future.

This is not an idle discussion, as a new World Bank report “Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty” lays out. In the very near term, development that is rapid, inclusive, and climate-informed can blunt most of the force that climate change will have on poverty. Without an approach of this type, climate change could be a factor bringing an additional 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030.

The Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management (DRM) in Developing Countries is connecting World Bank team leaders with the financial and technical support they need to build climate resilience into development.

Through over US$32.6 million supporting 22 projects in 30 countries, the program, which is managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) at the DRM Hub, Tokyo, is helping shape development that takes on the challenges of natural hazards, including those driven by hydro-meteorological phenomena.

Combining Quality Infrastructure with Financial Protection in the Philippines

In the Philippines, the World Bank is working with the government to ensure the resilience of key public buildings and infrastructure by strengthening the legal and institutional frameworks for risk management, the availability of financial protection tools, including a climate and disaster resilience fund, and the capacity for resilient reconstruction practices in areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The Japan-World Bank Program’s support is helping leverage over $500 million in additional finance to secure and expand these gains.

Innovative Insurance Pooling and Recovery in the Pacific

The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI), supported by the Japan-World Bank Program, offers fast-disbursing coverage against tropical cyclones, earthquakes, and drought. In March 2015, Vanuatu rapidly received $1.9 million to respond to damage caused by Cyclone Pam. This seemingly modest payout was eight times the annual emergency relief provision held by the government, and seven times the annual insurance premium paid by the government of Vanuatu. The DRM Hub, Tokyo also sent technical staff to support the internationally recognized Post-Disaster Needs Assessment, which the government is using to inform its recovery.

Capturing Japanese Knowledge for Impact

The DRM Hub, Tokyo is also playing a critical role engaging Japanese expertise in important areas for adapting to climate change and hydro-meteorological hazards. Through a strategic knowledge engagement on hydro-meteorological services in Japan, key experts at the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA), the Cabinet Office, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are helping interpret and share the lessons learned from Japan’s experience building a solid business case for quality services and adapt this to developing world contexts. Other engagements on business continuity planning at water and wastewater utilities have brought out key lessons from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which were shared with clients in Bangladesh and the Philippines.

The Japan-World Bank Program will continue to support both tested and innovative approaches to preparing countries for the effects of climate change.

World: USAID/OFDA Shelter and Settlements Sector Update October 2015

17 November 2015 - 6:14pm
Source: US Agency for International Development Country: Philippines, World


USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) stands at the forefront of the humanitarian community’s shelter and settlements (S&S) activities, which focus on a common goal: the expeditious and appropriate provision of covered living space to adequately shelter displaced populations, while also promoting safer, healthier settlements and linking emergency S&S assistance to longer-term development efforts. USAID/OFDA contributes to the international humanitarian community’s broader S&S strategic framework through participation in the Shelter and Settlements Working Group (SSWG)—an open membership group hosted by InterAction—and the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP). USAID/OFDA also participates in Global Shelter and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster activities.1 In Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, USAID/OFDA provided more than $51 million for humanitarian S&S assistance and shelter-related risk reduction activities, including approximately $50 million for S&S interventions in 22 countries and nearly $900,000 for global and regional S&S initiatives. In addition, USAID/OFDA allocated more than $2.7 million to purchase more than 7,500 rolls of plastic sheeting—sufficient to provide emergency shelter assistance for 75,000 households.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Voices and views of beneficiaries on unconditional cash transfers - Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal and the Philippines

17 November 2015 - 6:59am
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies, Norwegian Refugee Council, UN Children's Fund, Cash Learning Partnership Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nepal, Philippines, World


Unconditional cash transfers1 are increasingly prevalent in humanitarian response plans. The use of cash is now widely accepted across all contexts and there has been significant focus on the means by which cash can facilitate and promote more efficient and effective delivery of support. This is alongside the increased attention throughout the decade on risk mitigation and feasibility as well as improved effectiveness substantiated through impact evaluation that has, in turn, meant a growth in programme policy and evidence-based planning.

As the World Humanitarian Summit approaches, global consultations on the use of unconditional cash transfers have concluded with a recognition of the potential of cash to transform the ways in which humanitarian response is operated. There is a growing consensus that cash transfers offer opportunities for a new approach: one that is more efficient and streamlined; one that presents ways to capitalise on technology and private sector capacity; and one that opens the door to improved multi-sector programming.

The purpose of this study is to include the voices of recipients of unconditional cash transfers in these discussions.

The study asks beneficiaries of unconditional cash transfers in three countries – as the primary stakeholders in this type of programming – what works and what doesn’t work in their particular setting and uses their experiences to contextualise this. The study is small, but the questions the same as those engaging policy makers: what works about unconditional cash transfers? And, what should be changed or improved?

During August and September 2015, a total of 111 unconditional cash transfer beneficiaries in ongoing humanitarian settings – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nepal and Philippines2 – were engaged in a series of focus group discussions centred on these two open questions. The discussions were complemented by a quantitative survey that explored some of the key dimensions of quality programming, including operational ease of use, issues of dignity and choice and on expected or perceived impacts.

Participants in all focus groups in the three countries agreed on two specific areas when asked “what works” in unconditional cash transfers: cash provides choice and reinforces a respect for beneficiaries’ dignity. That cash provides flexibility to meet varying needs and the resulting choice this gives to recipient households was widely appreciated and acknowledged as a positive benefit. Receiving cash on time and in a flexible manner meant that households expressed a wide range of spend, from food and household items, to spend on livelihoods and shelter repairs. People were able to identify their own priorities and this was invaluable.

This was complemented by agreement among all groups that the choice and freedom in expenditure as well as some direct cash outcomes respected and even restored beneficiaries’ dignity. This is expressed through some of the quotes directly from participants who talked of cash “ending humiliations” and turning them from “burdens” to accepted and respected members of the community; and this is reflected in some of the stated benefits of cash. For example, cash had allowed recipients to re-engage in social commitments, an important part of culture in all study countries. Amidst the countless challenges and disruptions, being able to contribute and to make joint decisions made recipients feel empowered and respected.

When asked how unconditional cash transfers can be improved, participants of all groups talked about an increase in total volume of cash distributed. Though groups to degrees understood the purpose of the cash received within the respective programmes – i.e.: to meet a range of immediate needs and support emergency recovery – all felt that an increase in the volume of cash would mean that multiple objectives could be met. Of course, the value of assistance is driven and determined by many factors in each setting and specific interventions are designed for specific purposes; but, participant feedback makes a clear call for the expansion of cash programmes to go deeper in meeting needs.

Whilst discussions at a global level focus significantly on efficiencies that can be sought in cash transfer programming, the voices of recipients affected by crises calls clearly for progress that enables the use of unconditional transfers for multiple purposes. These testimonials from recipients provide useful insights to further leverage attributes of cash transfers in support of beneficiaries and to put emphasis on the determination of transfer values to support a more complete recovery.

These stories also reveal the importance of a continuous dialogue and engagement with affected communities in decisions on planning and implementation. It is by engaging and including the opinions of those directly affected by crisis that cash transfer programming can transform humanitarian aid to best serve those these activities are meant to support.

Philippines: Mid Term Review of IFRC support to the Typhoon Haiyan Response Operation in the Philippines

17 November 2015 - 2:43am
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Country: Philippines

Executive Summary

On 8 November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) tore through the central Philippines. More than 6,300 people lost their lives and there was extensive destruction and damage to housing, livelihoods and infrastructure, which led to a drastic reduction in living conditions, income, and access to basic services for the affected population. In total, more than 16 million people (some 3.4 million households) were affected. An estimated 5.9 million workers lost income sources due to Haiyan, primarily as a result of infrastructure damage, lack of market access, and disrupted cash flow; with more than 1 million houses reported as destroyed or damaged.

On 11 November 2013 a state of national calamity was declared signalling a request for international assistance. Subsequently, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee systemwide Level 3 emergency response was activated. In response, local communities, authorities, humanitarian actors, civil society and corporate players mounted interventions in affected areas. Humanitarian actors, including the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, mobilised/deployed maximum resources and launched operations of a scale that they had not mounted before in the Philippines.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Typhoon Haiyan Emergency Appeal Operation - for which this review is concerned - consists of seven integrated sectors: relief; emergency shelter, shelter repair and rebuilding; livelihoods; water, sanitation and hygiene promotion; health and care; National Society institutional preparedness and capacity development; and, community preparedness and risk reduction.

The overall objective of the Operation is to assist typhoon-affected communities to recover, adapt, and learn improved coping strategies to become less vulnerable to future disasters. The Operation focuses on the islands of Cebu, Leyte and Panay, and is formally scheduled to finish by 31 December 2016. This mid-term review covers the period from when Typhoon Haiyan struck through to initial response, the relief interventions and recovery interventions until the time the evaluators collected the data at the end of July 2015.

Philippines: Feature: ‘Yolanda’ survivor rebuilds life through government’s livelihood program

16 November 2015 - 11:36pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

QUEZON CITY, Nov. 17 -- Dahlia Atok, 53, lost her house in Barangay Concepcion, Ormoc City and her livelihood when Typhoon Yolanda struck the Eastern Visayas.

However, this unfortunate event did not dampen her spirit. She was confident that help would come eventually. She was right, after all, as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) came to their village to lend a helping hand.

Dahlia received P10,000 from the DSWD to repair her partially damaged home. The assistance did not end there. Dahlia was also given livelihood opportunities starting with six (6) months of training on organic farming under the DSWD-Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

Today, Dahlia has not only rebuilt her family’s damaged home, but also their lives.

SLP is a community-based capacity building effort that seeks to improve the program participants’ socio-economic status. It is implemented through two tracks: Micro-enterprise Development and Employment Facilitation. The Micro-enterprise Development track supports micro-enterprises in becoming organizationally and economically viable, whereas the Employment Facilitation track assists participants to access appropriate employment opportunities. Both tracks are executed based on the Community-Driven Enterprise Development (CDED) approach, which equips program participants to actively contribute to production and labor markets by looking at available resources and accessible markets.

Love for farming

Dahlia became a beneficiary of the Bangon Mini Farm Project under the DSWD-SLP in partnership with Land Bank of the Philippines and other stakeholders.

Through this project, farmers like Dahlia can continue their agriculture business, such as organic farming and organic swine and poultry production.

“Masaya ako dahil ito talaga ang gusto ko, ang mag-farming. Ngayon kumikita na kami ng P1,000-P2,000 weekly kada lingo depende sa mga klase ng tanim na inaani at ipinagbibili namin (I am happy because farming is really what I like to do. We now earn P1,000 to P2,000 weekly from the different crops that we harvest and sell),” Dahlia said.

Under SLP’s Enterprise Capital Assistance, Dahlia was given P10,000 worth of farm materials to help her start her new organic farming venture. They were also taught to improve the condition of the land and increase quality production by putting compost, mud pressed sugar cane, and organic fertilizer from Leyte Agricultural Corporation.

Dahlia utilizes integrated and multi cropping planting ornamental plants, herbs, and vegetables in her 1,000 square meters farm land. She also engages in swine and poultry production, and plans to construct a fish pond in the area.

Dahlia said the farm is really a big help since her husband, Johnny Atok, 49 years old, was paralyzed due to stroke nine years ago, and has suffered four strokes since then. He used to be a forester at the Kawayan Municipal Office. Hence, to augment their income, she started farming in 2006.

Dahlia and Johnny have five children, three graduated in college and two are still college students. John Oliver, 19, is a third year college student taking up animal science at Visayas State University (VSU) and John Vincent, 17, is a sophomore pursuing agricultural engineering at VSU. All five help Dahlia work in the farm.

As a lead farmer, Dahlia has extended the project’s technology and shared the blessings of her farm by hiring two beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program who are student workers. Every weekend, the students work as her partner-farmers with a daily salary of P160.

“Ngayon nakakatulong na ako sa iba. Na-share ko pa ang bagong teknolohiya ng organic farming (I can now help other people, and also share the organic farming technology),” she enthused.

As of October 28, SLP has assisted 447,730 families from ‘Yolanda’-affected regions of Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and MIMAROPA, comprising 58% of its overall 2014-2016 target of 778,549 families. Aside from being a beneficiary of this project, Dahlia was also among those qualified to become part of the Cash for Building Livelihood Assets (CBLA), also a component of the SLP for ‘Yolanda’ survivors.

Under CBLA, she received P260 per day for a maximum of 15 days in exchange of working to help restore community facilities such as mangroves, day care centers, drainage canals, and markets, among others.

In Ormoc City alone, a total of 120 farmers availed themselves of the CBLA.

DSWD continues to extend technical assistance to beneficiaries such as financial management and the establishment of farmer’s associations and a cooperative.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman is pleased to know that two years after ‘Yolanda,’ survivors like Dahlia continue to demonstrate resiliency and have become agents of their own development. (DSWD)

World: Supporting disabled people in emergencies: Motivation’s appropriate and affordable wheelchairs

14 November 2015 - 3:00pm
Source: ALNAP Country: Philippines, World

ALNAP and ELRHA will be looking at 15 different examples of humanitarian innovation funded by ELRHA’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) grants. Each case study will explore the dynamics of successful innovation processes, culminating in a unique and in-depth study on innovation in humanitarian action.

This case study describes how Motivation, in partnership with Handicap International (HI) and Johanniter International (JUH), developed a wheelchair and training package for use in emergency response contexts.

Was this a successful innovation process? What lessons about innovation were found? Each case study is part of a broader research that seeks to define and understand what successful innovation looks like in the humanitarian sector, and improve understanding of how undertake and support innovative programming can work in practice.

HIF-ALNAP case studies on successful innovation

This study is one in a series of 15 case studies, undertaken by ALNAP in partnership with ELRHA’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF), exploring the dynamics of successful innovation processes in humanitarian action. They examine what good practice in humanitarian innovation looks like, what approaches and tools organisations have used to innovate in the humanitarian system, what the barriers to innovation are for individual organisations, and how they can be overcome.

About the case studies Case study subjects are selected from a pool of recipients of grants from the HIF, (£75,000-150,000).

The HIF awards grants for each stage of innovative practice1 : grants of up to £20,000 are available for the recognition, invention, and diffusion stages, and grants of up to £150,000 can be obtained to support the development and implementation stages. The HIF selects grantees on the basis of a variety of criteria designed to achieve a robust representation of the range of activity in humanitarian innovation.

The case study subjects are chosen to reflect innovation practice in the humanitarian system. They cover information communication technology (ICT) innovations and non-ICT innovations, and they offer a balance between innovations that have reached a diffusion stage and those that have not. They also reflect the wide geographic range of the areas where innovations are being trialled and implemented. (For more information on the methodology and criteria used to select case study subjects, see the forthcoming ‘Synthesis report’ for the case study series).

About HIF-ALNAP research on successful innovation in humanitarian action These case studies are part of a broader research partnership between ALNAP and Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA) that seeks to define and understand what successful innovation looks like in the humanitarian sector. The ultimate aim of this research is to improve humanitarian actors’ understanding of how to undertake and support innovative programming in practice. This research partnership builds on ALNAP’s long-running work on innovation in the humanitarian system, beginning with its 2009 study, Innovations in International Humanitarian Action, and draws on the experience of the HIF grantees, which offer a realistic picture of how inno-vation actually happens in humanitarian settings.

Innovation is a relatively new area of work in humanitarian action, yet it is one that has seen exponential growth in terms of research, funding and activity at both policy and programming levels. While the knowledge base around innovation in the humanitarian sector is increasing, there remain a number of key questions for humanitarian organisations that may be seeking to initiate or expand their innovation capacity. The HIF-ALNAP research has focused on three of these:

Primary research questions

What does successful humanitarian innovation look like?

What are the practices organisations can adopt to innovate successfully for humanitarian purposes?

Secondary research question

What are the barriers to innovation in the sector and how can they be mitigated?

The case studies will be used to produce a synthesis document that addresses these three questions. The outputs of this research are aimed at humanitarian organisations interested in using innovative practices to improve their performance, as well as organisations outside the humanitarian sector, such as academic institutions or private companies, seeking to engage in innovation in humanitarian action.

Philippines: Feature: Yolanda permanent housing underway despite challenges

12 November 2015 - 8:26pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Patricia Ruth Cailao

QUEZON CITY, Nov. 12 -- Developments on the construction of permanent settlements for Typhoon Yolanda survivors are underway despite the challenges.

Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairman Atty. Chito M. Cruz said that more than a million houses were affected by ‘Yolanda’ but the National Housing Authority (NHA) is only mandated to provide permanent resettlements for families living in unsafe areas.

The NHA need to build 205,128 permanent housing units based on the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Recovery Plan (CRRP) approved by the President. This covers six (6) regions, 14 provinces, and 116 cities and municipalities.

Other affected families whose houses are in safe areas were provided assistance by the Department of Social Welfare and Development through the emergency shelter assistance program.

The most difficult process the NHA encountered—and that also led to a slower pace in the implementation of permanent housing project—was finding safe lands for resettlement under the build back better principle.

For the 205,128 units that have to be put up, the government has to find about 1,367 hectares, based on the required template of 150 units per hectare as stated in the CRRP.

Not only should lands be suitable for the required template, these should be titled lands and the titles should be unencumbered, that is, free from other claims and liability.

Moreover, resettlement sites should be in safe lands and with access to utilities.

“The lands should not be susceptible to flooding, landslides, tsunami, earthquake and storm surges,” Cruz said. “The (resettlement site) must have access to other infrastructures such as water, power, and road networks.”

Construction of permanent housing units was also delayed by the bidding and procurement process as required by law. This takes time along with getting development permits, licenses, and clearances.

Of the P93.7 billion fund release by DBM for the various needs of the rehabilitation program, the NHA was given P26.9 billion to produce 92,554 houses.

As of October 31, 2015, a total of 74,385 units had been bidden out or obligated. Of this number, 42,566 are in various stages of construction and 17,641 units already substantially completed, Cruz said.

The remaining 18,169 housing units to be built are now undergoing procurement. This will be obligated this month, Cruz said.

A total of 929 units were already turned over to some residents of Tanauan and in Tacloban, Leyte.

Cruz said that for December 2015, NHA said 21,455 housing units will be completed by the end of December 2015, and an additional 42,566 units by June 2016. In December 2016, the NHA targets to complete 28,533 units.

NHA is already in 919 sites covering the following provinces—Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros, Cebu, Leyte (Tacloban), Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, and Palawan.

Clarification on ‘unused’ funds for Yolanda victims

Meanwhile, the P923 million quick response fund (QRF) for Yolanda victims that was stated in the Commission on Audit (COA) 2014 report as ‘not utilized’, has already been obligated as of date, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director Alexander Pama said in a joint press briefing on Yolanda rehabilitation and recovery last November 5.

He pointed out that the COA report was prepared in 2014. “Ten months hence which is now, the totality of that amount (to be used for procurement of non-food items) has already been obligated,” Pama said.

Pama added that about P9 million was returned to the Bureau of Treasury as these were continuing funds from 2013, and will not be utilized for 2015. (VDC/RDA/PRC)

Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan Survivors: Where are they Now?

12 November 2015 - 11:22am
Source: American Red Cross Country: Philippines

For the past two years, the American Red Cross has been on the ground in the Philippines, helping Typhoon Haiyan survivors to rebuild their communities, reclaim their livelihoods, restore infrastructure, and move forward from the strongest storm ever recorded in that country.

When Typhoon Haiyan made landfall on November 8, 2013, it damaged or destroyed more than 1 million homes, took more than 6,000 lives, and demolished agricultural land which left families without their typical sources of income. Today, thanks to generous donations, people in more than 100 barangays (towns) are recovering from the storm and rebuilding their lives. Meet a few of these resilient survivors in the slideshow . For more information, visit redcross.org/Haiyan.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Philippines: How ‘Yolanda’ survivors in Tanauan got ahead of building back better

12 November 2015 - 7:06am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Tanauan, Leyte – Barely two years after Typhoon Yolanda ravaged Eastern Visayas, survivors from this 2nd class town are slowly showing signs of full recovery.

One clear sign is the building of safer communities in various relocation sites around town.

Town Mayor Pel Tecson said that as a leader of the town, he believes that recovery starts by rebuilding damaged houses. He added that having a roof over their heads offers a sense of normalcy.

One strategy he implemented was the provision of shelter assistance to the affected families through the distribution of construction materials to repair their damaged roofs.

Mayor Tecson said that he did not build bunkhouses for his constituents. Instead, he focused on building permanent homes.

“Every vacant lot in the town became a potential relocation site. We saw the need to transfer the survivors to safer homes,” Mayor Tecson said.

According to the mayor, there are four resettlement sites in the town. Around 1,800 permanent houses will be constructed in these sites with 800 units as the immediate target.

“Of the 800, we have already turned over 400 units so we are already halfway through,” Mayor Tecson said.

The mayor shared that some 181 families from the coastal villages of Bislig and Cabuynan have already transferred to the relocation site in Barangay Sacme.

“Documentation was never a problem. We made sure first that the families were safe. They can submit the requirements once they are settled,” Mayor Tecson said.

Mayor Tecson expressed that while relocations sites in other LGUs are beset with the problem of lack of water supply, in Tanauan, water is delivered to the homeowners for free.

He also made sure that relocation sites are not far from the sources of livelihood of the survivors.

“Our relocation sites are 1.5 to 2 kilometers away from the town proper to ensure that the families can continue with their livelihood,” he said.

For instance, the fishermen who used to live in Barangay San Roque are now in Barangay Pago, which is still near their original place. They can still go fishing, after which they can go home to their safer homes.

Some 225 families are now residing at the Pago Resettlement Site.

DSWD as a partner

Mayor Tecson opined that the road to recovery is long and challenging, but he attributed the town’s initial success to the help of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which provided livelihood support through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

Under the SLP, pedicab and tricycle drivers grouped together and were provided capital assistance to start their chosen livelihood projects. Even senior citizens availed of SLP assistance, on top of the Social Pension.

A number of beneficiaries were also assisted through SLP’s Cash for Building Livelihood Assets (CBLA) where they were paid cash in exchange for restoring community facilities.

Aside from SLP, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is also implemented in the area with 2,790 beneficiaries.

Starting anew

Jenny Redubla, 44, is thankful that they have transferred to Barangay Pago.

“Doon sa dati naming lugar, kapag nakakarinig kami ng tunog ng daluyong lalo na sa gabi ay bumabalik ang takot namin. Mas ligtas na kami dito (In our old place, we always hear the sound of big waves which further aggravates our trauma. We are safer here),” Jenny said.

Jenny added that she has revived her chorizo buy and sell business. She now earns P2,500 per month from this which is on top of the cash grants her family is receiving as a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilya.

As her way of paying back the help her family is receiving, she actively participates in various community projects like those implemented through the DSWD’s Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

One lesson she learned from ‘Yolanda’ is to keep the environment and the community clean.

“Ngayon pag may nagkakalat ng basura, pinagsasabihan ko (Now, when I see someone littering, I chide him or her),” she said.

Building back better

For Mayor Tecson, Tanauan is not only building back but it is building back better.

“Kita mo naman ang hitsura e ‘pag nasa eroplano ka (On a plane, you can see the difference),” Mayor Pecson proudly related. ###

Philippines: New homes for Yolanda survivors

11 November 2015 - 8:16am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Some 297 Yolanda survivors received P70,000 each for the construction of their new homes under the Core Shelter Assistance Project (CSAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in partnership with local government units (LGUs) and with funding support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The beneficiaries come from Barangays San Agustin, Baliw, San Antonio, Utanan, and San Juan in Leyte.

During the recent turn-over ceremony, Hilongos Mayor Albert Villahermosa explained to the beneficiaries that they could no longer be eligible for the DSWD’s Emergency Shelter Assistance since they already received aid under CSAP. Leyte Governor Dominic Petilla and Vice-Governor Carlo Loreto were also present at the ceremony.

CSAP provides disaster affected families with permanent shelter units that can withstand typhoons with wind velocity of up to 220 kilometers per hour and earthquakes up to intensity 4. The houses are also constructed in safe relocation areas.

Under the CSAP, beneficiaries have to group themselves into five or 10 and help each other finish their houses. They will be paid P195 per day for 10 days, through the Cash-for-work program, to ensure that they will meet their daily needs while constructing their houses.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that despite other disasters that the government is attending to, rehabilitation in Yolanda-affected areas are in full swing.

Philippines: Philippines: Assistance to Typhoon Haiyan Survivors on Samar Island: November 2013 to June 2015

10 November 2015 - 9:04pm
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross Country: Philippines

Philippines: Social Protection and Disaster Risk Management in the Philippines: The Case of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)

10 November 2015 - 12:43pm
Source: World Bank Country: Philippines


This paper evaluates how the Philippines utilize social protection systems and programs to help households better manage disaster risk. Exposure and vulnerability to natural disasters and the effects of climate change are particularly high in the Philippines. At the same time, the Philippines has developed one of the most advanced social protection systems in the East Asia Pacific region. The Department of Social Welfare and Development is prominently integrated into the national disaster risk management framework of the Philippines, taking the lead coordinating role in disaster response activities. Consequently, social protection programs are on the frontlines of disaster response in the Philippines. This paper focuses specifically on the devastating impact of Typhoon Yolanda, which struck the country in November 2013, as a case study against which the Philippines’ social protection response can be assessed.

Philippines: DSWD pours in P154M for livelihood of ‘Yolanda’ survivors in N. Cebu

10 November 2015 - 11:24am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Posted on 10 November 2015

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) has released P154,160,000 to fund the livelihood projects of some 21,462 survivors of Typhoon Yolanda in Northern Cebu.

SLP is a community-based capacity building effort that seeks to improve the program participants’ socio-economic status. Under the SLP, the Cash for Building Livelihood Assets (CBLA) and Livelihood Assistance Grant (LAG) was implemented.

The CBLA provides immediate cash assistance to affected families in exchange for community-based labor to repair, rehabilitate, and/or develop physical and natural resources that will be used for productive and profitable microenterprises.

For this project, each worker (one qualified worker per family) is provided with a daily allowance equivalent to the existing regional daily wage for a maximum of 15 days.

The following are examples of projects funded under the CBLA:

  • Development, rebuilding, or rehabilitation of agriculture and coastal resources

  • Development and/or rehabilitation of common service facilities such as trading posts, milling centers, solar dryers, etc.

  • Development or rehabilitation of physical assets to open up access to natural assets where the former is necessary to bring out the products of poor families to the market.

  • Protection of productive livelihood assets such as mangrove planting/rehabilitation, tree planting, etc.

In Northern Cebu, beneficiaries were engaged in the rehabilitation of mangroves, maintenance of communal gardens and pig pens, set-up of sugar mill (muscovado), and construction of small fishing boats.

On the other hand, the LAG aims to strengthen the resiliency of affected communities in managing disaster-resilient, market-driven, and resource-based livelihood through the provision of livelihood grants. These grants could be used to establish common livelihood facilities, conduct livelihood skills training, and provide start-up capital, and will be managed by SLP Associations or other accredited organizations. Under LAG, the funds were transferred to the local government units.

Projects undertaken by beneficiaries under LAG included Bigasan ng Barangay, Farming and Trading, Hog Production, General Merchandise and Basic Hardware Supply, and skills training for swine fattening.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that the provision of livelihood assistance was among the priority recovery and rehabilitation efforts undertaken by the Department to ensure that ‘Yolanda’ survivors will regain economic stability.

Philippines: Vegetable gardens nourish resettled Yolanda survivors

9 November 2015 - 8:00am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Prime Town Phase 1 in barangay Pago, Tanauan, Leyte looks like a new community bustling with life. There are sari-sari stores and barbecue stalls in every corner. Several pedicabs as well as bicycles are parked outside the houses. In the playground, children are enjoying the colorful slide, seesaw, and swings. Right next to the playground is a hall with a veranda—the livelihood center. The center is run by Gawad Kalinga and several private sector partners.

Several women are hard at work in the vegetable gardens behind the center. There they grow rows of pinakbet and chopsuey vegetables as well as lettuce and peppers. The women look forward to their gardening work every morning and afternoon. They regard call it a “relaxing time.” The husbands, most of whom are fishermen, leave the gardening work to the women, though they can be relied on to help out when needed (such as putting up trellises for climbing vegetables).

[Visit: Yolanda updates from the National Economic and Development Authority]

“When Typhoon Ruby passed by Leyte (in December 2014), we were already living here and were not worried at all,” says Emelda Navarro, a fish vendor who now lives in the resettlement site.

The local government units (provincial and municipal) helped to organize 17 residents as active members of Prime Town Phase 1 into the Seasider Integrated Compact Farmers’ Association (SICFA), which is now registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The association was trained by the Department of Agriculture on vegetable farming. In February 2015, they were given vegetable seeds to start planting. The local goverments provided them with fertilizer and mulching materials to prevent weeds.

The association sold their first harvest to the community for P14,700. Since then, the gardens’ produce of fresh and organically grown vegetables have always sold out. Five percent of the harvest also takes care of the land lease, an agreement they entered into for three years.

“We did not know anything about gardening before. We have always lived on the seaside. But now we have a vegetable garden that provides sustenance for our families,” says Marissa Solidad, treasurer of SICFA.
The gardens’ earnings give the association a revolving fund they can borrow from for their urgent needs and emergencies. The women also plan to develop proposals for improving their vegetable gardens as well as exploring other livelihood opportunities in the coming days.

– From the National Economic and Development Authority

Philippines: DSWD, ADB undertake housing project for ‘Yolanda’ survivors

9 November 2015 - 12:02am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Hilongos, Leyte – Some 297 survivors of Typhoon Yolanda in this town received P70,000 each for the construction of their new homes under the Core Shelter Assistance Project (CSAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in partnership with local government units (LGUs) and with funding support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The beneficiaries, who lost their homes at the onslaught of ‘Yolanda’, were identified by the ADB. They come from Barangays San Agustin, Baliw, San Antonio, Utanan, and San Juan.

During the recent turn-over ceremony, Hilongos Mayor Albert Villahermosa explained to the beneficiaries that they could no longer be eligible for the DSWD’s Emergency Shelter Assistance since they already received aid under CSAP. Leyte Governor Dominic Petilla and Vice-Governor Carlo Loreto were also present at the ceremony.

CSAP provides disaster affected families with permanent shelter units that can withstand typhoons with wind velocity of up to 220 kilometers per hour and earthquakes up to intensity 4. These are also constructed in safe relocation areas.

Under the CSAP, beneficiaries have to group themselves into five or 10 and help each other finish their houses. They will be paid P195 per day for 10 days, through the Cash for Work, to ensure that they will meet their daily needs while constructing their houses.

The core houses measure five meters by four meters.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that despite other disasters that the government is attending to, rehabilitation in ‘Yolanda’-affected areas are in full swing. ###