Philippines - ReliefWeb News
KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato, Apr. 23 (PIA)— Some P16 million worth of infra projects were turned over recently to nine villages in North Cotabato.
The recipient villages include: Sinapangan, Grebona, Kapayawi, Sinawilan and Ulamian in Libungan which now benefit from covered courts worth P1.5 million each; Barangay Poblacion in Tulunan with a rural health building expansion project worth P3.5 million; Barangay Dagupan in Kabacan with a Barangay Health Station worth P1 million; Barangay Poblacion, Arakan with rural health building expansion project worth P1 million and Barangay Naje still in Arakan with a water system installation of a 5.34- kilometer main pipeline project worth P6 million.
The water system was funded through a counterpart scheme between the provincial government and the local government unit of Arakan wherein each shared P3 million.
Governor Emmylou Mendoza said that the projects are all aimed at uplifting the living conditions of the people in the province. She also stated that the projects were implemented through effective coordination between the provincial government and the LGUs.
During the turnovers, the governor noted that the provincial government through its respective departments and offices will implement more programs and projects.
Meanwhile, Mendoza acknowledged the support of the local chief executives of Libungan, Arakan, Tulunan and Kabacan as well as the village officials of the recipient barangays for adhering to the advocacy of “Serbisyong Totoo”.
“My sincerest thanks and also commendation to our local leaders for believing that if we work together we will achieve further,” she emphasized.
With the projects, the province’s chief executive is optimistic that these would bring positive impact to the lives of the beneficiaries especially to those who are in far-flung areas.
She then appealed to all Cotabateños to continue supporting the program and projects of her administration to ensure more progress and development in the province. (SJDuerme-PIA12/JSta.Cruz-N. Cotabato Provincial Government)
‘After surviving Typhoon Haiyan, we had to cope with three more typhoons. But now that we have moved into our new shelter, I know my family is finally safe.’ These are the words of Anna Lisa Calvadores, a young mother who lives in small, tight knit community on an exposed hillside in Eastern Samar in the Philippines.
Toby Ash who is the Philippines country coordinator for ShelterBox, recently met some of the people who are involved with ShelterBox’s projects to create resilient ‘transitional’ shelters in the country following the damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan.
For more than a year, Anna Lisa and her family lived in a tiny, makeshift shelter cobbled together from tarpaulins and materials salvaged from her old home, which was completely destroyed when Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the country in November 2013.
The typhoon was one of the strongest storms ever recorded and destroyed not only homes and buildings, but people’s livelihoods too, leaving them without the income to start rebuilding. She and other vulnerable families are now moving into safe, resilient shelters being built by ShelterBox and our project partners across areas hardest hit by the disaster.
The generosity of our donors following the extraordinary scale of destruction wrought by Haiyan has enabled us to continue our assistance to those who lost their homes. Working in partnership with four larger international aid agencies, ACTED, Handicap International, Islamic Relief and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), we are constructing almost 1,700 ‘transitional’ shelters, made largely from locally sourced materials. We are working in Eastern Samar, where Haiyan first hit landfall, in Leyte, close to the devastated city of Tacloban, and on the island of Bantayan.
In addition to the creation of the shelters themselves, the projects promote a wider understanding of how communities can best protect themselves in the future by passing on, and training carpenters in, techniques to rebuild safer shelters. In this way, communities are taking an active role in the recovery process and helping themselves to become more resilient to future disasters.
One such carpenter is 50 year old Nilo Visto, from the municipality of AlangAlang in northern Leyte, who underwent 15 days of training as part of the project we are carrying out with our implementing partner ACTED. He now has a certificate from the Philippines’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) after demonstrating his knowledge of safe building practices. Since graduation, Nilo has helped construct 20 strong shelters for us in his village. With his newfound skills, Nilo believes that he will be able to find more regular work to help support his family and also be able to assist his neighbours rebuild safely.
The shelter projects we are supporting target the most vulnerable of society – often the elderly, physically challenged and families who have limited capacity to recover on their own. Other members of the community are often happy to help out with the construction work even though they will not be beneficiaries themselves. In Anna Lisa’s village, where we are supporting the work of CRS, we found a large group of residents busy making gravel from large boulders, which will be used in the foundations.
The projects we are undertaking also engage the wider community in build back safer awareness activities, from catchy build back safer songs to house-to-house visits. These activities clearly paid dividends in December last year when Typhoon Hagupit struck areas we are working in. This time they were far better prepared, with many households tying down their shelters and reinforcing their roofs in the hours before the storm hit. None of our newly built shelters sustained any damage.
The reality of climate change is that super typhoons such as Haiyan are no longer one off events. So far this year, the Philippines has already endured three powerful typhoons. Our continued engagement is helping to ensure they are better able to withstand extreme weather events in the future, minimising not only the future risk to life, but also the need for us to return with emergency aid in the years to come.
SAMAR – On 22 April, the European Union and the Philippines Red Cross will officially hand over 2,000 temporary core shelters to families affected by Typhoon Yolanda in Samar. Another 1,000 families were given shelter repair assistance.
In 2013, 22 million people worldwide were displaced by natural disasters – three times as many as war refugees. 4.1 million of them were Filipinos affected by typhoon Yolanda. The number of climate refugees is growing rapidly, making emergency assistance and climate change adaptation crucial.
EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux took the opportunity of the field visit to Samar to reiterate the need for a comprehensive approach to fight climate change. "Climate change adaptation should form part of our daily lives as everyone holds a stake in environment protection and disaster risk reduction in the same manner that we must all do our share to cut our emissions", he said adding that the European Union adopted its climate change targets including a 40 percent cut in emissions by 2030.
The EU has contributed € 30 million or Php 1.8 billion to families hit by Typhoon Yolanda since 2013. Part of this assistance was used by the EU to provide assistance to affected families in Samar. Each shelter was built with the participation of families affected by the typhoon using the cash-for-work strategy. Construction of the houses started in April 2014 until end of December 2014. Community participation was therefore ensured during the construction of the shelters. Each house is built in six days and an agreement is made with the land owners. Each shelter is 18 square meters made of coco lumber and is supported by six posts and a system of floor girders and top beams.
During the turnover ceremony, Ambassador Ledoux commended stakeholders for their resiliency and for their efforts and collaboration to put their lives back to normal.
Ambassador Ledoux was joined by Spanish Red Cross Head Ana Montoya, German Red Cross Head Emilio Tejeira, Finnish Red Cross Head Toni Jokinen, Philippine Red Cross Secretary-General Gwendoloyn Pang and Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon. Local government officials were also present during the meeting and turnover.
In the municipalities of Basey and Marabut (Western Samar) alone, the European Union through its Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) provided Php 155 million worth of shelter assistance to around 15,000 people through the Spanish Red Cross with the German, Finnish and Philippine Red Cross as co-implementing partners.
From the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
The head of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has expressed confidence that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) fully support the ongoing Bangsamoro peace process despite delays in the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
OIC Secretary General Iyad bin Ameen Madani said during his courtesy call to Senate President Franklin M. Drilon that there is an agreement between both the MILF and the MNLF that the Bangsamoro peace process should be pursued.
Madani said this is underscored by the convergence process taking place between the government’s peace accords with the MILF and MNLF, particularly in the harmonious relationship being forged under the auspices of the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF) formed in 2010 on the initiative of the OIC and formally operationalized in 2014 after the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the government and the MILF.
“We have touched base with the two fronts. It was clear that we all want peace. As we talked, it became clear that we can all benefit from these,” said Madani, who presided at the fourth BCF meeting in Davao City Saturday as part of his four-day just-concluded official visit to the Philippines.
The MILF was represented by ten panelists led by chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal while the MNLF Nur Misuari group was represented by Ustadz Shariff Zain Jali and the Central Committee represented by Muslimin Sema fielded in six members each during the said BCF meeting.
“We pushed for the reviving, reinvigorating of the Forum. We think it provides an excellent stage for all sides to communicate to express their views. We are optimistic that this Forum is reducing the gap between the different views. We are all interested in peace,” said Madani in an interview with the local media over the weekend.
He also said that the two fronts are expected to meet anew at the Council of Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Kuwait next month.
During his four-day visit, Madani reiterated the OIC’s support for the CAB and the BBL as well as urged everyone to be part of the peace process. “Everybody should realize that if they miss this process, they are marginalizing themselves.”
The Secretary General also corrected notions that they are here to pressure Congress to pass the BBL. “The OIC is not involved in passing the BBL. That is an internal legislative matter to your country. The OIC is here to express its support to the BBL. The CAB is made meaningful by the BBL as the BBL gives the CAB legs to stand on.”
With Madani are OIC Special Envoy for Peace in the Southern Philippines Sayed El-Masry; Director of the OIC Department of Information Maha Mostafa Akeel; Head of the OIC Department of Muslim Communities and Minorities Dr. Hassan Ahmad Abdein; Liaison Officer for OIC Special Envoy for PCSP Saidu Dodo; Personal Assistant to the OIC Secretary-General Mohammed Adoum; Protocol Officer Mohammed Naghi; and Ahmad Madani.
Also in the meeting in the Senate were Senator Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr., Chairman of the Senate Local Governments Committee that is tackling the proposed BBL, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles, and Undersecretary Jose Lorena.
Philippines: President Aquino approves release of P2.2 billion for government employees affected by ‘Yolanda’, Bohol quake
MANILA, April 22 -- President Benigno S. Aquino III has approved the release of P2.259 billion in financial assistance to national government employees who were affected by Typhoon Yolanda and the Bohol earthquake, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said on Wednesday.
The financial aid is for the first batch of 48,995 employees of national government agencies based in the Mindoro-Marinduque,-Romblon-Palawan region, the Bicol region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and Eastern Visayas, whose houses were totally, heavily, or partially damaged by the two natural disasters that struck the country in 2013, he said.
Secretary Coloma noted that President Aquino has also directed all concerned Cabinet secretaries to fast-track the implementation of all programs, activities and projects pertaining to the rehabilitation and recovery of all areas hit by Typhoon Yolanda.
“He reiterated the importance of building back better and more resilient communities,” he added.
A special cabinet meeting was convened on Wednesday to discuss the ‘Yolanda’ Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan.
On October 15, 2013, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake rocked Central Visayas, devastating Bohol and Cebu, where 222 people perished and 797 others were injured.
Two weeks later on November 2, the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall struck much of Eastern Visayas. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, an estimated 6,300 people were killed, 28,689 others were injured, and 1,061 went missing when Typhoon Yolanda hit the country. Damages were estimated at P89.59 billion. (PCOO/PND (ag)
MANILA, 23 April (PIA) – Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chairman Richard J. Gordon led yesterday the symbolic turnover of 3,000 more houses to victims of the super typhoon Yolanda in Basey and Maribut, Western Samar.
Gordon was joined by PRC Secretary General Dr. Gwendolyn T. Pang and officials of Red Cross’ partner national societies.
The symbolic turn-over of scale model houses and the handover of Certificates of Ownership to five beneficiaries were witnessed by Basey Mayor Igmedio Junji E. Ponferrada and Maribut Mayor Percival A. Ortillo, Jr.
As of April 17, 2015, the Red Cross has constructed 54,075 houses out of the targeted 83,127 with 702 more homes still under construction. PRC and its partner societies have spearheaded the construction of new homes for those who lost their homes during the typhoon, knowing the hazards that living without reliable shelter can bring.
The housing project is part of PRC’s recovery program which is being implemented in provinces affected by the super typhoon with the help of different Red Cross Societies such as the Finnish Red Cross, German Red Cross, and Spanish Red Cross. (PRC/RJB/JEG/PIA-NCR)
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) respond to environmental emergencies through the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit (JEU). JEU combines UNEP's environmental expertise with the OCHA-coordinated humanitarian network. This helps to ensure an integrated approach by coordinating international efforts and mobilizing partners.
As of 13 April, there were 66 cases of dengue reported in China for 2015. Compared with the same period of the previous of 2012 to 2014, the number of dengue cases reported in China has increased slightly in 2015 (Figure 1).
As of 11 April 2015, there were 35,701 cases of dengue reported in Malaysia for 2015. This is 36% higher compared with the same reporting period of 2014 (n=26,249) (Figure 2). From 5 to 11 April 2015, there were 1, 557 cases of dengue reported, 3.2% less than the same period of the previous week (n=1,609).
KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, Apr. 22 (PIA) -- Farm animals may also suffer from heat stroke, an official of the Provincial Veterinary Office here warned.
Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Flora Bigot emphasized that like humans, farm animals may also may also be endangered if left unprotected against the searing heat brought about by the weak El Niño.
Heat stroke could kill, she added.
“Farm animals such as carabaos and cattle should be kept under shades from 9:00 in the morning until 3:00 in the afternoon,” Bigot said.
“Provide the animals enough drinking water and bathe the animals at least once a day to keep their body temperature down.”
Instead of allowing the livestock to graze in open pastures from the mentioned time, animal owners should resort to cut-and-carry method of feeding.
This means, she elaborated, that owners have to cut grasses and bring these to the animals while the livestock are in the shaded and cool place.
“Pigs should be bathed twice a day and provided enough water to drink,” she added.
In case of heat stroke, affected animals should immediately be bathed in cold water and urged to drink a lot of water.
“Mix 2 tablespoons of dextrose powder to each liter of drinking water. Oral rehydration solution (oresol) or hydrite may also be used,” she continued.
The mild El Niño , which started around December of 2014 , has already caused over P156.6 million damage to crops, according to the latest report from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.
Affected crops include corn, rice, cassava, high value crops and vegetables.
Earlier this week, Orlando Tibang, the irrigation management officer of National Irrigation Administration – South Cotabato confirmed that water levels in dams in province have also reduced.
“Water in many communal irrigation systems in the province have been depleted due to the mild El Niño,” he said.
In Barangay Liberty , in nearby Tampakan town, 70 percent of households lost sources of drinking water.
The situation has led the local government unit with support from the provincial government of South Cotabato to ration water to the affected families.
The provincial government has not yet declared a state of calamity. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12)
The Australian Government through its Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM) Program is distributing at least P117 million worth of brand new books to select schools in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in an effort to upgrade the region’s school libraries.
Atty. Jamar Kulayan, ARMM’s education secretary, said the books are donated by the Brother’s Brother Foundation and the Rotary Club of Makati (RCM) to the Learning Improvement through Book Reading Opportunities or LIBRO Para sa Batang Bangsamoro Project, a book donation drive spearheaded by the department and the BEAM-ARMM Program.
BBF is a US-based foundation that focuses on medical and educational needs of children around the world and works with RCM on various charity work in the Philippines.
The books were shipped straight from the warehouse of McGraw Hill and other major publishers in the United States to Zamboanga and Cotabato City just recently.
Speaking before the handover ceremonies of books held here on April 9, 2015, Kulayan said that more than 300 school libraries including 32 madaris or Islamic schools across ARMM will receive new math, science, and English books from the LIBRO Project.
He added that the BEAM-ARMM Program also allotted P15 million for minor repairs and refurbishing of school libraries and reading centers in the region.
“This is a huge and ambitious project. But DepEd-ARMM is confident that with the help of the Australian Government, thousands of our schoolchildren will get access to libraries that offer quality reading and reference materials,” said Kulayan.
Kulayan noted that reading is key to increasing the learning outcomes of schoolchildren, especially in ARMM where access to learning materials such as books is seen wanting in recent years.
“Lack of access to learning materials hamper the learning of our schoolchildren,” he said, adding, that through reading, “we are teaching them the process of critical thinking, which allows them to make better choices.”
He pointed out that a better Moro is an educated Moro. “We can start educating our children by teaching them how to read and comprehend what they are reading,” he added.
“When we accomplish the task of teaching our children to think rationally and to make better choices, we can already solve more than half of our peace and order problems in the region,” Kulayan said.
The Australian Government-funded BEAM-ARMM Program aims to contribute to the alleviation of poverty in ARMM and, in the longer term, to the emergence of sustainable peace in the region through closely-targeted investments in early childhood and basic education as well as skills training of out-of-school youth and senior high school students.
Aside from beefing up the region’s school libraries, the Australian Government helps DepEd-ARMM implement the Enhanced Basic Education Curriculum or K to 12 Program through supplemental training of elementary, high school, and madrasah teachers and administrators on core subjects such as math, science, and English.
The Australian Government also constructs and rehabilitates classroom buildings, promotes and delivers school health and sanitation facilities, increases the chances of out-of-school youth and senior high school students in landing decent jobs through skills development and training, and provides alternative delivery model of basic education in remote and conflict-affected areas of ARMM.
Philippines: NEDA backs eco-efficient infra development to improve climate change resiliency, water security
From the National Economic and Development Authority
The Philippine government, as embodied in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), has adopted the ecologically and economically efficient (“eco-efficient”) concept in the development of water infrastructure as an overarching strategy towards the pursuit of water security, and, through innovative interventions and technologies, as an important approach to dealing with the challenges of climate change.
This is in recognition that despite the Philippines being blessed with abundant water resources, increasing demand, and competing use have resulted to water supply shortages. While the increasing frequency and intensity of rainfall could augment water supply during dry months, excess water has not been taken advantage of and efficiently utilized. Instead, extreme rainfall has resulted in flooding and damages.
“We see the mainstreaming of eco-efficient water infrastructure (EEWIN) as a strategy to help enhance our country’s competitiveness by helping increase the efficiency and productivity of our growth sectors,” said NEDA Deputy Director-General for Investment Programming Rolando G. Tungpalan.
“We have been advocating the development and mainstreaming of EEWIN, which utilizes water resources in an economically-efficient and environment-friendly way, in the planning and project preparation processes, such as in the design of infrastructure,” the NEDA official added.
In February 2013, the NEDA Board – Committee on Infrastructure (INFRACOM) directed all relevant and water-related agencies to mainstream the eco-efficient concept in their proposed/identified activities, programs, and projects, and tasked NEDA to disseminate EEWIN key principles and standards for reference of concerned agencies.
To comply with this INFRACOM directive and facilitate said mainstreaming, NEDA developed appropriate information, education, and communication (IEC) materials on EEWIN, with the objective of providing implementing agencies, local government units (LGUs), and other stakeholders with model EEWIN technologies/innovations that can be replicated or adopted in designing their own activities, programs, and projects.
EEWIN was presented during the March 18, 2015 Symposium on Water Security Towards Sustainable Development, an activity spearheaded by the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) as part of the World Water Week 2015 celebration.
Successful and replicable EEWIN projects developed by agencies and institutions, such as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), Department of Science and Technology – Region 7 (DOST-7), Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), City Government of Muntinlupa, SM Malls, and Ayala Land, Inc., were showcased, with emphasis on their advantages and benefits, to inspire stakeholders to welcome innovation in their planning and design processes.
“With this approach, we can ensure the availability of water at this time and for future generations while building on the needed infrastructure to ultimately achieve a high, sustained, and inclusive growth,” the NEDA official explained.
Consistent with the concept of value engineering/value analysis (VE/VA), EEWIN aims to optimize resources and investments, reduce overall life-cycle costs, and expand the functionality of a project, without compromising its intended objectives.
“When applied to infrastructure development, eco-efficiency means being able to do more with less cost and with lower negative effect on the environment,” the NEDA official emphasized.
April 21, 2015 Jemin B. Guillermo
ROXAS CITY, Capiz, April 21 (PIA) – Seventy completed core shelters were turned over by the UN Habitat and Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman to residents of Roxas City.
According to Leah Joy Alba of UN Habitat Roxas City Office Knowledge Management Junior Officer, Soliman together with UN Habitat Project Manager Warren Ubongen handed over the certificates to household partners in the three Home Owners Associations.
Soliman was the guest of honor during the formal opening, April 10, of the seven-day Capiztahan festival in Capiz.
The UN Habitat post-Yolanda support for safer homes and settlements project to Capiceños has the funding support of the government of Japan and DSWD, she said.
Alba said that of the 70 core shelters that were turned over to the associations, 26 of which are for the Mercedes D. Panganiban Home Owners Association, Inc in barangay Baybay, Roxas City, 23 for the RJ Medalla Milagrosa HOAI also of the same barangay and 21 for Ramon Dinglasan Estate HOAI in Libas, Roxas City.
In her message, Soliman lauded the active participation of the community in building their homes with the UN Habitat.
She cited that the community, particularly the project beneficiaries, took part in all the stages in building their homes from the planning up to the implementation of said plan.
Soliman likewise congratulated the people for their energetic and determination to recover from the onslaught of supertyphoon Yolanda that heavily affected the people here.
For the shelter beneficiaries, RJ Medalla Milagrosa HOAI President Juan Higo expressed their sincerest thanks and appreciation to the DSWD, Japan government and the UN Habitat for helping them to have their own home again.
Present during the event were Baybay Barangay Captain Reynaldo Magallanes, Ramon Dinglasan Estate HOAI President Delia Romualdo, Mercedes D. Panganiban HOAI President Leony Aguilar and the project beneficiaries. (JCM/JBG/PIA6-Capiz)
World: Access to education for 1 million children improved through 10-year UNICEF and ING partnership
NEW YORK, 21 April 2015 – UNICEF and ING, a Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation, today announced the renewal of a decade-long partnership that to date has provided access to better quality education for more than 1 million of the world’s hardest-to-reach children.
During the past 10 years, ING has inspired its employees and customers worldwide to raise funds for UNICEF, helping to improve children’s access to education in remote communities in Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Nepal and Zambia.
“ING shares UNICEF’s deep commitment to improving the lives and well-being of children and young people around the world,” said Koos Timmermans, Member and Vice Chairman, Management Board Banking, ING. “We are united by a conviction that education is a fundamental building block for the development of children and their societies. We are proud that with the support from our customers and employees, the ING–UNICEF partnership has positively affected the lives of 1 million disadvantaged children.”
The partnership has trained 17,000 teachers and has been instrumental in the development of new ways to reach marginalized children. In 2006, ING was one of the first investors to support Alternative Basic Education Centres, providing much needed educational opportunities for pastoralist children in Ethiopia. The strategy has now been fully integrated into the country’s education system. In Nepal, ING was also the first investor to support the Adolescent Development and Participation programme in 2013, helping to equip young people with social and financial skills.
The second phase of the partnership will shift its focus to adolescents. While the world has made remarkable progress for millions of children over the past decades – reducing child mortality, increasing the number of children enrolled in primary school, and expanding access to health care services – far too many of the 1.2 billion adolescents worldwide have been left behind.
“UNICEF is grateful to ING – and especially to its employees and customers – for their commitment to improving children’s lives and futures,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “We are excited that our renewed partnership with ING will focus on reaching adolescents and helping them develop the knowledge and skills they need to build brighter futures for themselves, their families, and the societies in which they live.”
For the next three years, the renewed partnership aims to reach 335,000 adolescents in six countries – Indonesia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Nepal, the Philippines and Zambia –enabling them to develop into socially and financially empowered adults and full members of society.
Notes to editors:
Results of the UNICEF-ING partnership
- In India, 37,622 girls, for whom school was either too far away or a road too dangerous to travel, have received free transport so that they can attend school. The partnership has supported 720 education centres for former Indian child labourers, and 3,000 primary schools have received training materials and teacher trainings.
- By constructing new school buildings in remote, rural areas in Zambia almost 10,000 children, who had previously never had the opportunity to attend school, have been enrolled.
- In Ethiopia, 458 Alternative Basic Education Centres for pastoralist children have been built, benefiting over 50,000 children. Andover 3,400 facilitators (teachers from the community) have been trained to apply a ‘child-friendly’ teaching method.
Behind these figures are the individual stories of teachers and children like Mohamed, a young Ethiopian man who herded goats until he was 11 years old and was given the opportunity to be one of the first children to enrol in an ING-supported Alternative Basic Education Centre.
“The school building was made of sticks and we shared one book between five students and were sitting on rocks,” said Mohamed, who is now 19 years old, remembering his first experiences at school. “So much has changed since then! Right now, the children in my community have their classes in a real school building; they have tables and chairs and every child has a textbook. Most importantly, parents really understand now why children should go to school.”
ING is a global financial institution with a strong European base, offering banking services through its operating company ING Bank and holding a significant stake in the listed insurer NN Group NV. The purpose of ING Bank is empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business. ING Bank’s 53,000 employees offer retail and commercial banking services to customers in over 40 countries.
Sustainability forms an integral part of ING’s corporate strategy, which is evidenced by ING Group shares being included in the FTSE4Good index and in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Europe and World) where ING is the industry leader in the diversified financials group. www.ing.com
UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
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Disaster preparedness is an important part of ACT Alliance members’ response in the Philippines after supertyphoon Haiyan.
It is only a matter of time when the next powerful typhoon or some other natural catastrophe hits this extremely disaster-prone country. However, next time does not have to be deadly, as a lot can be done to mitigate the impact of a disaster.
That is the message of ACT Alliance members when they conduct Disaster Risk Reduction Trainings in the communities they are working with.
“If the community is prepared, it can cope with the impact of a disaster”, says Education Officer Edward Santos from ACT member the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP).
The training participants in Odoc, a fisher village badly damaged by Haiyan, listen attentively. They are poor farmers, fishers, housewives, youngsters and elderly. They have all been battered by storms.
“I decided to attend Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction training, because I want to know how to protect my family during a storm”, says Erlinda Torbeles, 48.
Philippines has usually 20 typhoons every year, with five of them destructive. The effects of climate change come in the form of more intense and erratic storms, sea level rise and increasing heat. In addition, the Philippines is situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire, where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.
About a third of the population lives below the poverty line. The poor are hit hardest by calamities, as they have very limited means to protect themselves.
But something can always be done. In fact, the knowledge of what to do is there already – not with the experts or humanitarian workers, but with the local people. Their quiet knowledge of their own area is taken up and discussed together in the trainings.
The participants identify and assess the risks, vulnerabilities and capacities of their own village. Together they brainstorm the preferred activities what the village can do to reduce risks, what NCCP can do to assist, and what remains the responsibility of the local government.
The objective of the trainings is that communities can develop comprehensive preparedness plans (counter disaster plan). Another goal is to create a change of mindset toward self-relience and responsible ownership of the survival of the community.
Disaster Risk Reduction training means increasing people’s capacity to cope or withstand impacts of disasters and address the causes of people’s vulnerability.
“I really learned a lot. As we have no evacuation center in the village, we need to think in advance where to find shelter during a powerful storm. It’s very important that the community works together in this. We need to think, how to riprap the river which always floods after strong rains. Some unsafe bridges also need to be replaced”, Torbeles says.
After compiling the disaster preparedness plan, the next step in Odoc will be to make a proposition to NCCP for assistance for the riprapping work. As the bridge repair and building a storm wall at the sea front are the responsibility of the municipal government, NCCP can help the community with advocacy efforts towards the municipal government.
Beside the Disaster Risk Reduction Trainings, ACT members continue shelter and livelihood support in the typhoon Haiyan affected areas during the Haiyan Follow-on Appeal period 2015-2016.
Snapshot 15–21 April 2015
Iraq Violence has displaced 14,000 families in and around Ramadi: 7,000 in Anbar; 5,000 in Baghdad, 2,000 on their way to Baghdad. Checkpoints and insecurity hamper IDP movement. UNICEF estimates 8.29 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, up from 5.2 million in February.
Burundi: Pre-election violence and intimidation has caused 7,100 Burundians to flee to Rwanda and 900 to Democratic Republic of Congo. Burundians report incidents of harassment and disappearance of family members associated with the political opposition. In Rwanda, people are staying at two reception centres, in Nyanza and Bugesera. Efforts are underway to relocate the refugees farther away from the border. Some 60% of the arrivals are children.
Updated: 21/04/2015. Next update: 28/04/2015
In an effort to provide communications support to communities affected by disasters and emergencies, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Smart Communications, Inc. will forge a partnership today, April 21, that will extend free calls, internet use, and charging of mobile phones in DSWD operations centers, as well as in designated evacuation centers.
“In times of disasters, the need for communication is as important as the need for food. People in disaster-stricken areas need to immediately communicate with their loved ones to assure them that they are safe or to ask for help,” Secretary of Social Welfare and Development Corazon Juliano-Soliman said.
“Through this partnership with Smart, the Department’s visibility and capability to respond to the most urgent needs of the affected population will be enhanced,” Sec. Soliman added.
Sec. Soliman cited the important role played by information and communications technology in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda.
For his part, Smart Public Affairs Head Mon Isberto said, “Communications has become an important component of disaster response. We have committed to support the relief operations of the DSWD by providing the agency our host of communications solutions so that they are able to effectively deploy resources on the ground, and other services that will provide psychosocial relief to disaster-stricken communities.”
“Our libreng tawag services will help families in affected areas reconnect with their loved ones and reunite with other family members who may have been displaced by disasters. These services have become part of our post-disaster relief and response as we recognize the need of people to communicate with loved ones and family in difficult times,” added Isberto.
Both the DSWD and Smart will work closely in formulating the guidelines for the implementation of this partnership anchored on the country’s National Disaster Response Plan.
“This partnership with the DSWD will further boost our response efforts. [With DSWD as] the lead agency tasked with the national government’s disaster response, this tie-up will allow us to serve more people and ensure that our resources are deployed to areas where they are most needed,” said Isberto.
Smart, through its year-round disaster preparedness and response umbrella program #SafePH, has strengthened its internal capabilities to prepare for disasters and help in post-disaster response, including the recalibration of its network infrastructure, and training of its on-ground personnel on surviving adverse conditions.
This partnership effort will also actively promote the culture of preparedness to partner-communities, including religious organizations, schools, local government units, and even households in high-risk areas to build their capacities to prepare for, deal with the impact of, and bounce back from, disasters.
DSWD is a member of the Disaster Response Pillar under the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), and is the lead agency for the Camp Coordination and Camp Management, Protection, and Food and Non-Food Clusters.
Ben Pickering joined OCHA Philippines in May 2014 to manage the humanitarian hub in Zamboanga City, Mindanao. His role was to help local authorities and the wider humanitarian community in the coordination of humanitarian assistance to all affected people.
A unique partnership was born the day that Stephen McDonald from Save the Children walked through the doors of Deakin University to share his ideas on leadership training in the humanitarian sector with Dr Phil Connors from the MICD program in 2011. In the intervening period this partnership has expanded its global reach to include other actors in the humanitarian sector and has resulted in the development of the GCHL/HLP. Over three years this course has proved enormously popular with over 1000 applicants, some 120 graduates and currently has over 200 participants worldwide. The course utilises a combination of cloud based and intensive located learning pedagogies to provide world leading education.
The research was commissioned to ascertain the effectiveness of the applied learning for graduates and current students involved in leadership roles in the humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda that devastated central Philippines in November 2013.
The findings from the research indicate that the structure and content of the course is relevant and very effective in building the self-awareness, self-confidence, resilience, reflective practice, strategic thinking and relational leadership skills of graduates and current students. All informants indicated the course had assisted them to become better leaders within their organisation’s response.
The research also identified limitations in the current structure. The course is restricted in its reach because it can only accept limited numbers in each iteration due to the nature of the intensive located learning units. Currently the programme is run once a year, due to budget and staffing restrictions, and is taught in English, limiting its impact and reducing access for potential non-English speaking students. There are plans to expand delivery through partnerships with other educational institutions, humanitarian organisations and private sector partners. Discussions are currently underway with the University of Indonesia, University of Nairobi and the Asia Institute of Management in Manila. It is also planned to have the course available to be taught in Bahasa Indonesia and other languages as part of this process. Negotiations for a Francophone version are also underway. A wider reach can only benefit the sector as a whole.
To realise the transformation of the sector through a focus on leadership, as indicated in the multitude of reports on the subject over the last decade, it is important that scale is achieved. What this report identifies is that the course and process has significant impact on the leadership capabilities of graduates. Expansion of the course into other regions and languages will make it more accessible to a greater variety of humanitarian actors. Essential to the process is maintaining the pedagogical integrity of the course while contextualising the content to suit the focus and diversity of the region in which it is being delivered. By making the course available across regions achieves the outcome of building local capacity to be able to lead responses to complex disasters. The benefits of this would enhance the necessary transformation of the sector making it more sustainable and more proficient in coping with the increasing demands being placed upon it.
Fear and uncertainty remain for thousands of people displaced by the month-long clashes between government armed forces and armed groups in Maguindanao in March. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) are striving together to help them.
"Although the fighting in Maguindanao has stopped, irregular skirmishes and uncertainty in the area prevent displaced families from returning to their homes," said Pascal Mauchle, head of the ICRC delegation in the Philippines.
Unable to go back to their homes and farms, many of whom have been affected by the current dry season brought about by El Niño, displaced families living in evacuation centres are dependent on aid.
"The prolonged dry season is affecting the health of the displaced families and reducing their incomes. Each day in these temporary sites is a major struggle for them, and the future remains unclear," added Mauchle.
On 4 April, the ICRC and the PRC began trucking clean water daily to around 16,000 people in 17 evacuation centres in the municipalities of Mamasapano and Datu Salibo, in Maguindanao. In the coming days, the number of beneficiaries will grow to 26,000 people in 24 evacuation centres.
With hygiene and sanitation being another primary concern, the ICRC will conduct maintenance of toilets it had built in 2008, when thousands of people were displaced in Maguindanao. It will also construct new permanent toilets with septic tanks in several evacuation centres.
"The toilets we constructed in 2008 are being used by people who are presently displaced. As such, the sanitation infrastructures we are planning to build will remain for any future needs," said Marco Albertini, ICRC's water and habitat coordinator.
Five multipurpose tents were also given to the Integrated Public Health Office of Maguindanao to be used as emergency health posts providing health services for the displaced people in the evacuation centres.
To improve health response to emergencies, the ICRC and the PRC have begun first-aid training of 60 health staff working in rural health units and other emergency response units in the municipalities of Matalam and Kabacan, in North Cotabato.
These four-day courses, which will run until June, cover 21 rural health units in North Cotabato and Maguindanao, and will also be conducted in Agusan del Sur and Zamboanga.
The ICRC continues to coordinate its efforts with local authorities, which have been supporting the displaced, on remaining needs.
Since 25 February 2015, in central Mindanao, the ICRC and the PRC have also:
- distributed half-month food rations, hygiene items, jerrycans and tarpaulins to about 4,000 displaced families in Pikit, North Cotabato, and Pagalungan, Maguindanao;
- supplied potable water to two evacuation centres in Pagalungan from 27 February to 5 March;
- continued to supply medical equipment, medicines, and dressing materials to the emergency rooms of Cotabato Provincial Hospital (Amas/Kidapawan) and Dr Amado Diaz Provincial Hospital (Midsayap) in North Cotabato, and the Maguindanao Provincial Hospital (Shariff Aguak) to enhance their capacity to treat weapon-wounded people;
- continued to provide ad hoc support to other hospitals/clinics in the area that receive weapon-wounded people. This support has benefited at least 20 weapon-wounded people from January to March. The ICRC remains committed to assisting displaced families in Maguindanao and is preparing with the PRC to launch targeted food distributions in May.
For further information, please contact:
Lany Dela Cruz, ICRC Cotabato, tel: +63 999 887 0985 Allison Lopez, ICRC Manila, tel: +63 908 868 6884 Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Manila, tel: +63 918 907 2125