Philippines - ReliefWeb News
Viet Nam: Vietnam - Tropical Depression - ONE (GDACS, JTWC, NCHMF, Local media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 16 January 2017)
Tropical Depression ONE formed over the north-western Pacific Ocean on 7 January and moved over Mindanao and Visayas islands (Philippines), then dissipated over South China Sea. On 15 January, it formed again over the southern South China Sea and started moving west.
Over the next 24 hours, it is forecast to reach the southern areas of Mekong Delta region as a Tropical Depression.
On 16 - 18 January, heavy rain and strong winds may affect the southern areas of Vietnam, southern Cambodia and southern Thailand.
By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay
NAGA CITY, Jan. 15 (PIA)—“I am thankful to all of you for the big help you have extended to us. Our house was totally destroyed and our things were all soaked in water. Now, we can put something to shelter us.”
These were the simple words of Margie San Juan, a mother of 5 from Zone 2, Minalabac town whose house was demolished by typhoon “Nina” (international name: Nock-ten) before 2016 ended.
“I am happy because we now have something to shelter us from the sun and the rain,” she said in the dialect of Bicolanos during an interview recently.
San Juan was a recipient of TABANG Bicol’s non-food relief goods, consisting of a tarpaulin, blanket and plastic mat.
The humanitarian group brought non-food relief items to Camarines Sur, boosting emergency relief operation in the aftermath of the most recent natural disaster to hit Bicol region.
TABANG’s relief workers handed out plastic mats, blankets, and tarpaulins in Zone 2, Minalabac, Camarines Sur, which took the brunt of typhoon “Nina” when it came ashore and lashed Southern Luzon in the last week of 2016.
Two weeks after the storm and its aftermath drew response from the government and humanitarian groups, many victims seem to have gotten back on their feet. Or, more accurately, people have held onto life.
Before Nina struck, Nanay Eden Belano was nestled in a makeshift tent covered with tarpaulin and bamboo poles. She and her two children, a 4-year-old granddaughter and their dog had to live in the street after flood spawned by “Nina” swept the tent.
Before Maricris Lazaro became a beneficiary of TABANG Bicol’s relief drive, she and her family lived in their house with relative comfort. Lazaro, who is pregnant with her second child, said their house was blown away by the winds of Nina.
More relief operations are slated in the upcoming weeks as TABANG Bicol continues with its relief drive for the homeless victims of typhoon Nina.
The group said it will continue to help the displaced people until they have rebuilt their homes and their lives.
TABANG Bicol is made up of A-PAD PH Metro Naga, Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce Inc., Tarabang para sa Bicol, Inc., Central Bicol State University of Agriculture, Metro Naga Development Council, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas – Camarines Sur, Philippine Information Agency – Camarines Sur, Mariners Polytechnic Colleges, and Naga City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office. (EAD/LSMacatangay, with a report from Jam Madrid-PIA5/Camarines Sur)
Typhoon Nock-ten, known locally as Typhoon Nina, made landfall over Catanduanes on December 25 this past year. As it brought great damage to local residents, Tzu Chi volunteers reached out to help. After surveying the disaster areas, volunteers held an aid distribution, including giving victims emergency money to get through the days ahead. Following a disaster site assessment in the first week of January, Tzu Chi provided Php5, 000 cash assistance to families who lost their homes to the storm. A total of 1,007 affected families from the four worst hit municipalities are expected to receive the cash aid from January 9 to 13. Said recipients will have to withdraw the money through the Philippine National Bank (PNB) branch in Virac, the province’s town center.
Before the bank opens at 8:30 am on January 10, a crowd of beneficiaries is already gathered at a covered court near the PNB.
Braving the steady downpour that morning and enduring the long ride from Barangay San Miguel, 67-year-old Estrella Toreja is among the early birds. In fact, she barely slept at all.
“I couldn’t bring myself to sleep last night,” Toreja says. “I was so happy and excited to receive the cash aid. We can finally have our house rebuilt.”
Like many, Toreja’s house was flattened by the typhoon. The scrap materials that were left from their former home were what the family tried to patch together and live in. In this small makeshift shelter with tarpaulins for roofs that leak when it rains, Toreja lives with her husband, a son, and grandchildren. In all, there are six of them.
“With the cash aid from you, I will buy corrugated iron sheets and rice. I will never forget your help,” adds Toreja.
Apart from buying corrugated iron sheets to rebuild their home, Letecia Modesto, another beneficiary, says she will also use the cash aid to buy school materials for her 5 children. The kids’ school things have all been destroyed when their house was torn down by the typhoon. Temporarily, they are staying at Modesto’s mother in an already packed home until their house has been put up.
“The help you extended is unique,” says Modesto. “We are used to receiving relief goods like rice and canned goods but now with this cash aid from you, we will have something to use to pick ourselves up from the calamity.”
Tzu Chi decided to give out cash aid to the typhoon victims after seeing their living conditions during the volunteers’ survey of the affected areas. While some had started the rebuilding by collecting woods and bamboos from the mountains and reusing what remained of their former homes, majority were clueless as to how and where to begin again.
Tzu Chi coordinated with the PNB for the money transfer. Beneficiaries were given schedules to claim their cash aid according to their towns. They only need to show the relief stubs from Tzu Chi and present a valid ID to claim the money.
The bank’s management sent in additional personnel to help with the transactions. Magno Salvadora, the bank’s branch head, can still remember the first time he saw the Tzu Chi volunteers. It was in 2006, after Typhoon Reming devastated the Bicol Region. Salvadora, a native of Tabaco in Albay, was present when Tzu Chi formally turned over the newly reconstructed Tabaco National High School whee one of his children was attending school. Back then, the concept of the Bamboo Coin bank moved him greatly.
Ten years later, he meets the Tzu Chi volunteers again. He lauds their commitment in helping, regardless of distances.
“With your help, it’s like the worries and burden that the typhoon victims have were lifted. The 5,000 pesos really means a lot to them. On our part, it’s very rare to have this opportunity to support your cause and be of help so we’re also very happy that we had this chance,” he says. Immediately upon receiving the cash, recipients went straight to the hardware store to buy construction materials.
39-year-old Evelyn Tabirao used the money to buy corrugated iron sheets to replace the tarpaulins that serve as roofing for her family’s home.
“Tin sheets are more important right now because we always get wet when it rains. As for the others, we can just use materials from the mountains like bamboo,” she says, after helping load the sheets over a tricycle which delivered the materials to her family’s home.
The Tabirao couple and their son were celebrating the holiday season in Manila with a relative when Typhoon Nina struck Catanduanes on December 25. On their return on January 6, they were welcomed with the sight of their washed out home. Faced with the daunting task of rebuilding, the Tabiraos almost lost all hopes. Until succor comes.
“This is really a big help you have extended to us because this is the first time we have received a cash aid. During the past calamities that struck us, nobody gave us this much,” Tabirao says.
Just like Tabirao, Melinda Bernal head straight to the hardware store to purchase iron railings and plywood. She also placed an order for 200 pieces of hollow blocks.
Every time a storm comes in Catanduanes, Bernal’s home gets washed off. Now holding a large sum of money in her hand, she wanted to invest it into something that will last.
“With this cash aid, I was hoping that I could build my house with stronger foundations so we can prevent our house from getting washed out whenever a storm comes. We can now begin somewhere,” says Bernal.
It’s a long road toward recovery for the typhoon victims in Catanduanes. But now that they’ve began the journey somehow, getting there is guaranteed.
On 13 and 14 January, WFP distributed food to 4,690 people in villages of Maungdaw north which had been mostly inaccessible since the border post attacks in the northern part of Rakhine State three months ago. For about half of those reached, it was the first time they had received assistance since 9 October. Needs in Maungdaw north include food, blankets, cooking utensils, medical kits and shelter. The harvest has been severely disrupted and children are not attending school. As a result of the attacks and subsequent security operations, thousands of people, mostly Muslims, are believed to remain displaced inside Rakhine.
Around 3,900 people have been relocated from IDP camps in Kachin State amid intense fighting between the Myanmar Military and the Kachin Independence Army. A further 4,000 people have also been temporarily displaced by continued fighting between the Myanmar Military and ethnic armed groups in northern Shan. Two civilians, including a six year old boy, were killed and eight others injured when artillery shells landed in a village in Namshan Township in northern Shan on 12 January.
As of 13 January, 116 families (753 people) remain displaced as a result of Typhoon Nock-Ten, which hit the Philippines on 25 December, and damaged over 340,000 houses. In Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte provinces in Mindanao, an additional 438 families (1,931 people) remain in nine evacuation centres after having been displaced by Tropical Depression 01W. Local and regional authorities have provided relief assistance to the affected families.
As of 12 January, an estimated 66,000 new arrivals from Myanmar have arrived in Cox’s Bazar since October 2016. While the number of people crossing the border has reportedly decreased compared to previous weeks, movement towards makeshifts camps, adjacent areas and city areas have increased. Water and sanitation needs are increasing in the makeshift camps. Aid agencies continue to distribute food and non-food items to the new arrivals.
66,000 new arrivals from Myanmar
Severe winter conditions continue to affect an estimated 157,000 people (37,000 herder households) across 17 out of 21 provinces in Mongolia. A drought during the summer of 2016 has depleted herders’ reserves of hay and fodder in the eastern part of the country putting at risk livestock which are a vital source of food, transport and income for thousands of people. Multipurpose cash grants to support life-saving basic needs, emergency agricultural inputs and veterinary first aid kits have been identified as priority needs. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has established a task force (from January to May) to coordinate the response to the harsh winter conditions.
157,000 people affected
WFP supported the Government of the Philippines in its humanitarian response following Typhoon NockTen through logistics assistance.
WFP reached 130,400 people in Mindanao to improve their food security.
WFP provided assistance to 130,400 individuals in Mindanao to enhance their resilience. Of this, 43,300 people received food through the asset-creation programme and another 6,000 through general food distribution, while 8,800 pregnant and nursing women and 10,300 children aged 6-23 months were supported under the stunting prevention programme. In addition, WFP provided school meals to 62,000 school age children in primary schools.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) requested logistics assistance from WFP to transport relief goods to the areas that were affected by Typhoon Nock-Ten, which barrelled the Bicol region of the country on 25 December. WFP provided 39 trucks to deliver 527 metric tonnes (mt) of relief goods (equivalent to 324 mt of family food packs and 202.5 mt of rice).
The Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (PAHP) is being rolled out to two regions in the country in collaboration with the Department of Agrarian Reform, DSWD and the Department of Agriculture with technical support from FAO and WFP. Patterned after the Food Acquisition Programme (PAA) and National School Feeding Programme (PNAE) of Brazil, the PAHP is aimed at reducing poverty and hunger in selected communities through the convergence of services of government line agencies.
WFP Philippines was given a special citation by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in recognition of its contribution to its partnership with local government units in disaster preparedness and response. The citation was given during the Gawad Kalasag awarding ceremonies.
R2P Monitor is a bimonthly bulletin applying the Responsibility to Protect lens to populations at risk of mass atrocities around the world. Issue 31 looks at developments in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Myanmar (Burma), South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Philippines, Central African Republic and Nigeria.
R2P Monitor is a bimonthly bulletin applying the Responsibility to Protect lens to populations at risk of mass atrocities around the world. Issue 31 looks at developments in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Myanmar (Burma), South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Philippines, Central African Republic and Nigeria.
Philippines: NDRRMC Update - Monthly Climate Assessment and Outlook: La Nina-like Conditions Continue
I. SITUATION OVERVIEW
a. Oceanic and atmospheric indicators had reached weak La Nina levels in October 2016 (PAGASA termed as borderline La Nina), but this was not sustained. However, La Nina-like conditions continue, as impacts have been seen in some flood- and landslide-prone areas in the country. It is likely that ENSO-neutral conditions will prevail in December-January-February 2017 season.
b. The weather systems that affected the country during the month were the Northeast (NE) Monsoon, tail-end of the cold front, low pressure areas (LPAs), easterlies and the passage of Typhoon (TY) "Nina" (Dec. 22-27). TY "Nina" made eight (8) landfalls that brought strong winds and excessive rains in MIMAROPA, CALABARZON and Bicol Region. Estimated damages to infrastructure amounting to 83 million pesos (mostly roads and river control facilities) were reported in the provinces of Marinduque and Oriental Mindoro, as stated in the NDRRMC Situational Report No. 7.
c. Rainfall assessment for the month of December showed that near to above normal rainfall conditions were experienced in most parts of the country, with some patches of below normal rainfall over Nueva Ecija, Leyte, Sultan Kudarat, Agusan del Norte and Maguindanao.
d. Slightly warmer than average surface air temperatures were observed in most parts of the country during the month. Ranges of temperature recorded were as follows; mountainous areas of Luzon: 13.0°C — 26.4°C; rest of Luzon: 17.0°C-34.7°C; Visayas: 21.0°C — 34.2°C; mountainous areas of Mindanao: 16.0°C —33.0°C; and rest of Mindanao: 21.5°C — 35.6°C.
MAKATI CITY, Jan. 16 (PIA) -- The Makati City Council has approved the release of P15-million as financial assistance to 27 local government units (LGUs) directly affected by Typhoon Nina in the provinces of Quezon, Albay, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, and Marinduque.
Mayor Abby Binay had initiated the move as an expression of sympathy and support for the typhoon victims of the said LGUs, all of which are sister-localities of the city.
“I am saddened that our sister-localities had endured such a calamity at a time that was supposed to be a season of joy and hope. As their sister city, Makati is ready to help their aected constituents in the best way possible,” Binay said.
Through Resolution No. 2017-01 of the Makati DRRM Council, which is chaired by Mayor Binay, the appropriation of P15-million for the said purpose was recommended to the City Council for approval.
The funds will be taken from the Quick Response Fund comprising 30 percent of the city’s total budget for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM). The stand-by fund is used in relief and recovery programs intended to normalize living conditions of residents in communities stricken by calamities, disasters and other forms of complex emergencies.
Makati DRRM Ocer Richard Raymund Rodriguez said the 27 recipients of the newly-approved nancial aid consist of 12 localities in Camarines Sur, six in Albay, four in Marinduque, three in Catanduanes, and two in Quezon province.
“Each LGU will receive a certain amount of nancial assistance depending on the number of families aected in their area, ranging from 2,000 to 14,000 households. We have based the number on the ocial report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) concerning Typhoon Nina,” Rodriguez said.
To receive P1 million each are the localities of Malinao and Legazpi in Albay, and four localities in Camarines Sur, namely, Bula, Libmanan, Minalabac, Nabua and Pili.
On the other hand, P750,000 each has been allocated for Virac, Catanduanes and Sto. Domingo, Albay.
The following LGUs will receive P500,000 each: Balatan, Bato, Caramoan, and Goa in Camarines Sur; Sta. Cruz and Torrijos in Marinduque; and Daraga and Tabaco in Albay.
The rest of the recipients, to receive P250,000 each from the city, consist of Canaman, San Fernando, and San Jose, Camarines Sur; Gasan and Mogpog in Marinduque; Mulanay and San Andres in Quezon; and Libon, Albay.
Typhoon Nina, with international code name Nock-ten, made its first two landfalls in Catanduanes and Camarines Sur on December 25 last year. It continued to batter cities and municipalities in the regions of MIMAROPA, CALABARZON, Bicol and Central Visayas in the succeeding days.
Last November, Makati also provided P3.6-million as relief assistance to victims of Super Typhoon Lawin in 18 local government units in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela. The City Council on Wednesday also approved the appropriation of P200,000 for the municipality of Sallapadan in Abra, another locality devastated by "Lawin."
Among the recipients in Isabela were Ilagan City, Sto. Tomas, San Pablo, Tumauini, Cabagan, Sta. Maria, Palanan, Dinapigue, Maconacon, Mallig, Quezon, Quirino and Gamu. In Cagayan, financial aid was given to Tuguegarao City, Peñablanca, Enrile, Solana and Iguig.
Under the Philippine DRRM Act of 2010, the local DRRM Council may transfer funds to support disaster risk reduction work of other LDRRMCs which are declared under a state of calamity, upon the approval of the Sanggunian concerned. (ICRD/RJB/JCP/PIA-NCR)
Philippines: DSWD provides food-for-work to DepEd volunteers for repair of schools damaged by ‘Nina’
Legazpi City, Albay – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Field Office (FO) V has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Bicol Region and Educo, a non-government organization (NGO) based here, for the provision of food assistance to the volunteers of DepEd’s Emergency Brigada Eskwela who will help in the repair and rehabilitation of schools that were damaged by Typhoon Nina.
Emergency Brigada Eskwela involves the support of parents and potential stakeholders to do volunteer services, including the clean-up of school grounds and classrooms, repair of roofs, walls, and chairs, and assessment of electrical and water systems in order to make educational facilities conducive to learning again after being destroyed by disasters.
Under the agreement, the DSWD will provide food-for-work or family food packs (FFPs) in exchange for the work that will be carried out by the volunteers of the program, who are mostly victims of ‘Nina’.
Educo, a global development NGO for the welfare of children which has been present in Bicol since 2005, will help in overseeing the delivery of the food packs and its distribution to the volunteers.
The agreement was signed by DSWD FO V Director Arnel B. Garcia, DepEd Assistant Regional Director Tolentino G. Aquino, and Educo Logistics Manager Blesila B. Bongayal on January 10 at the FO V office.
“As observed from the communities, the attendance of pupils usually drops after the occurrence of typhoons, as children help their parents find food for the family,” Assistant Director Aquino revealed. For his part, Director Garcia said that the food-for-work program of the DSWD will be a great help to parents and community members who will provide volunteer services. They could provide food for their family and at the same time help in the rehabilitation of damaged schools.
DSWD FO V has already turned-over an initial 350 pieces of FFPs to DepEd to be given to the volunteers in Catanduanes and Camarines Sur provinces. It intends to allot 5,000 food packs for the program. The priority of the program includes select cities and municipalities in Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, and Masbate provinces.
According to the January 1 report of DepEd Bicol, a total of 625 damaged classrooms were reported in the region. Some 1,082 partially damaged classrooms need major repairs, while 988 partially damaged classrooms will need minor repairs.
DepEd’s School Maintenance Week, popularly known as Brigada Eskwela, is usually conducted a week before the opening of classes in June. However, due to the recent typhoon which damaged several schools, parent and community volunteers were tapped to help in the rehabilitation of the educational facilities.
DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo lauded this partnership with DepEd and urged other field offices of both Departments to replicate this initiative which can help victims to bounce back faster.
“The cooperation and coordination of government agencies to provide immediate assistance to Filipinos affected by calamities is very important. We can do more, help more Filipinos when we work collectively and unite behind the same goals. We can help our communities recover faster and rebuild their schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure through united efforts,” she said.
Meanwhile, according to the 8pm, January 12 report of DSWD- Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC), there are still 146 families or 690 individuals currently staying in 14 evacuation centers in the municipalities of Bato, Bula, and Nabua in Camarines Sur.
DSWD FO V in coordination with the provincial local government unit continues to monitor these evacuees to ensure the provision of relief assistance.
‘Nina’ has affected a total of 547,242 families or 2,431,599 individuals in 2,012 barangays in Regions CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, V and VIII when it hit the country on December 24-27, 2016.
To date, a total of P250,757,295 worth of relief assistance has been provided to affected families from the combined resources of the Department with P233,254,693 as well as LGUs and NGOs with a total of P6,118,832 and P11,383,770, respectively. ###
Philippines: Synthesis of key findings from Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluations (IAHEs) of the international responses to crises in the Philippines (Typhoon Haiyan), South Sudan and the Central African Republic
Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluations (IAHEs) are a relatively new innovation, related to the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Transformative Agenda and triggered automatically by the declaration of a level-three (L3) system-wide emergency. This Synthesis summarizes and assesses the key lessons from the three IAHEs conducted to date: in the Philippines (the response to Typhoon Haiyan) in 2014, in South Sudan in 2015 and in Central African Republic (CAR), also in 2015. The Synthesis aims to highlight areas of convergence and difference in the main findings of the IAHEs, and to point out common conclusions. While many examples of good and effective practice emerge from the evaluations, the focus here is more on the challenges and areas that need corrective action.
Two types of findings emerge from this analysis. The first are those related to the relevance, effectiveness and quality of the United Nations-coordinated inter-agency response viewed as a whole. The second are those related to the inter-agency processes that contributed to the way responses were triggered, informed, planned, resourced, coordinated and reported. Some of the lessons are more relevant to rapid onset and natural disasters (Typhoon Haiyan), while others relate more to slow onset crises or situations of protracted conflict (CAR and South Sudan). A key factor to keep in mind is the difference in the relative levels of development and strength of governance in the three countries, together with the very different operating environments that each presents for humanitarian aid delivery.
The findings reflect the fact that in each case, the ‘inter-agency response’ comprised a set of distinct organizational responses that were more or less well harmonized and coordinated, rather than a unified response guided by a single strategic planning process and managed within a joint strategic framework. This created particular challenges for effective collective action and put a premium on strong senior leadership working across agencies. Each IAHE addresses the particular ways in which these challenges were met, along with the related question: what value do the collective processes add, and at what cost?
In reviewing the relevance and appropriateness of the inter-agency responses in each case, the evaluations all considered joint needs assessments and the extent to which they informed joint and single agency planning processes. All suggest that standard IASC joint multi-sector assessment models need to be adapted to the contexts in which they are applied if they are to be useful. Standard approaches risk being irrelevant in practice.
Concerning the joint planning processes, three main issues are identified. The first is the commonly reported lack of full ownership and buy-in to the Strategic Response Plans (SRPs), even by Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) members and certainly beyond the HCT. This raises questions about accountability for delivery against collectively agreed objectives. Secondly, the SRP is seen as a fundraising document rather than as a strategic road map that provides a basis for the HCT to manage and guide the overall response. The third issue concerns the operational level of planning, which is generally judged to be weak, based too heavily on outputs and vague indicators (“numbers of people reached”), and an inadequate basis for measuring progress.
On the question of effectiveness and the achievement of the SRP objectives, the Typhoon Haiyan evaluation notes that the Philippines country context “created highly favourable conditions for an effective disaster response” and hence was a good test case for inter-agency L3 responses in a positive operating environment. By contrast, neither CAR nor South Sudan provided a favourable context. The response achievements must be seen in this light.
The Typhoon Haiyan evaluation is generally positive in its conclusions about the effectiveness of the United Nations-coordinated response, while noting that its contribution to the overall results was “difficult to assess” in the absence of more data on assistance provided outside of the inter-agency coordinated system (which, strikingly, is estimated by the IAHE team to have made up over 84 per cent of the overall response). The subsequent transition to supporting recovery was judged too slow.
In South Sudan, the inter-agency response is credited with saving lives, preventing the crisis from becoming a major public health catastrophe and (probably) averting famine. That said, weaknesses in monitoring and information management made it difficult to determine the results achieved and their impact. Key achievements include stabilizing acute child malnutrition at pre-conflict levels; effective control of a cholera outbreak in 2014; working with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to protect 100,000 civilians within the mission’s own bases; and “strong, innovative work” on livelihoods—although the impact of these on overall food security could not be separately determined from that of food assistance.
In CAR, the IAHE found that the response “contributed enormously” to relieving the immediate crisis, saving the lives of many Central Africans, reducing suffering and preventing much worse outcomes. However, considered against the more protracted crisis, the response achieved only “modest results” in providing access to basic services, protection and assistance, and “poor results” in livelihoods and recovery. The response was judged highly unsatisfactory in its approach to resilience. Overall, the IAHE concludes that while successful in terms of relief, the inter-agency response missed the opportunity to use the great surge of capacity to address CAR’s protracted crisis.
With regard to international engagement with national and local bodies and with affected populations, the picture that emerges from the IAHEs is a mixed one. As might be expected, the Philippines saw the closest collaboration between the United Nations-led inter-agency response and the Government, at both national and provincial or municipal levels. However, the international emergency response initially tended to bypass national systems and capacities, and it took time for the parallel systems to converge. In CAR and South Sudan, given the preexisting governance and capacity deficits and the politically contested nature of the context, engagement with Government was more limited and circumspect.
With respect to civil society engagement, some good practices are noted in each case, but even in the Philippines the level of engagement was less than might be expected. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the Philippines tended to operate separately from the international NGOs and from the HCT system, and the Typhoon Haiyan IAHE found “limited evidence” of effective engagement between the international response and national and local civil society.
Mutual lack of trust appeared to be a contributing factor to this. In CAR, few national civil society organizations participated in the inter-agency response, though a minority received funding through the Common Humanitarian Fund. In South Sudan, the evaluation found that while national NGOs lacked the capacity to mount a large response, they could have played a greater role than they did and could have been given more support to access responsewide resources, including pooled funding (they received less than 1 per cent of funding overall). International response stakeholders took positive steps in 2015 to encourage greater participation of national NGOs.
Community engagement was a strong feature of the response to Typhoon Haiyan. The evaluation found high levels of attention to Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP), although it lacked some of the necessary feedback elements. In CAR, by contrast, the evaluation found that this aspect of the response, and AAP in particular, was highly unsatisfactory; the failure to listen to the affected population increased “the potential for frustration, fraud and violence”. Likewise in South Sudan, the IAHE found that affected people had not been consistently involved in planning, implementation and decision-making, which affected the relevance and sustainability of programmes.
On coordination and coverage, a few recurrent themes emerge from the three IAHEs. The emphasis on central strategic coordination was not always matched by adequate operational (cluster/sector-level) coordination. Coordination processes tended to be resource-intensive and time consuming; the demand for data to feed information products was seen as “heavy”.
In the Philippines, the evaluation found that coordination mechanisms were well funded and rapidly established, and that the cluster system functioned as planned—although complicated by running in parallel to the Government’s own system. Excellent civil-military coordination greatly assisted the early stage of the response. While there was some unevenness in the geographic distribution of assistance in relation to needs, the IAHE found “no evidence of serious, sustained coverage gaps”.
In CAR, the HCT-led coordination model was questioned and its application widely criticized, especially by international NGOs and global stakeholders. Strategic coordination was considered weak, but operational coordination and efforts to avoid gaps and duplications in assistance were “mostly effective” despite coverage gaps at the sub-national level. In South Sudan, coverage was good in accessible locations and poor in remote locations. Coordination structures and processes were large and complex at the Juba level, but tended to be ad hoc and informal in areas outside the capital and state capitals. Leadership responsibilities were diluted among the various coordination bodies (including HCT and the Inter-Cluster Working Group), and a greater focus was needed on mandates and accountability.
The declaration of an L3 system-wide emergency is generally judged to have been appropriate and effective in each case, particularly in raising the profiles of the crises and enabling resources to be mobilized accordingly. Questions arise in each case as to the proper duration of the L3 designation and the need to switch focus in a timely way (and probably earlier) from relief to recovery while continuing to meet basic needs.
Interesting lessons emerge concerning the application and perceived relevance of the Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC) and its component elements. In the Philippines, it proved impossible to follow the HPC planning sequence, and the evaluation suggests that the HPC itself needs to be adapted to context, particularly in rapid onset emergencies. In CAR, the HPC was widely viewed as cumbersome and not well suited to a protracted crisis context.
In South Sudan, while the letter of the HPC was followed, the spirit was not. Since planning energies were directed more towards resource mobilization than operational planning, a basic principle of the HPC—that plans should follow evidence—was not followed.
Finally, with regard to leadership, the concept of empowered leadership was crucial in galvanizing the inter-agency response in CAR, allowing the newly appointed Senior Humanitarian Coordinator (SHC) to provide strong leadership. Tensions were noted in the Philippines, arising from the senior leaders’ need to both meet their own organizations’ expectations as well as contribute fully to the collective enterprise. All three evaluations raise questions about the leadership by the HCT, Inter-Cluster Working Groups and lower levels of coordination, and suggest that greater focus is needed both on empowering these levels of leadership and holding them to account.
The Lessons Learned Portal Project is a recommendation by participants of the February 2015 Expert Forum in Antalya, Turkey, a gathering of more than 90 participants that focused on “Lessons Learned about Lessons Learned about Hydro-meteorological Disaster Risk Reduction in a Changing Climate.”
The initial objective of the Portal Project, which began in the Fall of 2015, was to assess the value of establishing an international, open-access, web-based platform -- a clearing house – for countries to share their hydrometeorological disaster risk reduction (DRR) experiences and lessons identified as well as learned.
At the very beginning of the Portal Project, the onset of an El Niño of “Godzilla proportion” was forecast by various international meteorological centers to emerge by late 2015 and continue into 2016. The 2015-16 El Niño forecast came with strong statistical support, a probability hovering around the 90 percent level. It was shaping up to be an extraordinary event, popularized in the media as a “Godzilla El Niño” to rival the 1997-98 “El Niño of the Century.”
The “Godzilla” forecast had followed a previous forecast of a major El Niño that appeared to be developing but failed to become a full-blown event in mid-Spring 2014. Rather than announce that the expected 2014 El Niño failed, forecasters referred to it in retrospect as a “borderline weak El Niño.” CCB took advantage of the opportunity to combine two research activities by making the 2015-16 El Niño review an integral part of the Portal Project.
A team of researchers came together to focus on the real-time responses to the forecasts and the impacts of El Niño in 15 countries in Asia, Latin America and SubSaharan Africa, countries affected to some degree during the 2015-16 event. The combined activity was renamed “Lessons Learned Portal Project for El Niño Ready Nations (ENRNs): A Stepping Stone toward ENSO-related DRR Lessons Learning.” To an attentive public, the following story about El Niño is likely known. They’ve read about it, track its progress in news clips, videos, etc.
"ENSO" refers to the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, the interaction between the atmosphere and ocean in the tropical Pacific that results in a somewhat periodic variation between below-normal and above-normal sea surface temperatures and dry and wet conditions over the course of a few years. While the tropical ocean affects the atmosphere above it, so too does the atmosphere influence the ocean below it. One layer of the Pacific Ocean that is influenced by ENSO is the thermocline.
The thermocline marks the transition between the warm upper water and the cold deep water in the Pacific Ocean. The upward currents along the equator (or upwelling) are strongest across this transition zone. The depth of the thermocline has a direct relationship with water surface temperatures. When the thermocline is closer to the water surface, upwelling of cold, nutrient rich deep-water is transported up from the bottom layers, leading to cooler temperatures at the water surface. The interaction of the atmosphere and ocean is an essential part of El Niño and La Niña events (the term coupled system is often used to describe the mutual interaction between the ocean and atmosphere).
During an El Niño, sea level pressure tends to be lower in the eastern Pacific and higher in the western Pacific while the opposite tends to occur during a La Niña.
This see-saw in atmospheric pressure between the eastern and western tropical Pacific is called the Southern Oscillation, often abbreviated as simply the SO.
Since El Niño and the Southern Oscillation are related, the two terms are often combined into a single phrase, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO.
Often the term ENSO Warm Phase is used to describe El Niño and ENSO Cold Phase to describe La Niña.
In the 400 or so pages in the full study document, CCB identified many factors meriting more discussion, eight of which are briefly described below. These factors influence one’s perceptions and thoughts about hydro-meteorological forecast credibility and accuracy and can in turn adversely affect timely preparedness. They present obstacles to effective disaster risk reduction. Each factor was encountered in the Project’s country, region and city studies about the 2015-16 El Niño event.
Philippines: DSWD to release over P513M in emergency shelter aid for families rendered homeless by ‘Nina’
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is set to release P513,722,930 anytime soon as an initial funding for its Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) for households whose houses were partially and totally damaged by Typhoon Nina.
The typhoon displaced thousands of families and damaged houses in CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas regions when it hit the country on December 24-27, 2016.
ESA is the assistance immediately provided to victims of disasters with partially and totally damaged houses. A uniform amount of P5,000 is given to each household as an initial help to rebuild their houses. The total amount of assistance to be provided to households with partially damaged houses will be P10,000, while those with totally destroyed houses will receive P30,000. Beneficiaries will receive the total amount corresponding to the extent of damage of their houses based on DSWD assessment and validation.
The Department would need P4.35 billion to fund the ESA for some 248,242 households.
DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo disclosed that she has already endorsed the Department’s rehabilitation plan for the ESA to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) for funding.
“We are doing everything that we can to immediately provide the ESA to households who lost their homes due to ‘Nina’. We want them to be able to start rebuilding their houses, so they can also rebuild their lives,” Sec. Taguiwalo said.
Moreover, the welfare chief has earlier ordered the deployment of three Quick Response Teams (QRTs) from the DSWD Central Office to the affected regions to assist the field offices (FOs) for the ESA assessment and validation.
The typhoon has affected 547,237 families or 2,431,574 individuals. Some 535 families or 2,663 persons are still staying in 30 evacuation centers up to this time.
To date, a total of P245,908,401 worth of relief assistance has been provided to affected families with P228,405,799 coming from the Department and P6,118,832 and P11,383,770 from the local government units (LGUs) and non-government organizations (NGOs), respectively.
Meanwhile, the DSWD also continues to coordinate with concerned local government units (LGUs) on the status of the 507 families or 2,206 individuals displaced by Tropical Depression Auring and who are still staying in 13 evacuation centers in the CARAGA Region.
DSWD-Field Office CARAGA has been coordinating with the LGUs of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur to ensure the provision of relief assistance in the form of family food packs (FFPs) and food and non-food items (FNFIs) to the evacuees.
‘Auring’ has affected a total of 9,132 families or 38,950 individuals in 167 barangays in Regions VII and CARAGA when it hit the northeastern part of Mindanao and Western Visayas last weekend.
To date, a total of P2,576,579.83 worth of relief assistance has been provided to the affected families. Of the said amount, the Department extended P732,051.83, while the LGUs poured in a total of P1,844,528.
‘Auring’ has weakened into a low pressure area (LPA) on Monday morning and will exit the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) today, according to state weather bureau PAG-ASA.
MANILA, Jan. 12 - Department of Health - MIMAROPA Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo recently visited municipalities in the provinces of Marinduque and Oriental Mindoro and delivered financial assistance and medicine supply to areas affected by the recent Typhoon Nina.
Among the municipalities who were given P3 million in financial assistance are Calapan City and Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro. Affected municipalities like Boac, Buenavista, Torrijos, Mogpog, Sta. Cruz, Gasan in Marinduque received P2 million each and another P3 million provided to the provincial government to be use in aid of the calamity-stricken victims of the typhoon.
“We are continuing our monitoring and assessment as to the extent of damage caused by the typhoon and provide the necessary preparation for another forecasted Low Pressure Area (LPA) which is currently affecting areas of MIMAROPA,” Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo stated.
“All health facilities in the region are in Code Blue Alert and ready to provide medical services due to the continuing inclement weather,” he added.
A Code Blue alert places all medical personnel on a 24-hour duty. Hospitals and community health units are prepared to accept an influx of casualties. Medicines and medical supplies are also ready to be distributed to affected residents. DOH operation centers (DOH-OPCEN) will also be operating on a 24/7 basis.
Close coordination with local government units, emergency and disaster units and also with the Armed Forces are being effected to handle possible calamities.
All Provincial Department of Health Offices (PDOHO) are in close coordination with provincial health facilities and partner agencies regarding disaster preparedness, providing health assistance and reporting health incidents in the provinces.
Janairo guaranteed that additional medicines will be sent immediately if needed. The Regional Health Emergency Management Service (RHEMS) will be closely coordinating with various local government units for the immediate provision of medical support and alert affected LGUs."
The Department of Health has allocated P30 million for DOH-MIMAROPA for the purchase of medicines and financial assistance to calamity declared areas in the region.
“Other affected municipalities will also be provided with assistance, accordingly,” Janairo assured. (DOH)
Philippines: DSWD lauds quick response of LGUs during onslaught of ‘Auring’; assures augmentation support when needed
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo lauded the prompt disaster operations made by the local government units (LGUs) during the onslaught of Tropical Depression Auring, which has weakened into a low pressure area (LPA) yesterday after bringing heavy rains over the Northeastern Mindanao and Western Visayas provinces over the weekend.
“We would like to acknowledge the efforts made by the LGUs when ‘Auring’ hit the country, starting from the preparation to the actual relief distribution which did not require much assistance from the DSWD. This demonstrates that LGUs are indeed the prime responders in times of emergencies,” Sec. Taguiwalo said.
Before ‘Auring’ made its landfall in Northeastern Mindanao, LGUs of the provinces on its reported path had already started preparing for its possible effects.
The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) of the CARAGA Region conducted a pre-disaster meeting at the Office of the Civil Defense and carried out a pre-emptive evacuation of residents living in low-lying areas. The LGUs of the region also distributed family food packs (FFPs) to affected families staying in evacuation centers after ‘Auring’ hit the region.
Negros Island Region (NIR), on the other hand, alerted its Quick Response Teams (QRTs) and City/Municipal Action Teams (C/MATs) early to assist in disaster operations. It also readied its emergency tracking services to transport the prepositioned family food packs (FFPs) in the region whenever needed.
Region VII similarly alerted its QRTs early and evacuated residents affected by flooding in Brgy. Poblacion, Carmen, Cebu.
Status of affected families
According to the 4am report today by the DSWD-Disaster Response Operations and Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC), the weather disturbance affected a total of 9,132 families or 38,950 individuals from 167 barangays in Region VII and CARAGA.
Some 873 families or 3,655 persons are still staying in 20 evacuation centers in the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, and Surigao del Norte.
To date, a total of P1,825,799.00 worth of relief assistance has been provided to the affected families, consisting of P1,606,568.00 from the LGUs and P219,231.00 from the DSWD. The Department is ready to augment additional resources to the LGUs when needed.
LGUs as initial responders during calamities
DSWD Sec. Taguiwalo has earlier clarified the different roles of the Department and the LGUs during times of disasters.
She said that the LGUs are the first responders in the occurrence of natural and man-made calamities, based on Republic Act (RA) 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, while the DSWD provides the basic needs of disaster-affected families by prepositioning family food packs (FFPs) and standby funds.
Other than RA10121, RA 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 also stipulates that LGUs have the responsibility to undertake rescue operations, provide immediate relief assistance, and set-up and manage evacuation centers at the first instance of disaster occurrence.
“The DSWD works hand-in-hand with the LGUs to ensure the provision of compassionate service to victims of disasters, helping them to bounce back and eventually lead normal lives again,” the welfare chief said.
On Christmas 2016, typhoon Nock-ten ("Nina" in the Philippines) made its first landfall in the Bicol region (Eastern Philippines) on 25 December. This category 4 typhoon made eight successive landfalls, striking the island province of Catanduanes before continuing towards the capital, Manila, passing through 15 provinces across four regions. With winds of 235 km/h and 285 km/h gustiness, Nock-ten caused massive destructions and affected over 2.1 million people. While 1.7 million people were pre-emptively evacuated from their homes, over 33,000 people were still displaced at the beginning of January.
The typhoon first struck the Catanduanes and the Camarines Sur provinces, affecting over 2.1 million people in two very vulnerable provinces, where one third of the populations already lived under the poverty line.
Shelter is a major priority
ACTED’s team conducted an evaluation in Catanduanes and Camarines Sur provinces in order to assess the damages and immediate needs of affected populations. Only two weeks after the typhoon, substantial damages have been reported. Preliminary assessment results revealed that over 300,000 homes were partially (72%) or totally (28%) destroyed, principally located in the Camarines Sur and in the Catanduanes province.
It is therefore crucial to provide affected people with shelter assistance.
Relaunching agriculture and livelihoods
Furthermore, affected provinces in Bicol region report huge damages on livelihoods. In fact, the vast majority of the population relies on agriculture as the main source of livelihood, particularly abaca fibre (a sort of banana). Some areas report that 100% of abaca trees were destroyed by the typhoon, while it would take years before farmers are once again able to harvest it. Thus, families’ economies are strained and it is necessary to support livelihoods through cash for work activities.
Contrer l’urgence sanitaire
Finally, the typhoon had a huge impact on infrastructures throughout the affected provinces, with reports of devastation of many schools, health centres, roads and bridges. Water, hygiene and sanitation structures were also heavily damaged: many municipalities report unusable water sources and unsafe water, leading to an increased risk of waterborne diseases.
When typhoons Koppu and Melor (locally known as Lando and Nona, respectively) hit Central Luzon, a region north of Manila, in the latter part of 2015, Edna lost her home and hard-earned savings in an instant. The typhoon brought catastrophic damage to infrastructure and the agriculture sector, all of which added to the burden of the affected people. Recovering from the typhoon’s devastation is another story.
Rebuilding after a major disaster is a huge hurdle to overcome. But for Edna Pelayo, a 27-year-old mother of three from Nueva Ecija in the Philippines, it is possible.
Communities in Edna’s town of Laur were hit by three destructive typhoons. While farmers were still recuperating from typhoons Mujigae and Koppu, typhoon Melor mercilessly slammed her village hampering their recovery efforts. Laur’s farmers are mostly landless labourers who generally earn 200 pesos (approximately €4) a day.
“The typhoon was so strong. We immediately evacuated our neighbour because our house was shaking and our roof got blown off. Unfortunately, the typhoon also destroyed my neighbour’s house so we braved the heavy rains and strong winds to find a safer place,” Edna recalled.
“When we returned to our home the next day, it was devastating to see nothing but debris and scattered clothes,” she added. Edna was still thankful that even though they lost their house, nobody in her family got hurt after the tragic experience. Edna’s husband works as a rice farmer while she stays at home most of the time to take care of their children and the household.
“After the typhoon, the farmers in our community struggled to earn money because the farm lands were damaged. Our crops were destroyed too, so we relied heavily on support we received from the government and various organizations until we were able to slowly get back on our feet.”
Edna recalled that when her husband couldn’t earn enough money for their family because of the situation, she decided to go to the city to work as a house helper for two months. “It was hard for me to leave my children because they’re too young but I had no choice. We needed to provide food and save for their school expenses.”
A New Beginning
Edna’s family received corrugated iron sheets from the government for their shelter repair. Her neighbours also helped each other to rebuild houses. To provide emergency support to people affected by typhoon Melor, the Consortium of international non-government organizations composed of CARE, Action Against Hunger and Save the Children implemented a livelihood recovery assistance program for communities to have sustainable food sources and income-generating activities. The programme is funded by the European Commission. The livelihood assistance was carried out in Gabaldon and Laur municipalities and reached over 1,700 families.
Edna and her neighbours participated in the Consortium’s business planning session to help her identify a viable enterprise. Armed with determination, she utilised the money she received by starting a buy-and-sell business. “It's a good thing that my previous employer makes curtains so I was able to buy from her at a lower price. I sell the curtains here in my village and in other nearby communities. I am happy that I am able to sell all of my goods,” said Edna.
Because Edna starts to earn money, she is now able to buy and sell more items like slippers, bags, wallets and clothes. “I think what’s really important now is I can support my husband in buying food for us and provide a school allowance for my children,” she said.
Edna's husband couldn’t work for a week because he accidentally slashed his foot with a bolo knife (large cutting tool used by farmers) while clearing out a big area of weeds. “It was a blessing that I have my business that supported my family when my husband needed to rest. It also became our source of money to buy his medicine.”
In case another strong typhoon threatens her village, Edna also feels that she and her husband are now more prepared. “The Consortium taught us disaster preparedness and sustainable agriculture. We participated in various sessions to help us protect our house and our livelihood,” she added.
Edna and her neighbours now maximise their backyard space by doing container gardening. Using recycled plastic containers as her pots, Edna planted aubergine, squash, tomato and cabbage that she can easily relocate whenever the situation calls for it. “We really thank the European Union and the Consortium for reaching our village. Recovering from typhoon Melor would be difficult without their support. We will continue to make this grow and flourish,” said Edna.
TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte, January 10 (PIA) - - Some 22 households from Purok Tumana, Brgy. Pagasa in Kapalong are being evacuated in the municipal gymnasium as Liboganon River overflows this morning. Kapalong Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Gaspar Balinggao said in an interview that as of 1:00PM, the water level of Liboganon River reached to 6.2 meters while the spilling point is only at 5.9 meters. Balinggao stressed that pre-emptive evacuation were done earlier this morning since they noticed that every 45 minutes, the water level notches up by 0.1 meter. “With the situation, we are ready with our food packs that will be given to the evacuees,” he said. He attributed the event to the heavy rains last night in Patil, Gupitan and Suwaon. In an interview with Kapalong Information Officer Jamal Magantur, he said that the water from the Liboganon River is now slowly flowing in the compound of the municipal hall. Magantur said that classes in Kapalong National High School and Maniki Elementary School were suspended. Balinggao noted that since the water level in the upstream is decreasing, the flood will last only by around 2 hours. (PIA11, Michael Uy)