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

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


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

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

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

Policy Recommendations include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philippines: Safer Access selected experience: The Philippines

18 November 2015 - 11:25pm
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross, Philippine National Red Cross Country: Philippines

In this shared experience, the Philippine Red Cross recounts the challenges it encountered and how it overcame them when fighting broke out between Philippine government forces and a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front in September 2013. During the violence, the National Society suffered a security incident. By describing the actions it took in response and the lessons it learnt, the Philippine Red Cross hopes to help other National Societies facing similar challenges to their acceptance, security and access.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Combining Quality Infrastructure with Financial Protection in the Philippines

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

Innovative Insurance Pooling and Recovery in the Pacific

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

Capturing Japanese Knowledge for Impact

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

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

Philippines: Dengue cases in Caraga region down by 48%

18 November 2015 - 10:42pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Daisy Jane M. Apit

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 19 (PIA)- Dengue cases in Caraga region dropped by 48% from January 1 to October 24 this year with 3,540 cases and 25 deaths recorded compared with last year’s same time period with 6,827 cases and 44 deaths, the Department of Health (DOH) - Caraga reported.

Most of the cases were recorded in Surigao del Sur at 704, followed by Butuan City with 676 cases, Agusan del Sur with 645 cases, Surigao City with 341 cases, Agusan del Norte with 307 cases, Bayugan City with 262 cases, Surigao del Norte with 246 cases, Bislig City with 110 cases, Cabadbaran City with 105 cases. Then, Tandag City with 73 and Dinagat Islands’ 71 cases.

Of these cases, 54% were males and 38% belonged to 0 to 10 years age group according to records from the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) of the DOH 13.

DOH-Caraga headed by Dr. Jose Llacuna emphasized that the best way to eradicate this problem is by searching and destroying mosquito breeding places and be updated to the dengue status of each barangay in the locality. (DJA/PIA-Caraga)

Philippines: Typhoon-hit Philippines farmers race to plant seeds so as to repay loans

18 November 2015 - 5:21pm
Source: AlertNet Country: Philippines

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 18 Nov 2015 14:25 GMT

Author: Thomson Reuters Foundation

BANGKOK, Nov 18 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In the fertile plains of Luzon island in the Philippines, farmers are in a race against time - a month after Typhoon Koppu destroyed their crops, they need to plant seeds in the coming weeks so they can repay loans at harvest time.

Read the story on the Thompson Reuters Foundation

Malaysia: Dengue Situation Update 478, 17 November 2015

18 November 2015 - 8:23am
Source: World Health Organization Country: American Samoa, Australia, Cambodia, China, French Polynesia (France), Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Viet Nam

Northern Hemisphere

China (no update)

As of 30 September, there were 1917 cases of dengue reported in 2015 for China, with majority of the cases being reported during September. From 1 to 30 September 2015, 1479 dengue cases were reported. The number of cases in the month of September in 2015 has increased, however was lower than the same period of 2014. (Figure 1)


As of 7 November, there were 102,801 cases of dengue with 283 deaths reported in Malaysia for 2015. This is 18.5% higher compared with the same reporting period of 2014 (n=86,765). From 1 to 7 November 2015, there were 2,136 cases of dengue reported, which is lower than the previous week (n=2,157)


As of 17 October 2015, there were 124,728 suspected cases of dengue, including 374 deaths, reported in Philippines. This is 40.3% higher compared with the same reporting period in 2014 (n=88,898) (Figure 3). From 4 to 17 October 2015 (week 41), there were 798 suspected cases of dengue reported. All four DENV serotypes have been detected in 2015. (NOTE: Case counts reported here do not represent the final number and will change after inclusion of delayed reports)


As of 7 November 2015, there were 8,786 cases of dengue reported in Singapore for 2015. From 1 to 7 November 2015, 266 dengue cases were reported, which is higher than the previous week (n=249) (Figure 4).

Cambodia (no update)

As of 13 October 2015, there were 12,218 cases of dengue, including 34 deaths, reported in Cambodia. The number of cases is decreasing and it follows seasonal trend between 2011 and 2013 (Figure 5).


As of 6 November, there were 1,641 cases of dengue and no deaths reported in Lao PDR for 2015. From 31 October to 6 November 2015, 40 dengue cases were reported, which is lower than the previous week (n=43) (Figure 6). There is no country level alert for the week ending 6 November 2015.

Viet Nam

As of 30 September 2015, there were 39,410 cases of dengue, including 31 deaths, reported in 49 out of 63 provinces in Viet Nam for 2015. The number of cases increased compared to the same reporting period in 2014 and compared to the same reporting period from 2010-2014(median), the number of cases decreased by 22.3%. Around 78.9% of reported cases were from Southern region. (Figure7).

Philippines: Climate and Health Country Profile – 2015: Philippines

18 November 2015 - 12:54am
Source: World Health Organization, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Country: Philippines


The Philippines, an emerging market economy, has experienced recent economic growth and is working towards equitable social development for its population [World Bank, Country Overview, 2015]. As an archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean with vast coastlines and a tropical climate, the Philippines is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Risks facing the Philippines include increased frequency of extreme weather events, sea-level rise, rising temperatures and extreme rainfall. Subsequent direct and indirect health impacts could include the increased incidence of infectious disease, heat-stress, population displacement and the disruption of agricultural and economic activities.


• Under a high emissions scenario, mean annual temperature is projected to rise by about 3.7°C on average from 1990 to 2100. If emissions decrease rapidly, the temperature rise is limited to about 1°C.

• Under a high emissions scenario, and without large investments in adaptation, an annual average of 983,700 people are projected to be affected by flooding due to sea level rise between 2070 and 2100. If emissions decrease rapidly and there is a major scale up in protection (i.e. continued construction/raising of dikes) the annual affected population could be limited to about 800 people. Adaptation alone will not offer sufficient protection, as sea level rise is a long-term process, with high emissions scenarios bringing increasing impacts well beyond the end of the century.

• Under a high emissions scenario heat-related deaths in the elderly (65+ years) are projected to increase to about 31 deaths per 100,000 by 2080 compared to the estimated baseline of under one death per 100,000 annually between 1961 and 1990. A rapid reduction in emissions could limit heat-related deaths in the elderly to about 5 deaths per 100,000 in 2080.


The Philippines has an approved national health adaptation strategy and has conducted a national assessment of climate change impacts and vulnerability and adaptation for health. Additionally, the Philippines is currently implementing projects on health adaptation to climate change. Country reported data (see section 6) indicate there are further opportunities for action in the following areas:

1) Adaptation

• Ensure climate information is included in an Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) system, with early warning for climate-sensitive health risks.

• Estimate the cost of implementing health resilience to climate change.

2) Mitigation

• Conduct valuation of co-benefits of health implications of climate change mitigation policies.

Philippines: ‘Lando’ victims to get aid from DA, city gov’t

17 November 2015 - 10:34pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By Merlito G. Edale Jr.

SANTIAGO CITY, Isabela, November 16 (PIA) – Typhoon-affected villagers here are set to receive agricultural subsidies from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the city government here.

Leonardo Maylem, city agriculturist, said the big chunk of the calamity fund of the city government will be utilized for subsidy assistance for typhoon-affected farmers whose rice and other high value commercial crops have been devastated by typhoon ‘Lando’ recently.

“As of now, we have about 500 cavans of quality rice seeds ready for distribution,” he said, adding that the agriculture department will also provide additional farm input assistance to enable typhoon-hit farmers here recover and start anew.

He said the city was one of the hardest-hit areas in the province with 6,000 hectares of rice farms affected and one of the first local government units to declare a state of calamity.

“Through the efforts of the city government and some agencies, we really want farmers to recover from their losses incurred from the typhoon," Maylem added. (ALM/MGE/PIA-2/Isabela)

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

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


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

World: Climate and Health country profiles - 2015: A global overview

17 November 2015 - 10:40am
Source: World Health Organization Country: Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Thailand, United Republic of Tanzania, World

WHO calls on countries to protect health from climate change

Climate change is the defining issue for the 21st century.

According to WHO estimates, climate change is already causing tens of thousands of deaths every year - from shifting patterns of disease, from extreme weather events, such as heat-waves and floods, and from the degradation of air quality, food and water supplies, and sanitation.

The upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-21) in Paris offers the world an important opportunity to not only reach a strong international climate agreement, but also to protect the health of current and future generations. WHO considers the Paris treaty to be a significant public health treaty – one that has the potential to save lives worldwide.

In 2012, WHO estimated 7 million people died from air pollution-related diseases, making it the world’s largest single environmental health risk. It is predicted that climate change will cause an additional 25 000 deaths per year from malaria, diarrhoea, heat stress and under-nutrition between 2030 and 2050. Children, women and the poor in lower income countries will be the most vulnerable and most affected, widening health gaps.

Not only are ways to combat climate change already known and well-documented, they can bring important health gains. As WHO’s new series of climate change and health country profiles illustrate, investments in low-carbon development, clean renewable energy, and strengthening climate resilience, are also investments in health.

Implementing proven interventions to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, like black carbon and methane, for example achieving higher vehicle emissions and efficiency standards, would be expected to save approximately 2.4 million lives a year and reduce global warming by about 0.5°C by 2050. Placing a price on polluting fuels to compensate their negative health impacts would be expected to cut outdoor air pollution deaths by half, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 20%, and raise approximately US$ 3 trillion per year in revenue – over half the total value of health spending by all of the world’s governments.

Strengthening health resilience to climate risks, including measures such as early-warning systems for more frequent and severe heatwaves, and protection of water, sanitation, and hygiene services against floods and droughts, would ensure that recent progress against climate-sensitive diseases, is not slowed or reversed.

Nevertheless, the profound consequences for health are still not given sufficient attention in debates about climate change.

In preparation for COP-21, countries have made important commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions and scale up adaptation to climate change, but more needs to be done. If countries take strong actions to address climate change, while protecting and promoting health, they will collectively bring about a planet that is not only more environmentally intact, but also has cleaner air, more abundant and safer freshwater and food, more effective and fairer health and social protection systems - and as a result, healthier people.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference is the time for the health community to lend their voice to the international climate discussion and ask countries to come together and make bold commitments to protect our planet and the health of current and future generations.

WHO climate change and health country profiles

To empower ministers of health and other decision-makers to advocate for health in the upcoming climate negotiations, WHO, in collaboration with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat and other partners, has launched the first set of Climate Change and Health Country Profiles for 14 countries.

The profiles provide a snapshot of up-to-date information about the current and future impacts of climate change on human health, current policy responses in individual countries. They also highlight that actions to mitigate climate change, such as shifting to cleaner energy sources, public transport, walking and biking, can also benefit health.

For example, the profiles show that a combination of high greenhouse gas emissions, and weak protection would expose an additional 7 million people annually in Bangladesh to coastal flooding and its associated health risks between 2070 and 2100; while low emissions and strong adaptation measures, could reduce this to approximately 14 000. In Nigeria, implementing measures to reduce short-lived climate pollutants could prevent almost 70 000 premature deaths per year from outdoor air pollution, from 2030 onwards.

The countries profiled are: Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Thailand and United Republic of Tanzania. Additional profiles will be launched in December and early 2016.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Executive Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love for farming

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philippines: Philippines: Mindanao 3W - Humanitarian and Development Activities (as of 12 Nov 2015)

16 November 2015 - 8:52pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

Myanmar: Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (10 - 16 November 2015)

16 November 2015 - 4:31am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu


Up to 6,000 people remain displaced following fighting that broke out between the Myanmar military and Shan State Army North in central Shan State in early Oct. Those displaced are staying in monasteries and IDP camps.

Continued fighting over the past week has reportedly caused both new and secondary displacement, although confirmed figures are not yet available and the situation remains fluid. An inter-agency mission was able to reach one temporary IDP site but was unable to reach other locations due to ongoing fighting. Assessments by INGOs and local CSOs identified immediate needs in shelter, hygiene kits, clothing, blankets, food, health, and water and sanitation.

INGOs and local organisations are providing assistance to those displaced, but further assistance is needed.

6,000 people displaced


On 8 Nov, clan conflict erupted in Maguindanao province, displacing 400 families (2,000 people), who are hosted in surrounding areas. The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council distributed relief supplies to the affected families.

2,000 people displaced


Drought is affecting large parts of the country. The situation is most severe on Bellona island (pop 700). The situation there is critical, impacting on water availability and food gardens. It is estimated that 70-100 per cent of crops are damaged due to extreme heat. All three schools are closed. Other areas of concern are Rennell, Makira and Central.OCHA is supporting the NDMO with the collection, collation and analysis of assessment data.

70 - 100% of crops damaged


The WASH cluster warns of a looming water crisis in the country with 40 per cent of surveyed communities reporting that they expect to run out of drinking water within 14 days of being assessed. Immediate priorities include establishing emergency water supplies and restoring damaged water systems, promotion of household water treatment and increased public advocacy on drought mitigation strategies. OCHA is supporting the NDMO with analysis of assessment data.

40% of communities expecting water shortages


Nearly 79,000 people in 11 districts are affected by heavy rain all over the country since 13 Nov. Currently, 15,000 people are displaced in 77 welfare centers. So far flooding has caused 1 death , which occurred in Kilinochchi. A total of 63 houses were destroyed and 1,200 are reported as partially damaged.

79,000 people affected


Torrential rains over 12-16 Nov caused flooding in several locations in West Java, Central Java, West Sumatra and Jakarta. One person died in Bogor from electrocution and thousands of houses were inundated, although without significant damage. Over the same period landslides occurred in Central Java, West Java and Aceh province, causing one death, two injuries and dozens of damaged houses.


An EQ occurred off the coast of Kagoshima Prefecture (Magnitude 7.0 / Depth 10km), and it triggered a small tsunami of 30cm high around the small islands near from the epicentre. There were no reports of casualties or major damage.

Philippines: WFP Philippines | Brief Reporting period: 01 July – 30 September 2015

16 November 2015 - 4:26am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Philippines

Summary of WFP assistance

Since its re-establishment in the Philippines in 2006, WFP has been implementing several activities in Mindanao, including school feeding, supplementary feeding for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under two years of age, provision of micronutrient powders, general food distribution (GFD) and food assistance for assets (FFA) and training (FFT). WFP pays particular attention to the empowerment of women across all activities, for example, FFT projects that chart income generating paths for women.

WFP provides assistance in conflict-affected areas where levels of poverty and food insecurity are high due to the combination of man-made and natural disasters. To address the latter, the WFP operation features a disaster risk reduction component. In 2014, WFP also delivered assistance to the people affected by the earthquake in Bohol, the armed conflict in Zamboanga, the unrest of Mayon Volcano in Albay and Typhoon Hagupit in Eastern Samar.

WFP launched a Special Operation in 2014 which builds on the lessons learned from the Typhoon Haiyan response. It addresses the challenges identified during the response by enhancing the disaster response capability of the Government in the areas of logistics and supply chain management.
WFP started a relief and recovery operation in 2015 to provide assistance to the most vulnerable communities affected by protracted conflict in Central Mindanao and by typhoons in Visayas and Mindanao. It supports internally displaced people and returnees through FFA, blanket and targeted supplementary feeding programmes for children and pregnant women and nursing mothers, and school meals.

Overall, WFP projects are in line with the Zero Hunger Challenge, the development goals of the Government of the Philippines, and the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7.

Philippines: IPPF’s humanitarian program: The SPRINT Initiative is providing crucial medical and sexual and reproductive (SRH) health services to #TyphoonKOPPU affected areas in Philippines

15 November 2015 - 11:30pm
Source: International Planned Parenthood Federation Country: Philippines

November 16, 2015: New Delhi|Kuala Lumpur: Typhoon Koppu which is being referred to by its local name Lando, made a landfall on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, on the 18th of October, inundating several parts of the Luzon area. The typhoon has wreaked havoc, causing floods, power outages, road blockages and has totally disrupted people’s lives. To address the crucial medical and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) vulnerabilities of the population, The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), through its humanitarian program, the SPRINT Initiative, is providing assistance to affected populations.

Medical and SRH assistance is being provided through the Family Planning Organisation of Philippines (FPOP), a member association of IPPF East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR), with funding provided by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

“Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) is a significant public health need in all communities, especially those facing emergencies. In emergency situations, there is often a lack of access to SRH services,” said Nora Murat, Regional Director, IPPF ESEAOR.

“IPPF-SPRINT implements The Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for Reproductive Health, a standard for essential health service, in flood affected areas of Echaque Municipality in Isabela Province of Region II – Cagayan Valley, Philippines. MISP is a coordinated set of priority activities for reducing SRH-related illnesses and deaths in times of emergency” she added.

According to UN OCHA and the updates of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), dated 3rd November, 2015, more than 3,126,130 people (733,152 families) have been affected. It is estimated that at the peak of the disaster, over 70,500 people (15,604families) were in 376 evacuation centres managed by local authorities. Of the affected population, more than 780,000 are women and girls of reproductive age (15-49 years old) and an estimated 31,000 are pregnant women who require special care.

In crisis situations such as these, there is an increase in gender based violence (GBV) and access to health care becomes more difficult. Whilst the restoration of government services is in full swing, IPPF-SPRINT’s response is to prevent and manage the consequences of sexual violence, reduce the incidence of STI, including HIV, transmission and to prevent excess maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity. “IPPF-SPRINT will work in close co-ordination with Reproductive Health-Maternal Child Health Working Group, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Department of Health (DOH) and Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) and FPOP. An amount of USD 35,000 has been mobilised by IPPF-SPRINT to reach out to more than 4000 people’’ said Aditi Ghosh, Director, IPPF-SPRINT. “We shall also provide clean delivery kits, emergency obstetric care services and referral, and reproductive health medical teams to attend to the poorest of poor and the most vulnerable.” The efforts are complimented by in-county prepositioned stores, released by UNFPA and funded by the Australian Government, which include reproductive health kits and dignity kits for pregnant and lactating women, and awareness raising information-education-communication (IEC) activities for the affected population.

Focal Point Contact:

Dr. Subatra Jayaraj, Regional Manager, ESEAOR, IPPF-SPRINT:

Murali Kunduru, Emergency Response Manager, IPPF-SPRINT Global Hub:

Philippines: Philippines: Mass Arrests Before APEC Summit

14 November 2015 - 7:00pm
Source: Human Rights Watch Country: Philippines

‘Clearing Operations’ Target Homeless, Poor and Street Children

(Manila, November 16, 2015) – The Philippine government should immediately release the hundreds of mostly indigent and homeless Manila residents, including more than 140 children, detained before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Human Rights Watch said today. The arbitrary detentions are part of so-called “clearing operations” aimed to beautify the city ahead of the summit, which will bring world leaders to Manila from November 16 to 18, 2015.

Since November 9, local authorities have rounded up several hundred adults and children from streets and informal settlements in Manila and surrounding municipalities of Metro Manila, and detained them without charge. Many of the adults operate food carts or sell scavenged items and were told by officials who detained them that they would be able to return to the streets and resume their work after the summit. On the orders of local mayors, including Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, police and social workers are detaining them under guard in government facilities for the homeless and orphans.

“Philippine authorities have violated the rights of hundreds of Manila residents to put a cynical veneer of ‘cleanliness’ on the city for APEC delegates,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The removal and detention of homeless and impoverished residents from where they live and work without due process is a violation of their basic human rights.”

Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that police, neighborhood officials, and social workers appear on the streets where people are living and examine their tents and hovels. The people detained are then brought by truck to the Reception and Action Center (RAC), a social welfare facility run by the Manila city government. Adults and accompanied children from Manila are held at the RAC while children from Manila with no parents present are sent to Boys Town, a shelter for homeless children run by the Manila government in nearby Marikina. Many of those picked up, including people from outside Manila, are then sent to the Jose Fabella Center, a national government-run facility for the homeless in neighboring Mandaluyong City.

The national Department of Social Welfare and Development told Human Rights Watch that from November 9 to November 12 a total of 48 homeless or indigent individuals have been detained at the Jose Fabella Center, 40 from Manila, while the others are from nearby Quezon City and Pasay City. The Manila city government reported that authorities had “rescued” at least 141 street children as of November 10, dozens of whom were sent to Boys Town.

“Dario,” a scavenger arrested on a street near Roxas Boulevard, said that the development authority personnel who detained him on November 11 were “brutal.” “They were merciless,” Dario told Human Rights Watch. “They took our things or did not allow some of us to bring our belongings.” He and his wife have been held in custody at the Jose Fabella Center, where they spoke to Human Rights Watch.

Local authorities conduct the “clearing operations” in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The department’s director for Metro Manila, Alicia Bonoan, told Human Rights Watch the “clearing operations” were part of a government policy of “rescuing” and “reaching out” to the homeless and the poor, particularly children. She said they were conducted in tandem with a modified cash transfer program launched in 2011 that provides up to 4,000 Philippine pesos (US$90) in monthly rental support payments for up to six months to 4,408 low-income families in Metro Manila.

Bonoan denied any link between the ongoing operations and the APEC summit but the accounts of people who have recently been detained, their relatives, and social workers from nongovernmental groups suggest otherwise.

“Cora,” 52, a street vendor in the Ermita district who was detained on November 11, said she pleaded with the municipal authorities to release her, but to no avail. “No matter how I pleaded, they didn’t listen,” she said. “They will only let me go after APEC, that’s what they told me.”

The Philippine government’s preparation for the APEC summit began several weeks ago with public works projects including repainting major highways, walling-off slum areas so they cannot be seen from roadways, and removing street vendors from major thoroughfares. The pre-APEC “clearing operations” have included the removal of many of the poor and homeless from major streets, including Roxas Boulevard along Manila Bay, which connects the international airport with the APEC venue at the Philippine International Convention Center.

Residents, social welfare officials, and social workers told Human Rights Watch that local authorities have also been conducting daily “clearing operations” in other Metro Manila municipalities, including Pasay City and Quezon City. Local government units are detaining people with the assistance of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, an agency directly under the office of the president.

The total number of people detained during the current “clearing operations” is uncertain, Human Rights Watch said. The Department of Social Welfare and Development reported that more than 20,000 people have been removed from the streets in recent months. The department said that an unspecified number of residents were relocated to different locations in Manila, while others were relocated far from the APEC summit venue to elsewhere in Metro Manila and to the provinces.

The Philippine government has previously attempted to hide the capital’s poor during major international events, Human Rights Watch said. In January, prior to the visit of Pope Francis, the social welfare department arrested dozens of people off the streets of Manila and transferred them to a resort in nearby Batangas province. In May 2012, during a gathering of officials from the Asian Development Bank, the government walled off sections of the highway from the airport to conceal slum communities from view.

The Philippines is a party to the core human rights treaties. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention. The Convention on the Rights of the Child provides that the detention of children shall only be “a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.” The UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials provides that in the performance of their duty, law enforcement officials shall respect and protect human dignity and uphold the human rights of all persons.

“Abusing Manila’s homeless population shouldn’t be part of the price tag for the Philippines government to host high-profile international events,” Kine said. “APEC delegates should make it clear to their Philippine hosts that abusive ‘clearing operations’ against Manila’s most vulnerable residents only tarnish the reputations of the Philippines and APEC.”

For accounts from people affected by the operations, please see below.

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on the Philippines, please visit:

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

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

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

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

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

HIF-ALNAP case studies on successful innovation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Primary research questions

What does successful humanitarian innovation look like?

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

Secondary research question

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

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

Philippines: Philippines: Typhoon Koppu (Lando) Community Engagement Response and Preparedness Actions (12 November 2015)

12 November 2015 - 11:08pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

For typhoon Koppu (Lando), the Humanitarian Country Team’s Community of Practice (HCT-CoP) on Community Engagement provided minimum response support through the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) drone for assessment, set up of emergency humanitarian radio facility to support local government units as well humanitarian agencies and affected communities in the provision of two-way communication platform, monitoring of feedback and concerns of the affected communities through the social media (Facebook & Twitter), and conduct of series of community consultations in various affected areas