Philippines - ReliefWeb News
Manila (ICRC) – To help alleviate the plight of communities affected by the El Niño phenomenon, food rations were distributed to over 29,000 people in two drought-hit municipalities in North Cotabato province in central Mindanao.
In addition to facing the consequences of armed violence that has persisted for decades, thousands of farmers are now also bearing the brunt of drought as their farmlands are getting drier by the day.
"The last harvest was very poor for some farmers in North Cotabato; others experienced total crop failure. They have had difficulties coping, especially as they live in interior and upland villages," said Dominic Earnshaw, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) office in Cotabato City.
"By providing food to the affected families, we aim to help them save their seeds for the next planting season," he explained.
On 26-30 April, the ICRC, together with the Philippine Red Cross, provided food to farming families from 15 far-flung villages in President Roxas and Magpet municipalities of North Cotabato.
The food rations – covering a family's needs for one month – consisted of 25 kilograms of rice, 24 tins of sardines, 2 liters of cooking oil, 2 liters of soy sauce, 2 kilograms of sugar and 1 kilogram of salt, as well as basic hygiene items.
"We have experienced drought in the past, but what is happening now is the worst. No one is spared. Our livelihoods are adversely affected," said 56-year-old Isias Buned, chief of Sundungan village in President Roxas, North Cotabato. "We never thought the Red Cross would deliver relief from the consequences of the dry spell."
The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization whose mandate is to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence. It has had an established presence in the Philippines for over 70 years and a permanent presence in Mindanao since 1982.
For further information, please contact:
Lany de la Cruz, ICRC Cotabato, tel: 0999 887 0985
Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Manila, tel: 0918 907 2125
Temerloh, Malaysia | Friday 4/29/2016 - 03:16 GMT
By Satish Cheney
Withering drought and sizzling temperatures from El Nino have caused food and water shortages and ravaged farming across Asia, and experts warn of a double-whammy of possible flooding from its sibling, La Nina.
The current El Nino which began last year has been one of the strongest ever, leaving the Mekong River at its lowest level in decades, causing food-related unrest in the Philippines, and smothering vast regions in a months-long heat wave often topping 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
Economic losses in Southeast Asia could top $10 billion, IHS Global Insight told AFP.
The regional fever is expected to break by mid-year but fears are growing that an equally forceful La Nina will follow.
That could bring heavy rain to an already flood-prone region, exacerbating agricultural damage and leaving crops vulnerable to disease and pests.
"The situation could become even worse if a La Nina event -- which often follows an El Nino -- strikes towards the end of this year," Stephen O'Brien, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and relief, said this week.
He said El Nino has already left 60 million people worldwide requiring "urgent assistance," particularly in Africa.
Wilhemina Pelegrina, a Greenpeace campaigner on agriculture, said La Nina could be "devastating" for Asia, bringing possible "flooding and landslides which can impact on food production."
El Nino is triggered by periodic oceanic warming in the eastern Pacific Ocean which can trigger drought in some regions, heavy rain in others.
Much of Asia has been punished by a bone-dry heat wave marked by record-high temperatures, threatening the livelihoods of countless millions.Millions left out to dry
Vietnam, one of the world's top rice exporters, has been particularly hard-hit by its worst drought in a century.
In the economically vital Mekong Delta bread basket, the mighty river's vastly reduced flow has left up to 50 percent of arable land affected by salt-water intrusion that harms crops and can damage farmland, said Le Anh Tuan, a professor of climate change at Can Tho University.
More than 500,000 people are short of drinking water, while hotels, schools and hospitals are struggling to maintain clean-water supplies.
Neighbouring Thailand and Cambodia also are suffering, with vast areas short of water and Thai rice output curbed.
In Malaysia, the extreme weather has shrunk reservoirs, dried up agricultural lands, forced water rationing in some areas, and caused repeated school closures as a health precaution.
Fisherman Abdul Rafar Matarrh said his daily catch in central Malaysia's Pahang River has been decimated as the normally broad river has shrunk to a third its size, leaving dead fish to rot in the dry bed.
"Last year I could catch about 20 kilos (44 pounds) of fish a day. Now, to get one kilo is very hard," said Abdul Rafar, 80, after netting just one small fish in an entire morning under an unforgiving sun.
In India, about 330 million people are at risk from water shortages and crop damage, the government said recently, and blazing temperatures have been blamed for scores of heat-stroke deaths and dead livestock.
Authorities in Palau warned recently the tiny Pacific island nation could completely dry up soon in a "total water outage".'Things will get worse'
As a result, rice prices have risen this year but the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization and other experts say a major food crisis is not yet imminent as stocks remain ample.
But warning signs have already emerged -- two people were killed in early April in the drought-ravaged southern Philippines when police reportedly clashed with thousands of farmers protesting over food shortages.
With La Nina looming, the situation has laid bare the region's lack of preparedness for the extreme weather swings expected to result from climate change, said Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific Chief Economist at IHS Global Insight.
"What tends to happen is that they (governments) talk about it in the immediate time there is a crisis and then one year later they forget about it and move on," he said, adding that "things will get worse."
More investment is needed in agricultural infrastructure, irrigation and water storage systems, desalination technologies and insurance coverage for farmers, he said.
Calling the global situation "truly alarming", the UN's O'Brien said Tuesday this year's El Nino spotlights the need for global cooperation to brace against the extreme weather.
"We must respond quickly to immediate, life-threatening needs, but we must also help people to become more self-reliant, and build individual and community capacity to respond to future shocks," he said.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development –Field Office VI (DSWD-FO VI) will release the shelter assistance, amounting to P8.2 million, for the municipality of San Dionisio in Iloilo by the first week of May, assured DSWD- FO VI Regional Director Rebecca Geamala.
The Municipality of San Dionisio is one of those where the DSWD implements directly the payout of the shelter assistance in as much as the local government unit does not have exemption from the election ban.
The assistance will be released in partnership with a religious group in the town considering that it is election period.
Dir. Geamala met with the representatives of the different barangays of the town who flocked at the DSWD compound early Monday asking for clarification as to when will their shelter assistance be released.
“Even before you came to our office, we have already scheduled the release of the assistance for your town,” Dir. Geamala said.
The shelter assistance is intended for 828 families whose houses were partially damaged by Typhoon Yolanda which hit the Western Visayas Region in 2013.
Dir. Geamala explained that the delay in the release of the aid was due to the need to revalidate the list of beneficiaries after receiving complaints that families with totally damaged houses were classified under partially damaged and vice-versa.
Overall, DSWD-FO VI has released P8.2 billion in shelter assistance as of the first quarter of 2016. ###
ZIKA VIRUS DISEASE, MICROCEPHALY AND GUILLAIN-BARRÉ SYNDROME
As of 27 April, 55 countries and territories report continuing mosquito-borne transmission; for 42 countries this is their first documented Zika virus outbreak (Fig. 1).
Mosquito-borne transmission (Table 1):
42 countries are experiencing a first outbreak of Zika virus since 2015, with no previous evidence of circulation, and with ongoing transmission by mosquitos.
13 countries reported evidence of Zika virus transmission between 2007 and 2014, with ongoing transmission.
Four countries or territories have reported an outbreak since 2015 that is now over:
Cook Islands, French Polynesia, ISLA DE PASCUA – Chile and YAP (Federated States of Micronesia.
Person-to-person transmission (Table 2):
Nine countries have reported evidence of person-to-person transmission of Zika virus, probably via a sexual route.
In the week to 27 April, no additional countries reported mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission. Canada is the latest country to report person-to-person transmission.
Microcephaly and other fetal malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection or suggestive of congenital infection have been reported in six countries or territories (Table 3). Two cases, each linked to a stay in Brazil, were detected in Slovenia and the United States of America. One additional case, linked to a brief stay in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, was detected in a pregnant woman in the United States of America.
In the context of Zika virus circulation, 13 countries and territories worldwide have reported an increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and/or laboratory confirmation of a Zika virus infection among GBS cases (Table 4).
Based on research to date, there is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and GBS.
The global prevention and control strategy launched by the World Health Organization as a Strategic Response Framework encompasses surveillance, response activities and research. Key interventions are being undertaken jointly by WHO and international, regional and national partners in response to this public health emergency (Table 5).
WHO has developed new advice and information on diverse topics in the context of Zika virus. WHO’s latest information materials, news and resources to support risk communication, and community engagement are available online.
SIMUAY, Sultan Kudarat, Apr. 29 -- Decommissioned members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are set to start a new chapter in their lives after graduating from their respective intensive skills training courses. The graduating batch was awarded their certificates of training completion in a simple ceremony held at the Old Provincial Capitol last April 25.
The trainings were provided by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and included courses on bread and pastry production, driving, carpentry, cookery, motorcycle/small engine repair, dressmaking/tailoring, automotive servicing, electrical installation and maintenance, welding, and entrepreneurship.
During the ceremony, Government Peace Panel Chair Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said that the decommissioned combatants play very important roles in the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).
“[T]his is one way of showing your co-Filipinos that the MILF is sincere in its signed agreements with the government,” Ferrer said, as she addressed the graduates.
The Panel Chair also noted that even with the non-passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the government and the MILF “are still here to continue what has been started,” highlighting the commitment of both parties to uphold the different components of the Bangsamoro peace process.
Meanwhile, MILF-Task Force for the Decommissioned Combatants and their Communities (TFDCC) Deputy Chief of Staff Hussein Munoz reminded the former combatants to be guided by the principles of “mujahideen” or “those on a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual discipline.”
He called on them to “continue the peace process until the next administration” and to use their newly acquired skills to benefit their children, families, and communities.
Said training activities are components of the socio-economic programs under the Normalization Annex of the CAB--the peace agreement signed by the government and the MILF after more than 17 years of negotiations.
Following the completion of said trainings, the decommissioned MILF combatants will start to implement their business proposals under the Sustainable Livelihood Program from DSWD. Their proposals vary from setting up buy-and-sell businesses, putting up sari-sari stores, and requesting supplemental capital in support of their starter toolkits, among others.
To fully ensure a smooth implementation of their proposals, assistant development workers from DSWD will continue to provide technical assistance. On-the-job training placements in different business establishments in Maguindanao or Cotabato City will also be facilitated.
Furthermore, farming/fishery assistance from the Department of Agrarian Reform and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources will be awarded towards the third quarter of the year.
Such undertakings, according to Ferrer, prove that “the government, through its different participating line agencies, remains committed in delivering what have been agreed upon under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.”
The decommissioning process of the MILF is part of the signed CAB. Its first phase was completed last June 2015 where 145 combatants were registered and 75 high-powered and crew-serve weapons were turned over to the government. This milestone was immensely acclaimed by the international community and is one of the reasons why the Philippines is seen as a world model in peace processes.
Once a Bangsamoro Basic Law is passed in Congress, several thousands of MILF combatants and weapons will be processed for decommissioning. All decommissioned combatants will receive the same socio-economic packages and training opportunities that would enable them to transition to productive, civilian lives. (OPAPP)
105,000 people in Luzon and Mindanao were provided with food and cash assistance in March to improve their food security.
WFP has been providing technical support to the Government in conducting the Emergency Food Security Assessment to assess the impact of El Niño in Mindanao.
Ongoing military operation against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Mindanao triggers sporadic armed encounters which impact WFP operations in the area.
The PRRO targets around half a million people affected by protracted conflict in Central Mindanao as well as typhoon-affected communities in Visayas and Mindanao. The assistance is tailored to reach the most vulnerable in areas where poverty, nutrition and basic education indicators remain well below the national average. WFP supports internally displaced people and returnees through marketsensitive food assistance-for-assets options, school meals, and stunting prevention programmes for children under two years of age and pregnant and nursing women.
Through the Disaster Preparedness and Response Programme under this PRRO, WFP implements initiatives such as capacity development trainings, installation of early warning systems, and community-based risk mitigation activities, to support local government units, academic institutions, civil society and NGOs in strengthening disaster preparedness and risk reduction mechanisms.
This operation also features capacity augmentation and policy development components to optimise the disaster response structures and policy frameworks of the Government of the Philippines in support of the Philippine Development Plan (2011–2016).
The Special Operation aims to enhance the disaster response capability of the Government of the Philippines in areas of logistics and supply chain management to ensure that WFP is ready to activate response options at scale in a timely manner and in alignment with government relief mechanisms.
Building on the key learnings from the Typhoon Haiyan emergency in 2013/2014, the operation aims to mitigate potential implementation bottlenecks and challenges as identified during the large-scale humanitarian response.
The establishment of a network of disaster response facilities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, in support of an improved and decentralised emergency response network, is a key element of the operation. WFP also provides technical assistance and trainings for government counterparts on practical, operational and strategic logistics.
The island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines is rich in resources as well as population diversity. It is also home to a violent patchwork of sometimes-overlapping armed groups. These include Islamist revolutionaries as well as extremist militants, communist rebels, paramilitaries, clan-based private armies, and networks of organised crime.
Read the full report here.
This study examines the institutional networks required to link processes of community-level deliberation to city- and national-level processes of decision-making and implementation. In 2010, the Philippine government introduced a resettlement programme that would remove all informal settlers living along vulnerable waterways in Metro Manila. The introduction of the People’s Plan as the legal framework for the programme has become a formidable tool to address the exclusionary patterns of governance and development that perpetuate informality and push informal settlers to the peripheries of social, economic and political life in the cities. The People’s Plan is expected to improve outcomes for housing and resettlement within the city for the informal settler families in the urban sprawl. However, communities have to comply with the complicated rules and procedures of different agencies and engage with various stakeholders that have disconnected programmes and policies and different interests. The findings of the study can be summarised as follows: The People’s Plan framework unleashed energy and dynamics among stakeholders to address practical matters and open up public and institutional spaces to forge new roles and rules that fit changed circumstances. The People’s Plan as a process raised awareness and harnessed the selfinitiative, self-responsibility and self-reliance of communities, which are important elements for community resilience. Essentially, the People’s Plan is a transformation of the poor and marginalised from ‘informal’ to active citizenship. The research was guided by the following questions:
■ Will the People’s Plan enable poor and marginalised citizens to form new, more empowered types of relationship with the state, civil society and other stakeholders?
■ Will it reshape institutional rules and the planning and decision-making process of the government’s housing and resettlement scheme?
■ What lessons can be taken from the People’s Plan with regard to how ‘climate resilience’ can be built into urban governance programme and planning?
Le présent rapport, qui porte sur la période allant de janvier à décembre 2015, est soumis en application de la résolution 63/282 de l’Assemblée générale, dans laquelle celle-ci a prié le Secrétaire général de lui présenter chaque année un rapport sur le Fonds pour la consolidation de la paix.
Le Fonds pour la consolidation de la paix a franchi plusieurs étapes importantes en 2015, notamment en mettant en oeuvre sa première initiative transfrontière, le long de la frontière entre le Kirghizistan et le Tadjikistan, et en allouant plus de 15 % de ses investissements à la promotion de l’autonomisation des femmes. Grâce à une gestion souple des ressources du Fonds dans des pays en situation de crise, notamment au Burundi, au Mali et au Yémen et dans les pays touchés par le virus Ebola, des projets essentiels pour les droits de l’homme et la sécurité ont été maintenus dans des lieux qui ne bénéficiaient plus de l’appui de la plupart des donateurs. Malgré ces avancées, la baisse des financements signifie que les fonds disponibles commencent à ne plus correspondre aux besoins.
Ainsi que cela a été établi dans le cadre d’examens mondiaux indépendants, il faudra consacrer des ressources suffisantes et prévisibles à la consolidation de la paix pour que le Fonds puisse continuer à s’acquitter de son rôle universellement reconnu, qui consiste à appuyer la consolidation de la paix dès ses premiers stades et dans des situations présentant des risques élevés et à promouvoir la cohérence à l’échelle du système des Nations Unies.
- Le présent rapport annuel, qui porte sur la période allant du 1er janvier au 31 décembre 2015, est le sixième établi en application de la résolution 63/282 de l’Assemblée générale. Il sera complété par un rapport financier que le Bureau des fonds d’affectation spéciale pluripartenaires publiera le 1er mai 2016 au plus tard. On trouvera des renseignements complémentaires sur le site du Fonds pour la consolidation de la paix (www.unpbf.org) et des informations détaillées concernant les différents projets mis en oeuvre sur le portail du Bureau des fonds d’affectation spéciale pluripartenaires (http://mptf.undp.org).
II. Résultats mondiaux et enseignements tirés de l’expérience
2. L’année 2015 a été marquée par d’importantes analyses du rôle que l’Organisation des Nations Unies joue en matière d’établissement et de maintien de la paix, à savoir l’examen du Groupe indépendant de haut niveau chargé d’étudier les opérations de paix, l’examen du dispositif de consolidation de la paix des Nations Unies et l’examen de haut niveau de la mise en oeuvre de la résolution 1325 (2000) du Conseil de sécurité, qui ont confirmé l’importance que le Fonds pour la consolidation de la paix revêt en encourageant une mobilisation engagée sur le plan politique à l’échelle du système et en promouvant l’unité d’action en situation de crise. Principal pilier du dispositif de consolidation de la paix, le Bureau d’appui à la consolidation de la paix se félicite des recommandations issues de ces examens et a déjà commencé à en mettre en oeuvre un grand nombre.
3. La nécessité d’une collaboration accrue entre la Commission de consolidation de la paix et le Fonds pour la consolidation de la paix, soulignée lors de l’examen du dispositif de consolidation de la paix, a été exprimée dès le mois de juin lors de la session annuelle de la Commission, au cours de laquelle les participants ont fermement mis en garde contre les dangers d’un système de financement fragmentaire et ne disposant pas des moyens nécessaires. Ces préoccupations ont également été évoquées lors d’une réunion informelle sur la Somalie – l’un des pays bénéficiaires du Fonds − organisée par la Commission en novembre, au cours de laquelle les participants sont convenus de l’importance cruciale de disposer d’un financement prévisible et cohérent. À la faveur de cette dynamique, à compter de 2016, le Fonds demandera à la Commission d’organiser des discussions informelles sur les ambitions pour les cinq années à venir des nouveaux pays admis à bénéficier de ses projets.
4. Les appels en faveur du renforcement du partenariat avec les institutions financières internationales qui ont été lancés dans le cadre des examens reconnaissent implicitement l’importance de la cohérence, pour ce qui est non seulement des projets de consolidation de la paix mais aussi de l’élaboration des stratégies de développement ultérieures. Dans cette optique, le Bureau d’appui à la consolidation de la paix et la Banque mondiale ont accru leur coopération en 2015, la Banque ayant accueilli en novembre la réunion semestrielle du Groupe consultatif du Fonds. En plus d’ouvrir la voie à des évaluations communes de la situation en République centrafricaine et en Somalie, cette réunion a également mis en relief les progrès accomplis en ce qui concerne l’examen thématique de l’emploi et de la consolidation de la paix, une initiative réunissant le Bureau d’appui à la consolidation de la paix, la Banque mondiale, le Programme des Nations Unies pour le développement (PNUD) et l’Organisation internationale du Travail (OIT). À l’issue de cette réunion, le Fonds et la Banque mondiale ont tenu leur première réunion trimestrielle visant à planifier des approches communes de la conception, du suivi et de l’évaluation de projets, l’objectif étant de mieux harmoniser leurs travaux à l’avenir.
The present report, which covers the period from January to December 2015, is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 63/282, in which the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit an annual report on the Peacebuilding Fund.
The Peacebuilding Fund celebrated a number of milestones in 2015, including the launch of its first cross-border initiative along the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border and the allocation of over 15 per cent of investments to support women’s empowerment. Flexible management of the Fund in crisis-affected countries, including Burundi, Mali and Yemen and Ebola-affected countries, ensured that critical human rights and security initiatives were maintained in settings from which most donors had withdrawn their support. Despite these gains, waning finances have begun to limit the availability of funds to match demand.
As recognized by independent global reviews, sufficient and predictable resources for peacebuilding will be needed for the Peacebuilding Fund to continue to realize its universally recognized role of supporting early, high-risk peacebuilding and promoting system-wide coherence.
- The present annual report, which covers the period from 1 January to 31 December 2015, is the sixth report submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 63/282. It will be complemented by a financial report to be issued by the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office no later than 1 May 2016. Additional information is available from www.unpbf.org, and complete information on individual projects is available on the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office Gateway (http://mptf.undp.org).
II. Global performance and lessons learned
2. The year 2015 was dominated by key reviews of the role of the United Nations in making and sustaining peace, namely, the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, the review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture and the High-level review of the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), which validated the Peacebuilding Fund’s role in incentivizing a system-wide, politically engaged response and in promoting coherence in crisis settings. As a central pillar within the peacebuilding architecture, the Peacebuilding Support Office welcomes the recommendations of those reviews, many of which it has already begun to implement.
3. The call by the review of the peacebuilding architecture for greater engagement between the Peacebuilding Commission and the Fund was advanced as early as June at the Commission’s annual session, during which participants issued a strong warning about the dangers of a fragmented and underresourced funding system. Those concerns were echoed during an informal meeting on Somalia — a Fund-recipient country — hosted by the Commission in November, at which participants agreed on the critical importance of predictable and coherent funding. Building upon that momentum, starting in 2016, the Fund will approach the Commission to host informal discussions on the five-year vision of newly eligible Fund-recipient countries.
4. Calls by the reviews for strengthened partnership with international financial institutions implicitly recognize the importance of coherence, not just in relation to peacebuilding initiatives, but also to the development strategies that follow. In that spirit, the Peacebuilding Support Office and the World Bank solidified their cooperation in 2015, with the Bank hosting the semi-annual meeting of the Fund’s Advisory Group in November. In addition to mapping the way forward on joint evaluations in the Central African Republic and Somalia, the meeting also highlighted progress on the thematic review of employment and peacebuilding, an initiative bringing together the Peacebuilding Support Office, the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). Following the meeting, the Fund and the World Bank held their first quarterly meeting to plan joint approaches to project design, monitoring and evaluation to better align their work in the future.
27 April 2016, Manila, Philippines – The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched today a new project that aims to sustain peace efforts in Mindanao.
EU Ambassador Franz Jessen and UNDP Philippines Country Director Titon Mitra presented the "Support Peace-Bangsamoro Project" that will be implemented from 2016 to mid-2017.
With funding of € 1.2 million (Php63 million) from EU, UNDP will implement the Support PeaceBangsamoro project that aims to a) support capacity-building for local leaders and other stakeholders on public administration and parliamentary processes, b) strengthen the constituency for peacebuilding in the Bangsamoro, including establishing partnerships with local government units and civil society organizations c) develop platforms that will enable the youth and women to actively engage in peacebuilding, and d) provide support to the Third Party Monitoring of the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
EU Ambassador Franz Jessen said: “We would like to keep the dialogue open to strengthen peacebuilding efforts even in the grassroots level. This initiative would contribute to ensuring participation of all stakeholders especially women and children in local processes, decision-making and conflict mitigation for sustainable peace."
"The EU recognizes UNDP’s experience and expertise on implementing peacebuilding projects and we are pleased that our partnership will continue.” UNDP Philippines Country Director Titon Mitra said, “The security situation in conflict affected areas in Mindanao is potentially volatile with the non-passage of the legislation to create a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. Peacebuilding efforts need to be deepened and this project will make an important contribution to the difficult but critical process of securing a lasting peace. UNDP and the EU have a long-standing partnership on and commitment to peacebuilding initiatives in Mindanao.”
For more information, please contact:
Jaclyn Grey, Communications Associate, UNDP Philippines
+63917 581 0495 || email@example.com
Alma Evangelista, Team Leader, Recovery and Peacebuilding Unit, UNDP Philippines
Website: www.ph.undp.org || Twitter: @UNDPPH || On Facebook: www.facebook.com/undp.ph
Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines
Thelma Gecolea, Public Affairs Officer
Phone: +63 2 859-5124
e-mail : Thelma.Gecolea@eeas.europa.eu
Website : http: //eeas.europa.eu/delegations/philippines
COTABATO CITY, Apr. 27 (PIA) – As the number of municipalities being affected of the continuous dry spell increases, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) conducts six days of simultaneous relief operations in the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.
Thirteen municipalities are heavily affected by the El Niño phenomenon, 10 in Maguindanao and 3 in Lanao del Sur.
The distribution started on April 19-21 and will continue on April 28-30, 2016.
According to ARMM’s Executive Secretary Lawyer Laisa Alamia, the relief assistance will help mitigate the ill effects of the drought among residents in hardest hit areas.
“The focus of the regional government now is to provide their basic needs such as food, water, medicines and seedlings,” Alamia said.
She added, a state of calamity has been declared in the provinces of Maguindanao and Basilan.
Alamia stressed that the funds used for the relief operations were from the regional government.
The relief distribution is a joint effort of various line agencies in the region including the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and ARMM Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (HEART).
The 10-municipalities in Maguindanao are Ampatuan, Buldon, Barira, North Upi, South Upi, Montawal, Shariff Aguak, Pagalungan, Datu Piang and Shariff Saydona Mustapha while in Lanao del Sur composed of Poona Bayabao, Taraka and Wao.
Meanwhile, ARMM-Regional Planning and Development Office (RPDO) Executive Director, Engr. Baintan Ampatuan said that various programs and projects have been launched to benefit thousands of households affected by the extreme weather situation.
Ampatuan added, current efforts include relief distribution, information, education and communication drive on the effects of El Niño, stronger coordination with local government units and massive seedling production in preparation for the planting season.
Based on the RPDO-ARMM report, about 19, 359 hectares planted to rice, corn and high-value commercial crops in 84 municipalities in the region with 462,740 residents have been affected by the dry spell.(IBEroy/PBChangco-PIA Cotabato City with report from BPI-ARMM)
Philippines: Drone mission in drought-stricken Iloilo to help strengthen disaster assessment protocols
ILOILO CITY, April 27 (PIA6) – Drones were flown over agricultural areas in drought-stricken Iloilo Province to advance aerial assessment procedures and inform disaster preparedness and response efforts.
The mission was deployed by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as a follow on to the launch of its joint initiative in March, which integrates the use of drone technology in agriculture disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM).
“Closely observing the extent of damage experienced in the province could help technical experts in determining areas for improvement in the drone mapping methodology that is currently being developed by DA with the support of FAO,” said FAO Representative in the Philippines José Luis Fernández in a press report shared to PIA-6 by UN-FAO.
Based on DA reports, more than 25 000 hectares of agricultural areas in Iloilo have been affected by prolonged dry spells. Preliminary assessments also indicate that it is among the provinces with the largest number of farmers struggling from the impacts of the current El Niño.
In Passi City, rice farmers have reported experiencing as much as a 75 percent drop in harvest during the last cropping season. Data-rich maps generated from drone flights in Passi City and Pototan Municipality will allow DA technical specialists to provide sound and evidence-based recommendations. The two-day mission covered approximately 800 hectares.
“This exercise serves as a litmus test for the drone protocols for aerial risk and damage assessment that we have developed over the past year and are continuing to improve. The information we gather here will be useful for immediate- and medium-term planning, and can facilitate better-informed decision-making on how we respond to crises and at the same time improve disaster preparedness among farmers,” said Director Christopher Morales of the DA Field Operations Service.
DA and FAO are coordinating with local government units and other relevant Government agencies to deploy a series of drone flights in other disaster-affected provinces.
“Employing modern technologies and scientific tools will be instrumental in achieving our anti-hunger and poverty goals, especially in the most vulnerable agricultural areas,” Fernández added.
FAO has been backstopping the Government’s DRRM agenda since 2009 through a series of projects including a recently concluded multi-country project funded by the European Commission Human Aid and Civil Protection Department. The project facilitated the dissemination of stress-tolerant rice varieties and risk reducing practices to farmers and fisherfolk in highly vulnerable communities. FAO also assisted DA in the formulation of a national DRRM strategy for agriculture and fisheries. (UN-FAO/PIA6)
DAVAO CITY April 26 (PIA)–A total of P 89,399,915.75 to date was provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development-XI (DSWD-XI) to help out families affected by the drought due to El Niňo.
Under the Cash-For-Work for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (CCAM), a total of P 80.2-million was extended to 15 municipalities in Davao Del Sur and Davao Occidental, said Assistant Regional Director for Operations of DSWD Rebecca A. Santamaria.
Benefiting 38,483 El Niňo-affected families, CCAM covered canal de-silting and de-clogging, dike repair, coastal clean up and vegetation, river dredging, mangrove planting and rehabilitation, seawall expansion, road clearing and rehabilitation, repair of day care center and barangay hall, garbage clean up, tree planting, among others.
On the other hand, the latest release on family food packs was to the 1,540 IP farmers in barangays Marilog Proper, Suawan, Gumitan, Upian, and Pegalongan, all in Marilog District. DSWD had earlier distributed 2,000 family food packs in Barangay Malamba, also of Marilog District.
Santamaria said each family received 25 kilos rice, 16 cans sardines, 16 cans corned beef and 24 sachets of 3-in-1 coffee.
Food packs were also distributed to families across the region. In Carmen Davao del Norte 3,000 food packs were given, there were 1,000 food packs in Maco, Compostela Valley; 5,129 in Sta. Cruz, Davao Del Sur; 1,447 in Cateel, Davao Oriental and 4000 released for the province of Davao Del Sur.
About P 9,19- million worth of family food packs have been released to date.
DSWD-XI has pre-prositioned 2,000 food packs in every province and 500 each in all municipalities that have storage area or warehouse.
At the moment, DSWD is conducting validation and assessment in Lupon and San Isidro in Davao Oriental which has requested some 15,463 family food packs, as well as in Sta. Maria, Davao Occidental that requested 10,840 family food packs, Santamaria said.
"Also, we are currently validating some areas in Toril and Calinan including Tugbok District’s barangays Tugbok Proper, Balengaeng, Manuel Guianga, Biao Guinga, Los Amigos, Biao Escuela, Matina Biao, Talandang and Tagakpan that have requested 4,922 food packs,” she added. (RG Alama/PIA XI with DSWD reports)
CEBU – In preparation for emergencies, the Visayas Disaster Response Centre (DRC) was inaugurated today in Mandaue City in Cebu Province by the Philippine government, through the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD, and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
The Visayas disaster response centre is a continuation of the strategic partnership between DSWD and WFP to enhance emergency response capacity in the Philippines. It is funded by the governments of Australia and the United Kingdom.
Inside the 5,000-square meter centre is a custom-built mechanized system designed to rapidly produce 50,000 family food packs in a day, which is enough to feed 250,000 people for three days. Combined with the mechanized production system at the National Resource Operations Centre in Pasay, this will double family food pack production capacity to feed 500,000 people for three days.
The Visayas centre features a pallet racking system for improved storage of food packs and warehousing of food and non-food commodities, guaranteeing quality stockpiles of family food packs and other humanitarian assistance ready for distribution. Spaces for training sessions and offices for the DSWD and the WFP, as well as other government officials, are also available.
The DRC was conceived as a result of the lessons learned from the response to Super Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Typhoon Yolanda. ‘Yolanda’ badly hit the Visayas region and challenged the government in responding to large-scale humanitarian relief requirements.
“Typhoon Haiyan showed that disasters can strike anywhere in the Philippines,” said Praveen Agrawal, WFP Philippines’ Representative and Country Director. “The inauguration of the Visayas disaster response centre is a significant step towards decentralizing the Philippine government’s emergency response. With help from our donors, WFP will continue to support the Philippines by establishing respective DRCs in Luzon and Mindanao.”
WFP will also build a similar centre in Clark, to cater to the Luzon regions and another one in General Santos City, for Mindanao.
“These DRCs bring the humanitarian response of government closest to the people needing support. As in the case of El Nino, these DRCs can make food packages more accessible to disaster-affected areas in all parts of the country,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said.
These centres are all accessible by land, sea and air to ensure the immediate response of the government wherever a disaster strikes in the country. WFP is also providing technical training to key government representatives on disaster response logistics and supply chain management.
The Philippines is considered as one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world exacerbated by climate change, with various natural disasters affecting the country such as typhoons, droughts, earthquakes, and volcanic activities.#
For more information, please contact:
Department of Social Welfare and Development (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Genalor DV Fischer, Information Officer IV, Tel. +63 (02) 951-7440, Mob. +63916-703-3840
World Food Programme - Philippines (Email: FaizzaFarinna.Tanggol@wfp.org)
Faizza Tanggol, Communications Assistant Tel. +63 (02) 750-2561 local 2420, Mob. +63 917 880-9368
World: Asia-Pacific Human Development Report 2016 - Shaping the Future: How changing demographics can power human development
People are the real wealth of nations. The opportunities they have and the choices they make determine the course of human development—nowhere more so than in Asia-Pacific, home to half the world’s population. Asia-Pacific’s future, to a large extent, shapes the world’s future.
This ‘demographic destiny’ is not one with fixed outcomes, however. Beyond the sheer size of its population, Asia-Pacific is in the midst of a historic demographic transition. All countries are at some stage along a continuum where the shares of younger, older and working-age people have begun to shift.
The process builds on human development gains, but also stands to advance them. Making the most of it requires people to be healthy, educated and productive, enjoying well-being at any stage of life.
This Asia-Pacific Human Development Report considers the challenges and opportunities of demographic changes from a human development perspective. It explores how ‘demographic opportunity’ invariably occurs when there is a greater share of people who can work, save and pay taxes compared to lower shares of dependent young and older people. In economic terms alone, the region’s so-called ‘demographic dividend’ is already significant, varying among subregions, but accounting for about 42 percent and 39 percent of economic growth in developed and developing Asia-Pacific countries, respectively, between 1970 and 2010.
These gains have been accompanied in many cases by significant leaps forward in human development.
Fully capitalizing on demographic changes depends greatly on how proactive countries are in steering the process across many arenas—among them, labour markets, economic growth, savings and investment, education, health and nutrition, social protection, migration, the provision of public services and the pace of urbanization. Countries that fail to plan ahead may fall short, as when inadequate investments in education shackle a growing economy since people are poorly equipped for the labour market.
Squandering the demographic opportunity can result as well in losses to human development, as in the failure to invest new resources in pensions so older people can live in dignity.
Today, Asia-Pacific has countries with some of the youngest and oldest populations in the world. But the majority of nations have entered or are on the cusp of a period where working-age people comprise a significant population share. This puts the region as a whole at a favourable juncture to reap the demographic dividend and advance human development—although not for long. Demographic transition in Asia-Pacific not only involves large numbers of people, but also a pace of change more rapid than seen anywhere before, with particular consequences for societies that will be old long before they will be rich.
The implications are increasingly urgent in light of the recently agreed Agenda 2030, which maps an ambitious global vision for sustainable development that must be translated into action within each country. Countries will have to marshal all available resources, consider the most strategic mix of public investments, and explore all possible avenues—including those opened by demographic transition—to achieve the Agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These largely reflect the culmination of thinking that emerged in 1994 at the International Conference on Population and Development.
It explicitly drew attention to the interplay between population and human development, and the potential for unleashing progress by upholding human rights, developing people’s capabilities and protecting dignity throughout the human lifetime.
This report is roughly organized around different stages of demographic transition: at the middle, with a large share of working-age people; at the onset, where societies are very young; and at the end, with an ageing population. Some countries in Asia-Pacific will need to consider all of these stages at the same time, because they bridge different periods of transition within their own populations.
National paths forward will vary widely, but based on the findings of the report, some common priorities apply:
All countries need to factor demographic changes into diverse public policy areas. To leverage opportunities from demographic dynamics and accelerate human development, demographic considerations need to be integrated across core national development plans and strategies. They also should be factored into policies related to economic management, education, health, gender equality, youth, ageing and urbanization, among other issues. This would be consistent with Agenda 2030, where countries commit to take population dynamics into account in national development strategies and policies.
Increased investments in human capabilities are essential. These should be planned carefully against the stage of demographic transition—to help initiate it, to make the most of the dividend and to sustain human development momentum as societies age. Different priorities may be informed by principles of generational balance and fairness, and there should be a focus on enhancing education, health and other capabilities among those who are most vulnerable or marginalized, in line with Agenda 2030. The overarching aim should be to work, over time, towards the universality of services essential to human well-being.
Decent and productive work is fundamental for greater well-being. As the 2015 global Human Development Report argues, decent and productive work is a fundamental driver to enhance human development, and should be readily available to all. Despite 20 million new jobs every year in the last decade in Asia-Pacific, employment still falls short of the needs of burgeoning working-age populations, both in numbers of jobs and their quality. Creating more work opportunities requires strategies such as setting employment targets, formulating an employment-led development plan, building a supportive macroeconomic framework, advancing regulations to protect workers’ rights and safety, and fostering employment-intensive sectors. Targeted actions should reach out to excluded groups, towards realizing the promise of Agenda 2030 to leave no one behind.
Without fully unleashing the power and potential of women, the demographic dividend will remain marginal at best. The region’s generally poor record on gender equality is a loss in terms of meeting internationally agreed human rights standards, and a serious impediment to making the most of the demographic transition and advancing human development. Gender equality should be understood as an immediate policy priority of central importance for women, and for societies and economies as a whole. Achieving the 4th Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality is a top priority—whether that involves political leadership, economic participation, education, public resource allocations, prevention of gender-based violence or any other area of life.
Cooperating more as a region on demographic changes would recognize that many relevant issues transcend borders. One priority might be easing imbalances in migration, since ageing societies may struggle to find workers, while those in the earliest stages of transition face a surplus.
Another could be financial integration. Older populations have savings to invest, while younger ones need to attract capital given large labour pools and the need to boost productivity.
More and better data is needed to gauge and manage demographic changes. High-quality data needs to be geared towards monitoring the demographic profile overall, as well as the impacts of public policy measures aimed at youth, workers, older people and migrants, and related issues such as urbanization. More data and research are necessary on upcoming challenges due to changing epidemiological profiles and technology. This would be consistent with—and might build on—the data revolution called for as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
World: Climate change and health in the Western Pacific Region : synthesis of evidence, profiles of selected countries and policy direction
WHO report highlights health impacts of climate change
The health sector has a vital role to play in order to respond and minimize the threats that climate change poses to human health
MANILA, 26 APRIL - The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific has released a new report with scientific evidence of climate change affecting health and recommended actions for countries in the Region.
The report, Climate Change and Health in the Western Pacific Region: Synthesis of evidence, profiles of selected countries and policy direction highlights close links between health and climate change and the need for the health sector to respond to the threats posed by climate change, particularly focusing on the most vulnerable populations.
The impacts are not only limited to climate-sensitive diseases, but also affect a wide range of environmental and social determinants of health.
In response to the threat of climate change, the World Health Assembly in 2008 adopted resolution WHA61.19 on climate change and health. In 2008, the fifty-ninth session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific also endorsed the Regional Framework for Action to Protect Human Health from Effects of Climate change in the Asia Pacific Region.
Following endorsement of the regional framework, WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific and country offices have been supporting Member States in developing and implementing national strategies, capacity-building in health adaptations to climate change and health vulnerability assessments. .
“Health must be considered when addressing climate change, and actions to strengthen health sectors' role in climate change adaptation plans should be integrated at the national level,” said Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific in the new report. “The challenges are clear. Member States and stakeholders in communities across our vast Region must now work together if we are to mitigate and manage the health impacts of climate change.”
An increase in extreme weather events is one of the most prominent health risks posed by climate change in the Region, which contains many island nations and archipelagos. Climate models predict an increased frequency of extreme weather events that will have health impacts.
"Adverse effects of climate change on health are becoming clear as the scientific evidences are accumulated," said Professor Hae-kwan Cheong, one of the main authors.
Incidence of diseases is also on the rise in the Western Pacific Region, due predominantly to the possible expansion in the range of disease as a consequence of climate change.
Responding to climate change and health threats, the new report provides information, experiences and best practices in the Region. Seven countries were reviewed for country profiles including Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea and Viet Nam. These countries were selected for geographical, environmental and sociological diversity.
In addition, the report provides an outline of policy actions and tools.
“Each country has its own unique social and cultural characteristics, and we've already recognized that the same policy is not valid for everyone. However, strong cooperation with other sectors is needed because one sector cannot solve this problem,” said Dr Susan Mercado, Director, Division of NCD and Health through the Life-Course.
The new report is expected to provide guidelines for the joint response of the global community related to climate change, especially in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
For further information, please contact:
Dr Nasir Hassan
Coordinator, Health and the Environment
Telephone: +63 2 528 8001
Mr Eloi Yao
Public Information Officer
Telephone: +63 2 528 9992
Mr Ruel E. Serrano
Public Information Office
Telephone: +632 528 9993
World: 2015–2016 El Niño: Early action and response for agriculture, food security and nutrition - Update # 7
Background and purpose
The impact of the 2015‒2016 El Niño weather phenomenon has been one of the most intense and widespread in the past one hundred years. The agriculture, food security and nutritional status of 60 million people around the globe is affected by El Niño-related droughts, floods and extreme hot and cold weather. While the El Niño itself has passed its peak and is now declining, its impact is still growing. Harvests in several parts of the world have already failed and are forecast to fail in other areas.
This report provides a global analysis of the current and expected evolution of El Niño-related disasters and their impact on agriculture, food security and nutrition. It aims to give a consolidated outlook of the situation and the early actions being taken by governments, partners and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Analysis in the report is divided between FAO high priority countries and other countries at risk. Countries were selected based on a combination of analysis of the El Niño event and FAO priorities for strengthening the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises.
In view of the rapid evolution of the El Niño phenomenon, this report is updated regularly. It is part of a more general effort by FAO to increase the resilience of rural populations threatened by crises, including extreme climatic events such as El Niño. Given the high degree of exposure and vulnerability of populations to such events, the need for a focus on resilience building is clear. A recent ten-year analysis led by FAO’s Climate, Energy and Tenure Division showed that 25 percent of all damage caused during natural disasters is in the agriculture sector. For drought, agriculture is the single most affected sector, absorbing around 84 percent of all the economic impact.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $60 million to help water service providers outside Metro Manila improve water and sanitation assets needed to cut water-borne diseases by boosting access to safe water and reducing environmental pollution.
The loan to the national government-owned specialized lender, the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), will help allow it to fulfill its mandate to support water districts. ADB will also administer cofinancing grants totaling $3 million from the Urban Environmental Infrastructure Fund, financed by the Government of Sweden, and the multi-donor Water Financing Partnership Facility, which will provide subsidies for sanitation facilities and capacity building support for LWUA, water districts and local governments.
“While Metro Manila’s residents now enjoy much better piped water supply and improved sanitation, millions of those living in provincial areas are potentially exposed to water-related diseases due to persistent underinvestment in water and sanitation,” said Stella Tansengco-Schapero, Senior Finance Specialist in ADB’s Southeast Asia Department. “LWUA will on-lend the funds to water districts for water network upgrades and extensions and new sanitation systems. The project will also help raise the capacity of LWUA, water districts and other government officials to address planning, financial and management gaps.”
The supply of water and sanitation outside Manila is fragmented and suffers from weak planning, monitoring and investment. And while a number of water districts have achieved scale and sustainability and can access funding from government and private banks, most are small with relatively few connections, limited coverage, high nonrevenue water losses and low efficiency and profitability.
The assistance to LWUA will help it provide long-term loans and technical support to smaller water districts, helping to expand coverage, cut nonrevenue water levels, and to strengthen management.
ADB has worked with LWUA since the 1970s, providing it with loans for six investment projects as well as funding five technical assistance projects to finance and strengthen district water providers. The project, which will include Government of the Philippines counterpart funding, will run for about 6 years with an expected completion date of April 2022.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.
Following the 6.5 and 7.3 magnitude earthquakes which struck Kumamoto Prefecture on 14 and 16 April, an estimated 60,000 people remain in more than 600 evacuation centres. With the resumption of basic services, the number of the evacuees has decreased from 112,100 people last week. The Government has secured apartment units for 8,350 households as temporary accommodation. On 22 April, the Republic of Korea delivered food, bottled water and blankets, by sending two military aircraft to Kumamoto Airport.
The series of earthquakes caused 48 fatalities and over 1,400 injuries.
48 people killed
As of 20 April, an estimated 733,650 families (3.5 million people) have been affected by El Niño across the Philippines. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) updated the number of affected people based on most recent available information. To date, DSWD released US$14.8 million for food assistance and cash-for-work programmes.
3.5 million people affected
Across five municipalities (Lautém, Viqueque, Baucau, Covalima and Oecusse) severely impacted by El Niño-induced drought, an estimated 120,000 people require water and sanitation, food, nutrition, health, livelihoods and education support. The Government and the Humanitarian Country Team has developed an Emergency Response Plan seeking US$25 million to respond to the urgent needs of the affected communities.
Since 19 April, strong winds, hail and heavy rains have affected over 40 townships across Mandalay and Sagaing regions and Shan, Kachin and Chin states. Over 1,100 houses were destroyed and 11,600 houses damaged. As of 25 April, authorities confirmed 14 deaths and 18 people injured due to the severe weather conditions – these figures are expected to change as more information becomes available. In Kachin, strong winds destroyed internally displaced persons (IDP) shelter and camp structures.
14 people killed
1,100 houses destroyed
On 16 and 19 April, fighting reportedly broke out between the military and an armed group identified as part of the Arakan Army in Kyautaw and Rathedaung townships, Rakhine State. Village authorities confirmed that about 80 households (380 people) were displaced. Local authorities and the military provided rice and basic health care services to the displaced people.
From 23 to 24 April, Category 2 Tropical Cyclone Amos traversed just north of Samoa, avoiding a direct hit on the island nation of 190,000 people. Heavy rains triggered landslides in Upolu Island and floods in low lying coastal areas. Electricity and water supply was temporarily disrupted across the archipelago – power outages affected 70 per cent of the country. No fatalities have been reported.
70% of the country affected by power outages