Philippines - ReliefWeb News
New Study Links Climate Change to Mounting Natural Disasters
MANILA, PHILIPPINES — More frequent floods, storms, heat waves, and droughts are connected to greater extremes in temperatures and rainfall, according to Global Increase in Climate-Related Disasters, a new study from Independent Evaluation at the Asian Development Bank. In a global analysis spanning the last four decades, the study shows that the rise in climate-related disasters is linked not only to people’s increased exposure and vulnerability, but also to changes in temperature and rainfall resulting from rising greenhouse gases.
The study, published as an ADB Economics Working Paper, is timely given the recent warnings by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other climate monitors that global temperature is already halfway to the “two degree warming” threshold for limiting catastrophic climatic impacts. Released just ahead of the United Nations climate change meetings in Paris in December, these findings add fresh urgency to cutting emissions.
Three implications are inherent in these findings. First, climate impacts are not just concerns for the distant future, but are already being felt. Second, heavy damages from climate-related disasters are being incurred by all countries, rich and poor, although the death toll has been especially high among the poor who are more likely to live in harm’s way, such as in flood-prone areas. And third, it is a mistake to think that climate action—such as switching from dirty fossil fuels to cleaner renewable sources—will hold back economic growth.
“Policymakers and economic advisors have long held the view that climate action is a drain on economic growth”, says Vinod Thomas, coauthor of the study and director general of Independent Evaluation at ADB. “But the reality is the opposite: the vast damage from climate-related disasters is an increasing obstacle to economic growth and wellbeing”.
The study finds that the frequency of intense climate-related disasters over the past four decades is associated with population exposure, measured by population density and with people’s vulnerability to these events, measured by their income levels. It also confirms the importance of climatic changes in making hazards more extreme: deviations in precipitation are positively linked to disasters from floods and storms.
“The evidence is telling us that hazards of nature are increasingly turning into disasters because of human action”, says Ramon Lopez coauthor of the study and professor of economics at the University of Chile. “We found that disasters are exacerbated by climatic impacts at the local level as well as by climate change globally”.
Disaster risk estimates in the study illustrate some potentially big impacts. For a country facing the average of nearly one climate-related disaster a year, If CO2 concentrations continue to rise by the current annual rate of 2 parts per million or by 0.5% from the already high 400 parts per million, that would see a doubling of the frequency of floods and storms in 17 years. The three countries the study reviewed at high risk of climate-related disasters, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, by one definition, have on average seven of these episodes a year. Any further increases in CO2 would hit these countries hard, as would be the case for other disaster-prone countries such as Bangladesh, Costa Rica and Mauritius.
Scientific evidence has already established the association between greenhouse gas emissions and changes in climatic conditions. The findings in this study go further by adding a connection between climate change and the frequency of intense natural disasters—after taking into account the contribution of density of population and people’s income.
As such, the study aims to focus attention on the human actions related to natural disasters. “The implication is that a big part of the actions for disaster risk reduction will have to be preventive in nature, in addition to those that are reactive, such as relief and rebuilding efforts”, says Lopez. “Prevention in turn will need to be in good measure to climate mitigation and climate adaptation.”
The first half of this decade featured deadly climate-related disasters, among them the great floods in Thailand in 2011, Hurricane Sandy in the United States in 2012, and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013. The year 2014 was the earth’s warmest in 134 years of recorded history, and 2015 could well turn out to be even hotter. While scientists hesitate to link any one of these occurrence to climate change, the association is compelling.
In the run-up to the Paris climate change meetings, a great deal of attention is focused on how much countries must do to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. “The relationship between climate change and the frequency of intense natural disasters provides an immediate and tangible reason why actions by countries and the global community must be urgent and decisive,” says Thomas.#
To download the report, visit: http://www.adb.org/publications/global-increase-climate-related-disasters and click on the PDF.
About Independent Evaluation at the Asian Development Bank
Asian Development Bank's Independent Evaluation, reporting to the Board of Directors through the Development Effectiveness Committee, contributes to development effectiveness by providing feedback on ADB's policies, strategies, operations, and special concerns in Asia and the Pacific.
Hans van Rijn
Independent Evaluation Department
Telephone: +63 2 632 5642
Intense climate-related disasters—floods, storms, droughts, and heat waves—have been on the rise worldwide. At the same time and coupled with an increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, temperatures, on average, have been rising, and are becoming more variable and more extreme. Rainfall has also been more variable and more extreme.
Is there an ominous link between the global increase of these hydrometeorological and climatological events on the one side and anthropogenic climate change on the other?
This paper considers three main disaster risk factors—rising population exposure, greater population vulnerability, and increasing climate-related hazards—behind the increased frequency of intense climate-related natural disasters.
In a regression analysis within a model of disaster risk determination for 1971–2013, population exposure measured by population density and people’s vulnerability measured by socioeconomic variables are positively linked to the frequency of these intense disasters. Importantly, the results show that precipitation deviations are positively related to hydrometeorological events, while temperature and precipitation deviations have a negative association with climatological events. Moreover, global climate change indicators show positive and highly significant effects.
Along with the scientific association between greenhouse gases and the changes in the climate, the findings in this paper suggest a connection between the increasing number of natural disasters and man-made emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The implication is that climate mitigation and climate adaptation should form part of actions for disaster risk reduction.
Philippines: Humanitarian Implementation Plan (HIP) South East Asia and the Pacific (ECHO/-XA/BUD/2015/91000) Last Updated: 03/11/2015 Version: 4
AMOUNT: EUR 25 500 000
0. MAJOR CHANGES SINCE PREVIOUS VERSION OF THE HIP
In the Philippines, fighting between the army and non-state armed groups has displaced over 495,000 people since 2012. The 2013 MNLF siege in Zamboanga displaced more than 118,800 people, the 2015 offensive against BIFF in Maguindanao displaced more than 132,000 and persisting fighting entails continuous displacement in different parts of Mindanao. Livelihoods have been destroyed as a result of conflict and displacement, in particular fishing for the indigenous Badjaos in Zamboanga and the farms and livestock in Maguindanao. While it is hoped that the peace process and the Bangsamoro Basic Law may bring sustained peace in the long term, for the moment the conflict remains active. Its humanitarian consequences have received virtually no international attention, making Mindanao a much forgotten crisis. The Government’s response to conflict-induced displacements has been much lower than to natural disaster-induced displacements.
Because the humanitarian crisis in Mindanao is considered a forgotten crisis, ECHO will explore opportunities for advocacy, to increase the visibility of the crisis and attract international attention to the humanitarian needs it generates. ECHO partners are encouraged to contribute to this initiative, when relevant and appropriate.
ECHO’s own assessment and partners’ assessments indicate that the priority needs are food and livelihood support, protection, emergency shelter and basic services for water, sanitation, health and education. To address the needs of the most vulnerable people affected by conflict in Mindanao, an amount of EUR 1,500,000 has been added to this HIP.
Myanmar experienced its worst floods in living memory between June and October, compounded by Cyclone Komen at the end of July. They affected up to 9.5 million people.
In a country where more than three quarters of the population rely on agriculture and fisheries for a living, the main impact of these massive floods is on livelihoods: more than half a million hectares of fields (89% of which paddy fields) have been damaged, 250,000 livestock have been killed, 30,000 hectares of fish and shrimp ponds have been damaged, food stocks, seeds and tools were lost. This endangers the next agricultural season and reduces opportunities for casual labour for the most vulnerable, among which many women-headed households. Only 9% of the targeted affected population has so far received livelihoods assistance. Food security in the next months is a real concern.
More than 10,000 people remain displaced and are waiting to be relocated, especially in Chin State and Sagaing Region. In Rakhine State, the floods and cyclone destroyed shelters in camps housing 130,000 Rohingya IDPs.
MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, Nov. 26 (PIA) --- The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is intensifying its campaign to mainstream Gender and Development (GAD) and eventually eliminate Violence against Women (VAW).
The region, through its Women Commission (RCBW-ARMM), kicked-off the annual “18-day campaign to end incidences of violence against women” on November 25, in Cotabato City.
The campaign, based on a national policy, is being held from November 25 to December 12 aimed at raising awareness among all stakeholders that violence against women is a public issue and of national concern. It supports the government’s goal to protect the human rights of women and its commitment to address all forms of violence against women.
Abderson Antao, RCBW-ARMM planning chief, said part of the campaign is pushing for the institutionalization of the Gender and Development focal point system in each agency in the region. Such system, he said, is the mechanism to implement and mainstream Gender and Development in the offices.
“Gender and Development is very important. If implemented thoroughly, it will protect and promote the welfare of women. Both men and women have a role in social development and in peace building especially in conflict-affected areas like the ARMM,” said Antao.
Antao said they are urging all agencies to have an established Gender and Development focal point system. Currently, only the region’s Education department, Department of Agrarian Reform, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources are the only agencies with an established focal point system.
Simultaneously, the region launched the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the ARMM Gender and Development Code. The code is the regional translation of Republic Act 9710, or the Magna Carta for Women and was signed into law on May 20, 2013.
“ARMM is demographically and culturally distinct. The code is an instrument in addressing gender issues and advancing the status of women in the region,” said Antao. This year’s campaign bears the theme “End VAW Now! It’s our duty! Gains and ways forward.” (BPI/PIA-10)
HERNANI, Eastern Samar, Nov. 26 -- Local fisherfolk from three Eastern Samar towns, who were among the victims of super-typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013, recently received a total of 63 ‘peace boats’ to help survivors recover from the disaster.
Dubbed as ‘BangKapayapaan,’ the delivery of peace boats is a joint project of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Agencia Española Cooperacion International para el Desarrollo (AECID or Spanish Aid).
“We know that the Yolanda experience can never meet our imagination, how hard it was for you, but we are here to extend the kind of help you deserve. We are here to strengthen and build relationships in our pursuit of peace and prosperity,” said OPAPP Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles during the turnover ceremony held in the town of Hernani, Eastern Samar.
The 63 ‘peace boats’ comprise the latest batch turned over to the Yolanda-devastated fishing communities in Samar Island under the joint OPAPP-AECID project. The Boat and Net Livelihood Project or ‘BangKapayapaan,’ was conceptualized after Yolanda hit vast parts of the country in November 2013. At its end, the project should benefit some 400 fisherfolk from selected coastal communities.
Each ‘peace boat’ comes complete with gear, fishnet, and engine.
Those targeted to receive the ‘peace boats’ were prioritized based on the case studies and assessment made by their respective Municipal Social Welfare and Development offices. The communities were identified based on the number of coastal barangays per municipality, and the number of actual fishers severely affected.
This latest batch of ‘peace boats’ benefitted 148 fisherfolk from the fishing communities in the municipalities of Hernani, Lorente, and Gen. MacArthur in Eastern Samar province. To ensure the safety of the fishers in these areas, the boats were made to follow the specifications of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, making them fit to sail in the Pacific Ocean.
In March 2014, an initial batch of 50 ‘peace boats’ were turned over to fishers from Sta. Rita town in Western Samar province and from the municipalities of Villareal and Marabut in Samar province.
‘BangKapayapaan’ is lodged under the AECID-funded Mainstreaming Peace and Development in Local Governance Project, which seeks to instill conflict-sensitivity and peace promoting principles in local governance.
“Pinatitibay ng aming pagdating ngayon ang ating paniniwala at intensyon sa patuloy na pagtahak ng landas tungo sa kapayapaan at kaunlaran na tunay na mararamdaman ng mga mamamayan nang pang-matagalan,” Deles said. “Ito po ang landas ng Tuwid na Daan na sinasabi dapat walang maiiwan, dapat mas mararamdaman ng mga mamamayan ang reporma (Our presence here today affirms our belief and intent to continue with the path of peace and development that is truly felt by the people and that it would last. This is the path of Tuwid na Daan, where no one is left behind, where reforms are felt by the people).”
Also present to witness the event were delegates from Spain led by Spanish Ambassador H.E. Antonio Calvo, AECID General Coordinator Juan Pita, OPAPP officials, including Undersecretary Luisito Montalbo and Assistant Secretary Jennifer Oreta, Mayors Tito Codoy Jr. of the town of Llorente and Edgar Boco of the town of Hernani, representatives from the provincial government of Eastern Samar, and officials from other regional line agencies. (OPAPP)
By Kate Marshall, IFRC
When Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in November 2013 over one million houses were flattened or badly damaged. Two years on, more than 66,000 homes have been built or repaired under the Red Cross recovery operation.
Spread over nine provinces in central Philippines the shelter programme has included the construction of new typhoon-resistant homes as well as cash assistance, training and materials to help some families rebuild themselves.
Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon said he was extremely pleased with the progress of the shelter operation.
‘We are on time and even faster than we planned for,’ he said. ‘Assuming no major problems, by the end of the year we will have reached 91% of our target of 80,200 houses.’
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), 17 Red Cross national societies as well as private donors including Air Asia, HSBC, Citibank and Singapore-based CUBE, have all contributed to the reconstruction efforts led by the Philippine Red Cross.
Last week 128 families moved into the Red Cross Village project, in northern Cebu. The village was funded by the French Red Cross and features a livelihood centre, a multipurpose hall with health and child care centres. These facilities are also open to all the 3,000 plus residents of the surrounding barangay (village). Householders can access half-price electricity thanks to the village’s solar power plant, which also provides electricity for all the facilities.
The IFRC has also played a lead role in, the Shelter Cluster, a coordination body involving the Philippine Government which has developed safer standards for rebuilding homes. Families have received basic training on safer building techniques and core shelters have been designed so that they can be easily adapted and expanded according to the wishes and capacity of each household.
Many of the homes built by the Red Cross are comprised of a concrete core with an attached latrine. Others use lumber, bamboo and woven indigenous materials. Physically able beneficiaries contribute labour to the construction process, receiving building material and skilled labour in return.
Mother of two Marlyn Revis, from Puis, Aklan, said the shock of losing her old house and the injuries sustained by her husband during Typhoon Haiyan hastened her debilitating eye disease. Now totally blind, she navigates her new half-concrete home and outside area with the aid of a stick.
‘The layout and the smooth floor make it easy for me to get around without tripping over things,’ she says. ‘My husband designed the furniture so it doesn’t get in the way.’
Most Red Cross houses have distinctive red roofs of corrugated iron, making them easy to spot across rice fields and in crowded urban areas.
Some families have been relocated from areas close to the sea that are considered unsafe.
The Villanueva family, from Candual in Capiz Province, is one of 17 families relocated to a new site. After the trauma of losing their homes and belongings, they are relieved to be reunited with familiar faces from their former neighbourhood as they settle in. Mother-of-eight Annabelle has plans for a kitchen extension out the back, and will divide the interior space to create more privacy for her growing family. The ceiling will also be insulated against heat.
Her next door neighbour Judy Ann Acepcion says she will add a custom-made internal partition.
‘I will have an inside kitchen, rather than have one outside like some of my neighbours,’ she says. ‘I am so happy that I can make some changes.’
In the past 10 years the Philippine Red Cross has gained significant experience in shelter construction, having built more than 50,000 units following major tropical storms that have struck Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao. These operations however, are dwarfed by the scope and scale of the Haiyan shelter response.
According to figures in the IFRC’s two year progress report, by the end of August spending on the Haiyan shelter programme had reached USD 81.3 million, accounting for 40% of the operation’s total outlay.
Manila, November 23rd, 2015 - The European Commission is providing an additional €300,000 to fund humanitarian assistance to those most affected by Typhoon Lando, known internationally as Typhoon Koppu, which hit the Philippines on 18th October. This funding will directly benefit thousands of small land-holders, farm tenants and daily agricultural labourers in Nueva Ecija, by providing them with cash transfers to support their immediate needs and provide them with income generating activities until agricultural farms in the area are rehabilitated.
“With the destruction of many farms and agricultural land, these most vulnerable people have lost their only sources of livelihoods”, said Dr. Franz Jessen, the Ambassador of the European Union in the Philippines. “This emergency assistance will not only enable them to meet their most urgent needs, but also help them in creating alternative sources of income through activities that can be set up quickly, so they can get back on their feet at the earliest”.
The action, which will be implemented by a consortium of NGOs including CARE Netherlands, Action Against Hunger (ACF) and Save the Children, aims to ensure that activities such as vegetable gardening and poultry or swine farming are established in an emergency mode, providing families with both a source of food and extra income. Overall, the project will benefit some 11500 individuals in the most affected towns of Nueva Ecija.
This additional funding is being made available via the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), through its Small Scale Response mechanism.
Last month, the European Commission had already provided € 200,000 to the International Federation of the Red Cross, in order to bring much needed emergency relief to 2 500 families in the immediate aftermath of Typhoon Lando/Koppu.
Typhoon Lando, (known internationally as Koppu) made landfall in the Aurora province of Luzon island on Sunday 18th October, with sustained winds of 185 km/h. Its slow movement while crossing Luzon translated into massive quantities of rainfall, triggering floods and mud flows in many areas. In Nueva Ecija, the flood waters reached as high as 1.8 meters. Overall, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported more than 3 million affected individuals.
ECHO’s Small Scale Response fund is a global mechanism which allows for rapid funding of up to €300 000 for humanitarian aid in countries affected by natural and man-made disasters.
More information on ECHO's work in the Philippines:
ECHO's website: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm
Factsheet on the Philippines: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/aid/countries/factsheets/philippines_en.pdf
World: Publication of the G7 Report on the Implementation of the G8 Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict
Chair’s Summary – Publication of the G7 Report on the Implementation of the G8 Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict
The Chair of the G7 has the honour to present the G7 Report on the Implementation of the G8 Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict.
The Declaration was made in April 2013 to address the prevalence of systematic and widespread sexual violence in situations of armed conflict. We set out to work together, in a concerted campaign, to strengthen prevention and response. Better support needed to be provided to victims, more capacity needed to be built for prevention. We sought to remove barriers that prevent effective monitoring and reporting of sexual violence and improve accountability and access to justice.
This report illustrates the progress that has been made by providing a selection of concrete actions by G7 members and highlighting other major international efforts with G7 participation. It represents an intermediate step and serves as a symbol of renewed commitment by the G7 to the Declaration.
Representatives from UNDP-supported Climate Information and Early Warning Systems Projects in Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia recently toured meteorological facilities in the Philippines on a cross-continental mission to explore 'New Opportunities for the Deployment of Modern Climate and Weather Information Systems.' In this blog, Pascal Onegiu Okello looks at how takeaways from the South-South learning mission can be applied in Africa.
By Pascal Onegiu Okello
How do we take the lessons learned from the Philippines and apply them to the unique context of Africa? While the methods, technologies and applications being used in the Philippines offer a wonderful glimpse at how we can create a substantial grid of low-cost, easy-to-maintain Automatic Weather Stations, these lessons need to be adapted and molded to fit the specific social, political and economic challenges of Africa today.
In my home country Uganda for instance, there are a number of challenges relating to sustainable deployment, maintenance and operation of hydro-meteorological monitoring stations. Not only are we vulnerable to changes in climate – the economic impact of climate hazards on the agricultural sector alone is estimated to be in excess of $46.9 million – but we also have low coverage of electrical grid power and high energy costs, infrastructure deficiencies, and numerous border areas that require increased regional cooperation and data sharing. While these challenges present real obstacles in the efforts to deploy weather and climate monitoring systems – and reach end users with actionable early warning information that can save lives, improve productivity and foster greater resilience – firm steps are being taken to move forward and address these needs. The example from the Philippines gives us some good footing to commence this work towards innovation and improving the situation.
Like the Philippines, the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) is looking to pilot and scale up outreach initiatives that will provide weather updates to citizens in collaboration with Mobile Telecommunications Companies, and there is a pilot programme in place to share weather alerts via SMS message. While this new pilot takes an important step in bringing information to end-users, we also need to have the hardware in place to ensure quality data, ongoing power, security and communications for remote Automatic Weather Stations.
Through the Climate Information and Early Warning Systems Project, Uganda is in the process of acquiring the equipment to beef up our weather monitoring and forecasting systems. Some of these systems will be installed as early as December of this year starting with the Automatic Message Switching System (AMSS), to ensure data is processed quickly and effectively. A more substantial integrated system will allow for better data, enable us to build trust and provide effective weather alerts, like flood warnings, and support increased political trust within the nation. Building the capacity to share these warnings and package information to meet user needs will be a challenge as we move from procurement and installation of new equipment to a second stage that looks at applying data in the field.
Regional Cooperation Sharing data across regions is a unique challenge facing many countries in sub-Saharan Africa. While the Philippines needed to adapt its weather and climate monitoring system to island life, Africa needs to adapt its practices to share data across borders. A new pilot project was launched in 2014 to try to tackle the unique challenges of creating a smart weather network for the region. The “Pilot Project on Severe Weather Now-casting Based on Total Lightning Detection in Lake Victoria Region” brought together a diverse group of actors from both the public and private sector, with the East African Community (EAC) playing a vital role in initiating the project, building political will across the four countries, and finally, ensuring that the project design included both technical and knowledge transfer. The main actors include technicians and trainers from the private weather company Earth Networks; community outreach and technical experts from a regional non-profit, the African Centers for Lightning and Electromagnetics (ACLE); and public-sector leaders from the four NMHS. More information on this project and other initiatives will be shared in an upcoming UNDP publication on “Building Resilience to Climate Change through Public Private Partnerships and Advanced Weather Systems.”
Other Takeaways Other actionable takeaways from the Philippines experience include the following.
· The credibility and demand for meteorological services – both in the public and private sectors – is dependent upon the accuracy of weather data.
· In order to increase the density of local weather monitoring networks, the NMHS should consider cost-effective alternatives like AWS, provided there is a sufficient support system and capacity to maintain and monitor their functionality.
· It is possible to improve resource mobilization through corporate social responsibility. There is a market for high-quality data across a variety of sectors.
· To avoid the risk of data loss, NMHS should consider integrating cloud-based technology into their ongoing digitization efforts.
· A pragmatic approach to product marketing is critical for sustaining the image of weather service providers.
· We should look to local talent to develop cost-effective data loggers. In Uganda for example, such an initiative between UNMA and a local University is being piloted through a Meteorological Information Technology Project (WIMEA).
· Increased fidelity of data can help ensure investment in the weather and climate sub-sector. This can be achieved through inclusion in the budget at the national and sub-national levels, as well as in district development plans.
· The issue of vandalism of weather equipment in the field can be mitigated through public private partnerships. Options here include hosting AWSs on telecommunications towers or outsourcing the maintenance function.
· Young people embrace change. By increasing awareness of weather and climate issues through school education programmes, we hope to build trust, educate rural people of the importance of early warnings systems, and bridge the gap to bring the data created by new local monitoring systems to end-users.
Pascal Onegiu Okello is the Project Manager of the UNDP-GEF project on Strenghtening Climate Information and Early Warning (SCIEWS) in Uganda. He previously worked with Disaster Risk Reduction portfolio in the UNISDR-Uganda, Livelihood recovery project and UN peace keeping operations in East Timor, as well as various projects in the NGO and the Public Sector.
Recurrent earthquakes, floods, typhoons, and volcanoes present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in the East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region. Some countries also face civil unrest and associated humanitarian impacts, as well as limited government capacity to respond to disasters. Between FY 2006 and FY 2015, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a diverse range of natural and complex emergencies in the region. Examples include cyclones and typhoons in Burma, the Pacific Islands, and the Philippines; earthquakes in China and Japan; floods in Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea; tsunamis in Indonesia, Japan, and Samoa; drought in the Marshall Islands; volcanic eruptions in Indonesia and the Philippines; and conflict in Burma, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Timor-Leste.
Between FY 2006 and FY 2015, USAID provided approximately $306 million to respond to disasters in the EAP region. USAID/OFDA assistance included more than $175 million for programs in agriculture and food security; chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive hazards (CBRNE); economic recovery and market systems (ERMS); health; humanitarian coordination and information management; logistics support and relief commodities; nutrition; protection; search and rescue; shelter and settlements; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). USAID/FFP support included nearly $131 million for food assistance in the form of U.S.-purchased food, locally and regionally purchased food, cash transfers, food vouchers, and related activities.
“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.
20-YEAR REVIEW SHOWS 90% OF DISASTERS ARE WEATHER-RELATED; US, CHINA, INDIA, PHILIPPINES AND INDONESIA RECORD THE MOST
23 November 2015, GENEVA – A new report issued today by the UN, “The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters”, shows that over the last twenty years, 90% of major disasters have been caused by 6,457 recorded floods, storms, heatwaves, droughts and other weather-related events.
The five countries hit by the highest number of disasters are the United States (472), China (441), India (288), Philippines (274), and Indonesia, (163).
The report and analysis compiled by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the Belgian-based Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) demonstrates that since the first Climate Change Conference (COP1) in 1995, 606,000 lives have been lost and 4.1 billion people have been injured, left homeless or in need of emergency assistance as a result of weather-related disasters.
The report also highlights data gaps, noting that economic losses from weather-related disasters are much higher than the recorded figure of US$1.891 trillion, which accounts for 71% of all losses attributed to natural hazards over the twenty-year period. Only 35% of records include information about economic losses. UNISDR estimates that the true figure on disaster losses – including earthquakes and tsunamis – is between US$250 billion and US$300 billion annually.
Introducing the report, Ms. Margareta Wahlström, head of UNISDR, said: “Weather and climate are major drivers of disaster risk and this report demonstrates that the world is paying a high price in lives lost. Economic losses are a major development challenge for many least developed countries battling climate change and poverty.
“In the long term, an agreement in Paris at COP21 on reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be a significant contribution to reducing damage and loss from disasters which are partly driven by a warming globe and rising sea levels. For now, there is a need to reduce existing levels of risk and avoid creating new risk by ensuring that public and private investments are risk-informed and do not increase the exposure of people and economic assets to natural hazards on flood plains, vulnerable low-lying coastlines or other locations unsuited for human settlement.”
Ms. Wahlström said that the development year had started this March with the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, a 15-year package endorsed by the UN General Assembly, which sets out clear targets for a substantial reduction in disaster losses, including mortality, numbers of people affected, economic losses and damage to critical infrastructure including schools and hospitals.
Professor Debarati Guha-Sapir, head of CRED, said: “Climate change, climate variability and weather events are a threat to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’ overall target of eliminating poverty. We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle other risk drivers such as unplanned urban development, environmental degradation and gaps in early warnings. This all requires ensuring people are risk informed and strengthening institutions which manage disaster risk.”
KEY DETAILS FROM THE REPORT
Asia accounts for the lion’s share of disaster impacts including 332,000 deaths and 3.7 billion people affected. The death toll in Asia included 138,000 deaths caused by Cyclone Nargis which struck Myanmar in 2008.
In total, an average of 335 weather-related disasters were recorded per year between 2005 and 2014, an increase of 14% from 1995-2004, and almost twice the level recorded during 1985-1995.
The extent of the toll taken by disasters on society is revealed by other statistics from CRED’s Emergency Events Data Base, or EM-DAT: 87 million homes were damaged or destroyed over the period of the survey.
Floods accounted for 47% of all weather-related disasters from 1995-2015, affecting 2.3 billion people and killing 157,000. Storms were the deadliest type of weather-related disaster, accounting for 242,000 deaths or 40% of the global weather-related deaths, with 89% of these deaths occurring in lower-income countries.
Overall, heatwaves accounted for 148,000 of the 164,000 lives lost due to extreme temperatures. 92% of heatwave deaths occurred in high-income countries, with Europe accounting for 90%.
Drought affects Africa more than any other continent, with EM-DAT recoding 136 events there between 1995 and 2015, including 77 droughts in East Africa alone. The report recommends that there needs to be improved data collection on indirect deaths from drought.
More information about the report: http://www.unisdr.org/2015/docs/climatechange/COP21_WeatherDisastersReport_2015_FINAL.pdf
Up to 6,000 people remain displaced following fighting in southern Shan State between the Myanmar military and Shan State Army which began on 6 Oct. Clashes continue causing both new and secondary displacements of civilians. Those displaced are staying in monasteries and temporary sites. Assessments conducted by INGOs and local CSOs have identified immediate needs in shelter, hygiene kits, clothing, blankets, food, health and water and sanitation. Some INGOs have provided initial support including NFIs, hygiene, family and shelter kits in close collaboration with local CSOs, who are leading the response. Access remains challenging due to insecurity.
6,000 people displaced
As of 23 Nov, almost 113,000 people in 4 districts are affected by heavy rains since 13 Nov with the Northern Province the most seriously impacted. Currently, almost 760 people are displaced in 12 evacuation centres. The District Disaster Management Unit is responding and no request for assistance was issued. While conditions in flood-affected districts are improving, the Department of Irrigation reports that 27 major reservoirs out of a total 72 reservoirs are overspilling and spill gates were opened to control the water levels. In addition, many other medium and small scale reservoirs are also overspilling and breaches were reported in at least 5 reservoirs in Anuradhapura district.
113,000 people affected
The evolving El Niño has resulted in serious stress on water resources in parts of Fiji, especially the outer islands and remote rural areas. Rainfall recorded in October around Fiji was mostly below average. During Oct, Ono island in southern Lau reported just nine millimetres of rain, or about 10 per cent or the average for this location in Oct. Many other stations reported monthly rainfall below one third of their monthly average. 67,000 people are currently targeted with government water deliveries.
The National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), together with local disaster management agencies (BPBDs) of affected provinces in Kalimantan and Sumatra are conducting evaluation meetings on the fires and haze response. This will lead to agreed preparedness actions for 2016.
BNPB is preparing a draft Presidential Regulation for Forest and Land Fires Management. As of today, 23 Nov, forest fires are completely doused due to recent rainfall and all haze has dispersed.
Mount Sinabung erupted on 17 Nov spewing volcanic ash and causing lava flow down the south-southeast slopes. Its status is maintained at the highest level since 2 Jun 2015, forcing over 9,320 people to remain at temporary displacements.
9,320 people displaced
Typhoon In-fa (known locally as Marilyn) weakened and slowed as it entered the Philippines Area of Responsibility (PAR) on 22 Nov, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). As of 23 Nov, In-fa was located at 1,095 km east of Baler municipality, Aurora province with maximum sustained winds of 150 kph near the center and is forecast to move west northwest at 13 kph. According to current projections, the typhoon is expected to exit PAR on 27 November
Following an assessment of flood damage and recovery efforts in Tamil Nadu, the Chief Minister requested additional support from national government for immediate rescue and relief efforts. Extremely heavy and sustained rainfall has claimed 169 lives since 1 Oct. Relief efforts are currently being undertaken by the National Disaster Response Force, Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard. No request for international assistance has been mad
BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, Nov. 21 (PIA) – Typhoon victims here and in Quirino province recently received relief packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Viennalyn Rafallo, social welfare officer of DSWD regional office, said 4,130 food packs were allotted for Nueva Vizcaya while 10,947 were distributed in the neighboring province of Quirino.
“These were contained in 17 trailer trucks and were turned-over to the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO). These were given to the typhoon victims in various municipalities,” she said.
The food packs, each contained six kilograms of rice, six pieces canned goods and 6 pieces of 3 in 1 coffee are part of the 24, 000 relief assistance delivered by the DSWD in Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces.
The 4,130 food packs serves as an augmentation support of the national government in the province, particularly in the towns of Alfonso Castaneda, Bambang, Bayombong, Dupax del Sur, Sta. Fe and Villaverde.
Rafallo said the remaining 9,800 food packs will be delivered to the regional office as contingency supply for other typhoon-related assistance activities.
Earlier, the provincial government also distributed 4, 800 food packs in the 15 towns of the province.
Another 1, 700 food packs were distributed to five towns due to increasing number of affected families with an additional of 300 food packs for Bambang, 200 food packs for Kasibu, 100 food packs for Sta. Fe, 400 food packs for Dupax Del Sur and 700 hundred food packs for Alfonso Castaneda. (ALM/BME/PIA 2-Nueva Vizcaya)
Philippines: Household Cash Transfer Assessment - Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Response - Promoting Resilient and Sustainable Livelihoods, June 2015
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.” .
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.
By: Marcelo B. Lihgawon
TINOC, Ifugao, Nov. 20(PIA) - - The impact of typhoon "Lando" in the province has forced leaders of six municipalities and a barangay in the province to declare their respective places under state of calamity .
The Sangguniang Bayan (SB) members of Asipulo, Aguinaldo, Banaue, Hungduan, Lagawe and Tinoc and the barangay council of Namnama in Alfonso Lista town passed resolutions placing their areas in state of calamity due to the damages on various infrastructure projects and agricultural crops brought about by typhoon “Lando” which battered the country recently.
Officials of said municipalities stated that “Lando” caused much destruction to agriculture and infrastructure projects hence the need to rehabilitate the damages and provide assistance to affected families.
In a report released on November 16, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) stated that the province has incurred more than P73 million estimated cost of damages brought by typhoon “Lando”.
Damages to infrastructure reached P37,058,698 while P36,219,400.13 for agriculture, 45 houses were totally damaged and 549 partially damaged. There were also four dead.
Relief goods and cash assistance were given to affected barangays provided by the provincial and concerned municipal governments. (JDP/MBL- PIA CAR, Ifugao)
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, email@example.com, FOR MEDIA ONLY
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
This report examines trends over the first half of 2015 in both open-source and agency-reported data. We are pleased that this quarterly security analysis includes information from 11 contributing agencies - one more than last quarter. As compared to last quarter, this edition contains more reported incidents both from open sources (88, up from 51) and agencies (223, up from 198). As described below, many of the additional reported incidents affected humanitarian infrastructure and occurred in Africa and the Middle East. The number of reported severe events remained constant between the first and second quarters of 2015.
This edition introduces a basic incident rate for hotspot countries, calculated using the number of reported events divided by the number of contributing agencies present in a country (see box, page 6). The regional maps on pages 7 to 11 show those countries that appear on both the total incident and incident rate hot spot lists in orange.
The three hotspot rankings below (open source, incident count, and incident rate) illustrate three options for determining the most insecure countries for humanitarian agencies. Each of the methods illustrates only a selective part of the picture, underlining the fact that each remains an imperfect measure in the absence of better data.
We also carefully examined open-source and agency-reported events to avoid double counting the same event. In this edition, we indicate the origin of the data as open source (OS), agency reported (AR) or dual source events (DE), which refer to events reported in both sources. To our surprise, we discovered only seven events reported by contributing agencies and in open sources over the first six months of 2015. This represents 1.4 percent of all events (8/562) and raises questions about overall scale of threats and violence that affect humanitarian aid.
Page 4 and 5 are dedicated to Yemen. They discuss incidents reported between January and June 2015 in open sources and by the four contributing agencies present in the country.
1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
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
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
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).
In this shared experience, the Philippine Red Cross recounts the challenges it encountered and how it overcame them when fighting broke out between Philippine government forces and a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front in September 2013. During the violence, the National Society suffered a security incident. By describing the actions it took in response and the lessons it learnt, the Philippine Red Cross hopes to help other National Societies facing similar challenges to their acceptance, security and access.