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Philippines: Philippines: Community of Practice (CoP) on Community Engagement Mapping (February 2017)

10 February 2017 - 6:17pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

World: Naciones Unidas apoya Foro sobre Justicia Transicional para la materialización del enfoque de género en el marco del Acuerdo de Paz

10 February 2017 - 11:43am
Source: UN Development Programme Country: Cambodia, Colombia, Kenya, Peru, Philippines, World

Bogotá Febrero 6 de 2017. Durante los días 6, 7 y 8 de febrero en el Hotel Dann Carlton de Bogotá, se darán cita expertas, promotoras y participantes activas en procesos de justicia transicional de países como Filipinas, Kenia, Perú, Camboya y Kosovo, con el objetivo identificar elementos que permita construir un documento de recomendaciones que se han tenidos en cuenta para la incorporación del enfoque de género en los instrumentos que crea el Punto 5º del Acuerdo de Paz.

Este importante espacio ha sido posible gracias a la labor conjunta e interagencial del Sistema de Naciones Unidas que en este caso está abanderado por ONU Mujeres, el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo – PNUD, y la Oficina de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, en articulación con el Ministerio de Justicia y del Derecho y con el apoyo de la Unión Europea.

El foro pretende recoger conocimientos y experiencias para el cumplimiento efectivo del enfoque de género en los procesos de paz; así como identificar los posibles riesgos, desafíos, logros y lecciones aprendidas que permita materializar el enfoque de género en la Comisión para el Esclarecimiento de la Verdad, la Convivencia y la No Repetición (CEV); la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz (JEP); la Unidad Especial para la Búsqueda de Personas Dadas por Desaparecidas en el contexto y en razón del conflicto armado (UBPD); y las Medidas de Reparación Integral y el Enfoque étnico.

Las expertas internacionales como Sofía Macher (Perú), Maria Lourdes Rallonza (Filipinas), Margaret Shava (Kenia) y Julissa Mantilla Falcón (Perú), durante el día de hoy han destacado en sus intervenciones acerca de las experiencias en los mecanismos de justicia transicional, la necesidad de reforzar una comisión de seguimiento y monitoreo que realice una tarea permanente de seguimiento a los informes públicos de la Comisión de la Verdad específicamente en relación con las graves violaciones de derechos humanos en contra de las mujeres, niñas, niños y miembros del colectivo LGBTI.

Del mismo modo se han relatado las experiencias desde los tribunales penales internacionales de la antigua ex – Yugoeslavia (Michelle Javis), Camboya (Laura McGrew), Kosovo (Shukrije Gashi), cuyas conclusiones han permitido conocer los detalles de las audiencias, de la selección de las y los Comisionados y Comisionadas, del carácter transformador de la reparación de la Comisión de la Verdad y de la participación cualificada de las mujeres para contribuir al esclarecimiento de los hechos.

Durante los dos día de trabajo se construirá un documento de recomendaciones y conclusiones para que el Ministerio de Justicia y del Derecho defina las herramientas más adecuadas para materializar el enfoque de género en cuanto a la implementación y puesta en marcha de las instituciones y mecanismos creadas en el Punto 5º de víctimas del Acuerdo de Paz.

Philippines: Philippines: Manila Fire Incident - Information Bulletin n° 1

10 February 2017 - 8:36am
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Country: Philippines

The Situation

A massive fire swept through the crowded shanty Parola compound in Tondo area, near the port of Manila in the evening of February 7, destroying more than 1,000 makeshift houses and leaving 3,000 families (15,000 people) homeless. Seven people were reported injured.

According to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the flames spread quickly as houses in the area are made of light materials, making them incredibly flammable. 90 fire trucks were deployed, and fire was put out in the morning of February 8. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Four evacuation centres were opened right after the fire broke out and are still active, accommodating more than 1,000 families. Some 900 other families chose to spend the night on pavements near their burned homes. Food and water have been provided to the affected families at the evacuation centres by the local government and NGOs.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development and the local government of Manila are assessing the needs of the affected people. The Manila City government has announced plans to release PHP 3 million (approximately CHF 60,000) from its calamity fund to address immediate needs of the affected 3,000 families.

World: She is a humanitarian: Women’s participation in humanitarian action drawing on global trends and evidence from Jordan and the Philippines

9 February 2017 - 10:56am
Source: CARE Country: Jordan, Philippines, Syrian Arab Republic, World

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report, based on extensive research and consultations by CARE International, argues that efforts to protect and assist people caught up in natural disasters and conflict will be more effective if women can contribute.

Over the past two years, CARE interviewed over 300 women involved in humanitarian action either at a global level or in emergency responses in Jordan (to the Syria crisis) and the Philippines (to Typhoon Haiyan). Three interlinked, and widely shared, issues emerged:

Women are not just victims: the humanitarian system still primarily sees women and girls as victims, and treats women and girls as passive beneficiaries of humanitarian assistance.

Gender is not just a tick-box: efforts to ensure that the specific needs of people of all genders are addressed in humanitarian action are seen as a tokenistic, tick-box exercise at the planning stage, with a lack of followthrough in the implementation of humanitarian assistance.

She is a humanitarian: women’s organisations, and individual women, are already playing a key role as frontline responders in disasters and conflicts. They are playing a leading role in affected communities, helping everyone in those communities – women, men, girls and boys – survive, cope with and adapt to the crisis. The contribution of women as humanitarian actors needs to be recognised and supported.
Based on our extensive consultations with women activists at national and global levels, as well as a literature review and discussions with policy-makers, the report identifies four emerging trends in humanitarian response:

A shift from women as victims to women as first responders: this shift in policy and practice was recognised at a global level by the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit, and now needs to be carried through in implementing and delivering on the Summit’s core commitments on gender.

A shift from tick-box gender accountability to a comprehensive approach: this means ensuring gender is addressed at all levels, from funding through project planning and delivery to M&E and accountability.

Increasing the support and space for women to participate in humanitarian action: as agencies more seriously address their accountability to affected populations, the specific challenges of accountability to women and girls are getting recognised.

Recognising the participation of local women’s groups in humanitarian action: contributions by women-led civil society groups are increasingly recognised at the level of policy rhetoric, but this is not yet translating into funding or joint work on the ground.

The challenges and opportunities are explored in evidence from Jordan and the Philippines, including a case study of Syrian women’s activism in Jordan, and accountability for gender in the shelter sector in the Philippines. The report concludes with recommendations for different stakeholders involved in humanitarian action: donors, governments in crisis-affected contexts, the United Nations, INGOs, and local women’s groups. Key recommendations are:

Bring the World Humanitarian Summit Gender Core Commitments to the field level.
Emphasis should be placed on integrating the Summit’s gender outcomes into follow-up on the Grand Bargain and the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-based Violence in Emergencies at global and field level, for example by identifying pilot countries. Donors and host governments in crisis-affected countries should likewise identify action plans to translate the global commitments on women’s participation into practice in the context of national disaster management strategies, national action plans on women, peace and security, emergency response funding and related frameworks.

Identify individual and collective commitments on gender and Leave No One Behind at the leadership level in global clusters, Humanitarian Country Teams, field clusters or sector working groups, and national line ministries.
Humanitarian Coordinators should convene consultations with relevant stakeholders, including local women’s groups, to identify priorities in implementing UN Humanitarian Response Plans for 2017. Senior leadership at global and country levels is critical to enable technical gender expertise and the experience of women from affected communities to inform decision-making. Progress should be reviewed at mid-year and end-of-year points.

Strengthen and align approaches to ‘whole of programme cycle’ accountability for gender and Leave No One Behind, measuring outcomes, not just processes, in humanitarian funding.
Donors, UN agencies and NGOs should work together to integrate good practices, building on the IASC Gender and Age Marker, the Minimum Standards on Gender and Age piloted in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, and the IASC Gender-based Violence Guidelines. Accountability in crisis response funding should be framed in a comprehensive manner to address gender equality, women’s leadership and participation, gender-based violence prevention and response, and sexual and reproductive health and rights – avoiding siloed approaches and maximising links between efforts in different sectors. Crucially, it needs to shift away from the tick-box approach focusing only on processes towards accountability to ensure actual improvements in how people access assistance and protection.

Give humanitarian action a women’s face – appoint female staff at all levels.
All institutions involved in humanitarian action should undertake gender audits of their organisational culture and human resource management and set milestones to increase female staffing and gender sensitivity at all levels.
Donors should make this mandatory in multi-year funding for preparedness, resilience and disaster risk reduction.

Strengthen partnerships with and increase multi-year and flexible funding to local women’s organisations (in line with the wider Grand Bargain commitment to channel 25% of funding to local organisations).
Partnerships between local women’s groups and humanitarian agencies should be fostered to promote learning in both directions and leverage these partnerships to become drivers of change for women’s participation, gender equality and gender-based violence prevention and response in each sector.
The needs of people affected by a crisis, as well as their coping strategies, are shaped by gender. As humanitarians, if we don’t try to understand these, then we are not doing our job. While the specific roles played by women and girls are often off the radar for mainstream humanitarian action, they are in fact amongst the first and frontline responders. It’s already happening, and the challenge and opportunity for the humanitarian system is to now better support those efforts.

Philippines: Risk-prone Philippines steps up urban resilience

8 February 2017 - 6:29am
Source: UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Country: Philippines

GENEVA, 8 February 2017 – The Philippines, one of the most disaster risk-prone nations in the world, is stepping up efforts to ensure that its communities can withstand natural and human-induced hazards.

“If we’re able to reduce risk then there may be no need for response. So the more we focus on prevention and mitigation, the less we might need to respond,” said Mr. Ricardo B. Jalad, Administrator of the Office of Civil Defense and Executive Director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

“We’re trying to focus on local government units and communities. That’s our priority,” he said, during a visit to the Geneva headquarters of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

Mr. Jalad, who took office last July, met with UNISDR’s head Mr. Robert Glasser, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction.

“The Philippines is such a key country when it comes to disaster risk reduction. Partly because it is so exposed to hazards, but also because of the way that its learning from those hazards has helped it reduce disaster risk, and because of the lessons it offers for other countries,” said Mr. Glasser.

Last week, the NDRRMC called on local governments in the country’s Eastern Visayas area – also known as Region 8 – to sign up to UNISDR’s Making Cities Resilient campaign at a ceremony planned for 6-7 April.

Home to 4.1 million people, and nicknamed the “geographical backbone” of the Philippines, Eastern Visayas was the location of the worst disaster to affect the country in recent decades.

The November 2013 Typhoon Haiyan – known in the Philippines as Yolanda – killed more than 7,000 people, affected 25 million, and caused US$10 billion in estimated economic losses. In the city of Tacloban alone, one of the areas hardest hit, 90% of all structures were either destroyed or damaged

A major issue exposed by the disaster was the need for early warning terminology to make sense to the general public. Forecasters used the technical term “storm surge”, which describes how the sea is driven inland by a typhoon in a tsunami-like wave, but that label did not grab the population’s attention sufficiently.

In Haiyan’s wake, the Philippines shook up its methods for keeping the public risk-informed, and ensuring early dissemination of warnings and efficient evacuations to promote a “zero casualty” approach. That proved successful in the face of major storms such as Typhoon Hagupit in December 2014 and Typhoon Koppu in October 2015.

“We were able to learn from our past disasters. We were able to improve our system,” said Mr. Jalad.

“The biggest problem we have now is in the rehabilitation and recovery phase,” he added.

Making Cities Resilient was launched in 2010 to help reduce disaster risk at the local level by sharing good practices from around the globe. It has grown into a global network of more than 3,400 members, ranging from towns to entire provinces, and the numbers are continuing to expand.

Currently, more than 100 provinces, cities and other municipalities in the Philippines

Self-assessment according to a series of benchmarks known as the “Ten Essentials” lies at the heart of the campaign, along with sharing best practice among participating cities. Areas under scrutiny include a city’s budget, how critical infrastructure is handled, policies to ensure all members of the community are included in risk planning, the safety of schools and health facilities, risk-compliant building regulations and land use, protection of ecosystems, and early warning systems.

The bedrock of the Philippines’ policies is the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, a 15-year international agreement adopted in 2015, Mr. Jalad underlined. It was the first building block of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and ties in with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The country has volunteered to pilot monitoring of implementation of both the Sendai Framework and the Sustainable Development Goals.

“It’s going to be really interesting for the Philippines to demonstrate to other countries how to integrate these two critically important and related priorities,” said Mr. Glasser, noting that the issue would be in the spotlight at the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, which takes place in May in Mexico.

World: Emergency Response and Preparedness in the Asia-Pacific Region

8 February 2017 - 6:24am
Source: UN Population Fund Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu, World

Key facts, figures and examples of how we support actions to better mitigate the risks of disasters and support humanitarian response work that is underpinned by UNFPA’s unique mandate encompassing sexual and reproductive health, gender equality, population data and youth empowerment.

World: Interactive Global Assessment Registry

8 February 2017 - 4:39am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Food Security Cluster Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Nepal, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tonga, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Vanuatu, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

The interactive map, found at https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/en/assessments/map, allows you to check if assessments have taken place in certain locations, if they are planned or ongoing and if something has already happened in a specific sector. The interactive global Assessment registry is built from assessments uploaded on humanitarianresponse.info by OCHA, the cluster leads and humanitarian partners. You can filter by country, cluster, organization and date. Whenever available, you can download an assessment’s report, questionnaire and/or data.

Currently, there are more than 3,000 assessments in the registry from past and present emergencies. You may contribute to the registry in the future by making your planned, ongoing and past assessment data available. Simply contact info@humanitarianresponse.info if you would like an assessment added.

Philippines: UNFPA and Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia and the Pacific

8 February 2017 - 3:49am
Source: UN Population Fund Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Vanuatu

At times of upheaval, pregnancy-related deaths and sexual violence increase. Reproductive health services—including prenatal care, skilled attendance at birth and emergency obstetric care—are often impacted and sometimes unavailable. Young people become more vulnerable to unsafe sex leading to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and sexual exploitation. And many wom- en lose access to family planning services, exposing them to unwanted pregnancy in perilous conditions.

The United Nations Population Fund’s 23 country offices across the region, supported by the UNFPA Asia-Pacific Regional Office in Bangkok, assist governments and civil society partners in responding to emergencies, reducing immediate risk and preparing for future disasters—underpinned by UNFPA’s unique mandate encompassing sexual and reproductive health, gender equality, population data and youth empowerment.

World: Private sector networks from across the world come together to prevent and respond to crises

7 February 2017 - 6:53am
Source: UN Development Programme, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Côte d'Ivoire, Fiji, Haiti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Turkey, World

Geneva, February 7, 2017 – Business networks from 12 countries - members of the Connecting Business initiative (CBi) - are coming together today in the first CBi Annual Event to identify opportunities for collaboration and share their experiences to disaster risk reduction, emergency response and recovery.

More than 128.6 million people in the world today are affected by conflict, displacement, natural disasters and profound vulnerability. The occurrence and severity of natural disasters, political crises and protracted emergencies are increasing, stretching the global capacity to meet humanitarian needs. Private sector solutions can help save lives and safeguard livelihoods. The Connecting Business initiative and its Member Networks support the private sector to engage as an equal partner in risk-informed emergency preparedness, response and recovery. For example, the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation members helped to restore power and telecommunications services in coordination with the Government-led response after the recent Typhoon Nock-Ten which affected almost a million people in the Philippines.

The Connecting Business initiative builds the capacity of local business networks to be part of risk informed crisis preparedness, response and recovery efforts. The Connecting Business Global Portal is a global entry point, connecting companies, the UN, governments and civil society, and providing resources and tools that support effective private sector engagement. “Recovery can be a huge task, especially for small companies who are often the lynchpin of an economy.

We improve the risk preparedness of small companies and help them to recover faster. Through the Connecting Business initiative, we are sharing our experiences and learning from others. Through CBi we can be part of creating and implementing international best practice” said Ms. Guler Altinsoy, Managing Partner of IDEMA and Saglam Kobi representative.

Connecting Business initiative Member Networks coordinate private sector engagement with other humanitarian actors, map private sector resources available to respond to humanitarian needs, train their members on disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness, and organize emergency simulation exercises to test private sector capacity and identify appropriate response in crisis situations. When an emergency occurs, these Member Networks mobilize and coordinate the private sector response, helping to restore infrastructure and basic services and providing relief items such as water and school materials to families in crisis-affected areas.

During the Annual Event, Connecting Business initiative Member Networks share experiences from Cote d’Ivoire, Fiji, Kenya, Haiti, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Turkey and connected to partners from all over the world.

“To overcome the enormous humanitarian crises we face, we need collective action from all actors.
Philanthropy can be a catalyst to help unlock private sector resources and transforming the future of humanitarian and development response. I encourage all partners to get engaged so that we can make a real difference in the lives of people by helping to avoid, mitigate and more effectively respond to disasters and humanitarian crises.” noted the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation's Vice President Ed Cain. “We have come together with our partners to find ways to build up resilience so that hazards would not force people into a humanitarian crisis mode. CBi is one of the tangible outcomes from the World Humanitarian Summit. It adds strength and structure to our expanding public private partnerships and the way we prepare for and respond to humanitarian emergencies.” explained OCHA’s Chief of Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Branch Marcy Vigoda.

By 2020, CBi aims to support strengthened private sector engagement in 40 high-risk locations. Partners from the private sector, governments, civil society and international community are providing technical advice to the initiative and collaborating on the delivery of programmes. The initiative aims to mobilize more than 10,000 people over the next four years through an online portal and deliver positive results for people affected by crisis. “We are very excited about the work that the CBi Member Networks are leading in countries. We are seeing a real change when knowledge resources and experiences are shared more effectively. The Networks and partners are helping to think more creatively beyond the traditional models of prevention, response and recovery and engaging the private sector to help people in need across the world.” said UNDP’s Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development Director Marcos Neto.

Note to the Editor:

The Connecting Business initiative is a private sector driven and UN-supported initiative. Key supporters, which endorsed CBi’s strategic approach on 6 February, includes Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Government of Belgium, UPS Foundation and the Boston Consulting Group, as well as the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation as a representative of CBi Member Networks and IFRC through One Billion Coalition for Resilience representing CBi Program Partners. Operational and technical support to the initiative is provided by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) while United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is playing a role in providing technical advice on disaster risk reduction.
CBi Annual Event is organised on 7 February 2017, alongside the Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week at the International Conference Centre (CIGC) in Geneva.

Contact Information For further information, go to www.connectingbusinessinitiative.org or contact: ConnectingBusiness@un.org

For media enquiries, contact:

UNDP: Tiina Turunen tiina.turunen@undp.org +41 (0)79 586 9576

OCHA: Jens Laerke, laerke@un.org +41 (0)79 472 9750

Twitter: @Connecting_biz #ConnectBiz

Philippines: DSWD assures enough relief resources for ‘Bising’

6 February 2017 - 11:35pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

With Tropical Depression Bising entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) guarantees that enough resources are available in the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) and in its field offices (FOs) for the possible impact of this latest weather disturbance to affect the country.

Currently, the Department maintains a total of 481,824 Family Food Packs (FFPs) in warehouses strategically located in all regions of the country and stockpile and standby funds amounting to ₱2,309,796,325.93.

Moreover, the DSWD-Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DReAMB) also remains in blue alert for the possible onslaught of ‘Bising’ in the eastern regions of the Philippines. DSWD Sec. Judy M. Taguiwalo also called on the public to remain vigilant and to maintain their coordination with their local government units (LGUs) for instructions on their possible evacuation and preparations for ‘Bising.’

“Nananawagan po kami sa publiko na maging handa at panatilihin ang pakikipag-ugnayan sa kanilang lokal na pamahalaan upang maiwasan ang sakuna na maidudulot ni ‘Bising.’ Makakaasa po kayo na kami po sa ahensya ay handang magpamahagi ng tulong sa mga maaapektuhan ng bagyo (We call on the public to prepare for the possible impacts of ‘Bising’ and to continue their coordination with their local governments. Rest assured that the agency is ready to provide assistance to those who will be affected by the inclement weather),” said the Secretary.

Ongoing disaster ops in CARAGA

In another related report, some 4,227 families or 20,213 individuals are still taking refuge in 127 evacuation centers in CARAGA region due to inclement weather and flooding caused by the tail-end of a cold front.

Staff members from the DSWD-FO CARAGA are continuously validating the number of totally and partially damaged houses in the region to determine the amount needed by the affected families to reconstruct their shelters.

To date, a total of 586 houses in the region were damaged, of which, 244 were partially damaged, while 342 were totally destroyed.

Aside from damage assessment, the Department also deployed a team from DReAMB over the weekend to conduct monitoring visits to check the situation of displaced families in evacuation centers and to provide technical assistance for response operations in CARAGA.

Currently, the DSWD has already provided P4,134,955.00 worth of relief assistance to affected families in the region, while LGUs provided a total of P4,464,745.00 worth of assistance and non-government organizations gave P109,750.00.

“We will continue to monitor the situation of families in evacuation centers in CARAGA and we hope to provide assistance and appropriate interventions for their immediate recovery after our validation and assessment on the amount of damage brought by the flooding in the region,” assured Sec. Taguiwalo.

Philippines: Health Consequences of Typhoon Haiyan in the Eastern Visayas Region Using a Syndromic Surveillance Database

6 February 2017 - 3:00pm
Source: Public Library of Science Country: Philippines

Abstract

Introduction: Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm recorded in Philippine history. Surveillance in Post Extreme Emergencies and Disasters (SPEED) was activated during the typhoon response. This study analyzes the health impact of different diseases during different timeframes post-disaster during Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 using a syndromic surveillance database.

Methods: SPEED reports medical consultations based on 21 syndromes covering a range of conditions from three syndrome groups: communicable diseases, injuries, and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). We analyzed consultation rates for 150 days post-disaster by syndrome, syndrome group, time period, and health facility type for adults as well as for children under the age of five.

Results: Communicable diseases had the highest consultation rates followed by similar rates for both injuries and NCDs. While communicable diseases were the predominant syndrome group for children, wounds and hypertension were common syndromes observed in adults. Village health centers had the most consultations amongst health facilities, but also showed the highest variability.

Discussion: Children were more vulnerable to communicable diseases compared to adults. Community health centers showing consistently high consultation rates point out a need for their prioritization. The predominance of primary care conditions requires disaster managers to focus on basic health care and public health measures in community health centers that target the young, elderly and impoverished appropriate to the time period.

Philippines: Philippine army arrests communist rebel leader after peace bid collapses

6 February 2017 - 9:38am
Source: Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation Country: Philippines

President Duterte has scrapped a ceasefire with the New People's Army (NPA) and ordered soldiers to prepare to fight

MANILA, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Philippine soldiers arrested on Monday a communist rebel leader, days after President Rodrigo Duterte scrapped a ceasefire with the insurgents and as clashes between them and the army erupted in several places.

Read more on the Thomson Reuters Foundation

Philippines: A house for Analyn

6 February 2017 - 7:25am
Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development Country: Philippines

Typhoon Nock-ten (Nina) lashed the Philippines on Christmas Day 2016, particularly the province of Catanduanes. Some 400,000 houses were either completely destroyed or heavily damaged. ACTED, in consortium with Action Against Hunger and Handicap International, is providing an integrated emergency for water, hygiene, sanitation and shelter assistance to over 3,200 families people by facilitating distributions of hygiene and shelter repair kits. 1,400 shelter repair kits are being distributed by the teams, while 140 cash for workers are hired to support the repair. This program enables vulnerable populations to work for the community and earn their own incomes. As of end of January 2017, 136 houses were already rebuilt, with many more in perspective. This intervention took place with support from the START Network’s START Fund.

Analyn’s story

Analyn is a strong woman. Widower, taking care single-handedly of her four children. Her eldest, Malaya, was born 25 years ago with particular needs and Analyn has been taking care of her ever since. Not working as she is by the side of her daughter, it is one of her other children who works as a tindera (waitress) and brings the only income of the family. Living in Bato municipality, where Nock-Ten made first landfall, the typhoon tore apart her house, made of bamboo and nipa, leaving Analyn and her family with only a concrete slab to remind them of their former home.

Working together for Analyn

ACTED responded to Analyn’s dire shelter needs thanks to shelter repair kits. She received tarpaulins, tie wires and all the necessary tools to rebuild her home. Barangay’s (village) authorities and ACTED teams went a step further to support Analyn and many other vulnerable families who cannot fix the house by themselves by hiring cash for workers to help them carrying out the shelter repair works.

In Batalay village, where Analyn resides, the cash for workers were mobilized not only to repair the damaged houses but to help four families rebuild their destroyed houses, under the coordination of Mr. Domingo Mendez, Barangay Captain (a local elected official). ACTED’s cash for workers, with barangay officials, helped rebuild the houses of four single-headed households, who do not have any income, including Analyn’s. The rest of the materials needed to rebuild the houses were difficult to find and expensive, but Barangay officials, carpenters, the house owners, the community worked together to support the most vulnerable families and acquire the necessary equipment.

67 families of the village received shelter kits, four families of which are supported by the cash for workers. Mr. Mendez explains: “The community supports us as they know that those four families cannot help themselves and need help. Once we are done with those four houses, we will do ‘’Bayanihan’’ (a volunteering day in the village) and help others as well. It is important to help one another”.

In the meantime, efforts continue to purchase the remaining needed materials for the walls. One of the priorities now is also to look for a relocation site, as the village is in risky area, prone to floods and landslides, or by the sea.

Efren is one of the cash for workers supporting carpentry activities in this shelter repair intervention. He explains that his usual job is to drive a tricycle, “but I am also Barangay official. The Barangay Captain encouraged to help one another. In total we are three Barangay officials intervening in the cash for work team.” Efren is happy to support his neighbors: “We need to help one another even if we don’t get paid”.

ACTED also provided training to the cash for work team and other willing inhabitants on “build back safer” techniques in order to increase the resilience of the rebuilt houses to the strong winds and rain brought by the recurring typhoons.

Philippines: Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (31 January - 6 February 2017)

6 February 2017 - 3:17am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Bangladesh, Myanmar, Philippines, Vanuatu

Bangladesh

Aid agencies in Cox’s Bazar estimate that 69,000 people have crossed the border from Myanmar since the 9 October attacks in northern Rakhine. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has issued a report based on interviews with 200 Rohingya people who have newly arrived in Bangladesh. The OHCHR report details allegations of serious human rights abuses by security forces in northern Rakhine. The recent OHCHR report underscores the need for immediate action to strengthen protection of civilians in Rakhine and to allow full, unhindered humanitarian access to the affected area, including for international staff.

69,000 people crossed the border from Myanmar since 9 October

Myanmar

More than 24,000 people remain internally displaced in northern Maungdaw township which is the area most severely affected by the 9 October border post attacks and subsequent security operations. WFP has reached more than 45,000 people in this area with emergency food aid since 13 January. UNHCR has also delivered non-food items to more than 10,000 people and aid from Indonesia has reached 99,000 people. International humanitarian staff are still not allowed to participate in delivery of life-saving services, including health and nutrition, outside the main centres. Access for the delivery of other assistance, including protection activities, remains severely restricted.

24,000 people remain internally displaced

Philippines

As of 6 February, about 178,000 people in north-eastern Mindanao remain displaced by flooding caused by a series of weather systems that brought heavy rains since 8 January. Of those displaced, 20,000 are at 127 evacuation centres while most are being hosted by relatives or friends. A total of 586 houses in the towns of La Paz and Trento (Agusan del Sur province) were damaged. Roads in some areas, particularly Agusan del Sur, remain impassable while school classes have been suspended. DSWD is coordinating assistance with local government authorities.

178,000 people displaced by floods

As of 30 January, about 5,700 people displaced by military operations began to return to their homes in Ampatuan municipality, Maguindanao province. Those displaced were predominantly members of indigenous groups. The local government provided transportation and DSWD provided food packs for their return. No civilian casualties were reported as a result of the incident. On 29 January the military announced it had ended its operation against an armed group associated with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Vanuatu

Since the latest eruption of Lopevi Volcano in Malampa Province on 13 January, authorities raised the alert level to 3 (out of 5). Aerial observations indicate that Lopevi has spewed volcanic plume up to 3 km above sea level. While the current volcanic activity is considered to be minor with no reported casualties or major damage, the Vanuatu Meteorological and Geo-hazards Department has issued an advisory to communities in the surrounding islands and visitors as a precaution. The last reported eruption of the volcano was in 2007

Philippines: DOH reiterates importance of cleanliness as PH now has 57 Zika cases

6 February 2017 - 12:22am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA, Feb. 6 - Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial reiterated the importance of cleanliness in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases noting that as of February 2, 2017, a total of 57 Zika cases have been reported in the country.

"It is very important to search and destroy the potential breeding sites in order to prevent the spread of Aedes mosquitoes that serve as vector of the virus. We reiterate that cleanliness is still the key against mosquito-borne diseases. The public is reminded to be vigilant and pre-cautious in eliminating mosquito breeding places through the ‘4S campaign’. The 4S means Search & destroy mosquito breeding places, use Self-protection measures, Seek early consultation for fever lasting more than 2 days, and Say yes to fogging ONLY when there is an impending outbreak,” Secretary Ubial said.

As of February 2, 2017, a total of 57 Zika cases were reported in the country. There were 38 (67%) females and 19 (33%) males. Age ranged from 7 years-59 years (median 32 years). There were no deaths. These were detected in the following areas: National Capital Region - 20 cases (35%); CALABARZON - 18 cases (32%); Western Visayas - 15 cases (26%); Central Luzon - 2 cases (4%); and Central Visayas - 2 cases (4%).

Of 57 cases, 7 were confirmed Zika pregnant cases. Age ranged from 16 years to 32 years. Three came from NCR and 2 each from CALABARZON and CENTRAL VISAYAS. One case, 16-year-old from Las Piñas) already gave birth to a baby boy at full term without microcephaly. Another case, 32 year old from Central Visayas had spontaneous abortion at 9 weeks of pregnancy. The rest are being closely monitored.

The Department of Health (DOH) is currently verifying a report that a mother and her full term, newborn baby girl in Western Visayas, were screened positive for Zika virus antibodies using a rapid diagnostic test, which is not confirmatory. The mother did not manifest any symptoms of Zika virus throughout her pregnancy. She gave birth by normal spontaneous vaginal delivery. However, upon the birth of the child, it was observed that the size of the baby's head is smaller than the usual (microcephaly). The baby was also born with encephalocoele, rare type of birth defect of the neural tube that affects the brain, in the area between her eyes.

"Samples from mother and the baby were sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and will be subjected to a confirmatory test on Zika virus using Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT PCR)," Secretary Ubial explained.

The health chief added that Zika infection is asymptomatic in 80% of cases and most of the time the disease is self-limiting. However, the effect on the result of pregnancy should not be discounted. Zika virus has been linked to congenital CNS malformation like microcephaly. DOH calls on pregnant women to avoid mosquito bites especially during day time. Insect repellents are safe for regular application. For those with fever, rash, and conjunctivitis, submit yourself for consultation.

Zika viral disease, caused by Zika virus, is characterized by fever, rash, and conjunctivitis. Other symptoms are joint pain, muscle pain, headache, and vomiting. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for a week in most cases and not requiring hospitalization.

Zika virus is usually transmitted through the bite of infected female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the same mosquitoes that transmit Dengue and Chikungunya viruses. There have been reports that the virus can be transmitted through sexual contact.

The symptoms of Zika virus disease can be treated with common pain and fever relief medicines, rest, and plenty of water intake. Pregnant women who develop illness should seek advice of doctors before taking any medicine. If symptoms persist, patients are advised to consult the nearest health facility. Currently, there is no available vaccine to prevent Zika virus infection. (PIA/DOH)

Philippines: Angara leads distribution of relief goods in Butuan City

6 February 2017 - 12:20am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA) – Providing much needed aid to the 454 affected families situated in Agusan National High School (ANHS) was the aim of visiting Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” M. Angara during the distribution of about 500 packs of relief goods, Friday, Feb. 3.

The 46 remaining goods were given to the ANHS non-teaching personnel and those evacuees who helped carry the goods.

During an interview with Sen. Angara, he stated ways on helping the evacuees from short term solutions like “giving relief goods to those affected” to long term solutions like “infrastructure that would alleviate damages … from these typhoons."

“As we know with climate change, we should always be prepared for the worst,” he said.

Angara along with Butuan City Mayor Ronnie Vic Lagnada and Vice Mayor Jose “Joboy” Aquino II, led the distribution of relief goods for the evacuees who have since vacated their homes since Jan. 20.

“We were thinking of going to Cagayan de Oro City but we were told that there were more people affected in Caraga region, that’s why we shifted our plans to Caraga,” the senator explained.

Moreover, Cagayan de Oro faced heavy rains that led to severe flooding in the said area, gaining the senator’s attention prior to Butuan.

“We heard that CDO [received] a lot of donations already … [We need] to make sure that at least everyone receives some help,” he added.

After Butuan, Angara visited other towns in Agusan del Sur, including Bayugan City and Prosperidad. (Jeffrey Tuazon/Mark Carag, ANHS-Butuan City/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

Philippines: DA-Bicol starts post Nina rehabilitation efforts

6 February 2017 - 12:16am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

The post-typhoon rehabilitation effort and assistance program to affected over 86,000 affected farmers in three provinces of the Bicol Region is under way.

The Department of Agriculture regional office in Pili, Camarines Sur announced it has started distributing palay, corn and assorted vegetable seeds and seedling of various fruit trees.

Also included in the assistance package worth over P720-million are drugs and biologics for animals, reported DA-Bicol regional executive director Dr. Elena B. delos Santos during a management committee meeting here.

The three provinces covered are Albay, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes.

The provincial and municipal LGUS are in charge of distributing directly to the affected farmers, de los Santos said.

Groups and individual farmers requesting for assistance directly from the DA regional office are also provided if they are in the master list prepared by the LGUS, delos Santos said.

For Camarines Sur, the DA has turned over to the provincial government over 5,000 bags of certified seeds; 4,226 packs (20 kg.) of hybrid palay seeds; 19,770 packets of assorted vegetable seeds; 250 kilograms mungbean seeds, 1,500 bags of yellow and white corn hybrid seeds; 1,085 cacao, lemon and pili seedlings and 13,942 doses of drugs and biologics for animals. There are 10,000 bags of certified seeds for delivery, delos Santos said.

For Albay, the DA has turned over to the provincial government 5,000 bags of certified palay seeds; 5,000 packs of hybrid palay seeds; 1,000 bags of yellow and white corn seeds; 10,600 grafted cacao and pili seedlings; 12,500 packets of assorted vegetable seeds; and 2,500 assorted garden tools.

There is a scheduled delivery next week, delos Santos said, of 435 bags of open pollinated variety and hybrid seeds.

For Catanduanes, the DA has distributed 3,000 bags of certified palay seeds; 12,500 packs of assorted vegetable seeds; and 17 bottles and/or boxes of various drugs and biologics for the treatment of affected animals.

De los Santos has endorsed to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol a proposal made by PhilFida for the rehabilitation of typhoon-damaged abaca areas in Catanduanes.

She said the proposal is now being considered for funding under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) since abaca is one of the priority products being promoted under the Catanduanes Priority Commodity Investment Plan to be funded by the project.

Delos Santos said the rehabilitation effort of DA-Bicol is only the start of a greater assistance program that the DA will provide.

Funding for the initial assistance was taken from the savings generated by the regional office from previous calamity funds, which were released by the Budget Department only recently.

President Rodrigo Duterte also committed P500-million in assistance from the national government after visiting the typhoon-hit areas recently.

DA Bicol has already submitted to Sec. Piñol its Rehabilitation Plan for the rice, corn high value commercial crops, livestock and abaca subsectors including various infrastructures and facilities totaling over P1.4Billiion.

Official estimate placed the typhoon damage at P5.1 Billion and the number of affected farmers at 86,735. (DA)

Philippines: Boat Garage Project for ‘Yolanda’-affected fisherfolks of Guiuan, Samar almost complete

5 February 2017 - 11:58pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

A boat garage constructed through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will soon benefit the residents of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, a coastal town ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

The project, worth around P26M, is being constructed as part of the rehabilitation and recovery program for the municipality after the massive destruction left by ‘Yolanda’.

DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo recently visited Guiuan to check on the progress of all the projects being implemented for ‘Yolanda’-survivors in the area.

Sec. Taguiwalo said, “The boat garage is meant to provide a safe and secure place for fisherfolk to dock their boats. This is especially needed during typhoons. Through the construction of the boat garage, we hope to help the fisherfolk of Guiuan to become economic drivers. We also hope that this project will open other investment opportunities in the town.”

Some income may also be generated by the local government through the boat garage by imposing minimal registration and docking fees.

Guiuan Mayor Christopher Sheen Gonzales expressed the town’s gratitude for the project which will benefit around 201 fisherfolk associations. The said project, once completed, is expected to be a big help to the local economy of Guian, as well as to nearby towns.

Aside from the boat garage project, Sec. Taguiwalo also visited the Guiuan Rural Health Center (RHC) which was rebuilt through the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program.

Funded through DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS program, the RHC is under the management of the local government and is headed by a medical doctor. The center has a delivery room, an anti-tuberculosis program, a laboratory, and a weekly well-baby clinic. Free medical consultations and free medicine provisions are also being done in the RHC.

The re-construction of the center and its efficient operations show the fruits of a coordinated and sincere partnership between the DSWD and the local government.

Sec. Taguiwalo reiterated, “Laging mas mahusay ang resulta ng mga bagay na bunga ng kooperasyon at sama-samang pagkilos para sa pagbibigay ng maagap at may malasakit na serbisyo sa ating kababayan (Cooperation and united action will always yield better results towards the provision of efficient and compassionate service to our needy fellow Filipinos.”

SLP is a community-based capacity building program that increases the economic opportunities of the families through the different modalities that it offers such as skills training, seed capital fund, pre-employment assistance fund, and the cash for building livelihood assets. It is implemented through the Community-Driven Enterprise Development Approach which equips program participants to actively contribute to production and labor markets by looking at available resources and accessible markets.

KALAHI-CIDSS, on the other hand, is a social protection program of DSWD in combating poverty. It uses the community-driven development (CDD) strategy to empower ordinary citizens to actively and directly participate in local governance by identifying their own community needs, planning, implementing, and monitoring projects together to address local poverty issues. Some of the results of Kalahi-CIDSS include improved access of communities to basic services, increased community involvement, and positive impact in household wellbeing. ###

Philippines: DSWD releases guidelines on implementation of Pres. Duterte’s P5,000 financial assistance for ‘Yolanda’ survivors

5 February 2017 - 11:57pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has released Memorandum Circular No. 3, which provides mechanisms for the distribution of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s financial assistance worth P5,000 to households affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 who have not received the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) from the government up to now.

During the third year commemoration of ‘Yolanda’ in Tacloban City in November last year, Pres. Duterte addressed the appeal of some 200,000 ​survivors who have not received their ESA ever since the super typhoon hit the country. He committed to give financial assistance worth P5,000 to each household to finally help them rebuild their houses, and eventually, their lives.

The financial assistance will be funded by P1 billion from the Socio-Civic Projects Fund of the Office of the President and will be coursed through the DSWD.

“The Department has earlier issued a Memorandum following Pres. Duterte’s announcement of the assistance last year, guiding concerned units at the Central Office and Regional Offices on the preparations needed to operationalize the President’s directive,” DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said.

The assistance will be provided to eligible households affected by ‘Yolanda’ in Regions VI, VII, and VIII and the Negros Island Region. Each entitled household, without distinction as to the extent of damage to the home, will receive P5,000.

The beneficiaries will be given the assistance directly through a cash card to be issued by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).

Eligibility Criteria

In order to qualify for the President’s financial assistance, a household must meet all of the following criteria:

The dwelling of the household must have been damaged by ‘Yolanda,’ regardless of the extent of the damage or ownership of the lot on which the house is built​;​

The household requested assistance from the DSWD on or before November 8, 2016, and must either;​

Have been included in one of the lists submitted to the DSWD by People’s Organizations (POs) and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) on or before November 8, 2016;

Have been included in one of the lists of unfunded ESA family-beneficiaries submitted on June 22, 2016 to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM); or

Have submitted, on or before November 8,2016, a complaint to the DSWD of not having received assistance, which must have been confirmed and validated by the DSWD.

Availment

To avail of the financial assistance, eligible households must submit the following documents:

Accomplished Financial Assistance Application Form, indicating the demographic information of the household-beneficiary;

Certification issued by the proper barangay authorities on the residency of the household-beneficiary; and​

Any valid Identification Card (ID)​.​

In case a household is unable to present any valid ID, the partner PO to which the identified beneficiary belongs to shall issue a Certification as to the identity of the beneficiary. The PO shall also send a representative during the distribution of the assistance to affirm the identity of the beneficiary.

Certification executed by the beneficiary that the household has not received any of the following assistance:

Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA), in cash or in kind;

Core Shelters from DSWD under the Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP) and Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP);

Permanent housing from National Housing Authority (NHA); or

Any other shelter or housing grant from the government​.​

Implementation

DSWD- Field Offices (FOs) in Regions VI, VII, VIII, and NIR will be the implementing offices of the program under the supervision of the Office of the Secretary.

The FOs will validate and receive from the prospective beneficiaries the documentary requirements and will come up with a list of eligible households, which they will submit to the Central Office.

The Central Office (CO) will consolidate the lists from FOs into a single master list and submit the same to the LBP, which will open an account and issue a cash card for each beneficiary. The bank will load each card with P5,000 upon receiving the needed funds from the DSWD and transmit them to LBP branches corresponding to the concerned field offices.

The concerned field offices shall ensure that the LBP branches will distribute the cash cards to the beneficiaries. The distribution of the financial assistance will be completed within six months.

“The assistance is meant to give justice to ‘Yolanda’ survivors who have been fighting for three years to get the ESA from the government, but were not able to avail. A little more patience and this will be given to them. We at the DSWD have been doing our best to validate the beneficiaries of Pres. Duterte’s financial assistance program and to process its release as soon as possible so these victims can start their lives anew,” she said,” Sec. Taguiwalo ended.

Philippines: DILG, South Korea in talks for US$200-M assistance to waterless LGUs

5 February 2017 - 11:12pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is in initial talks with the South Korean government for the granting of US$200-million worth of advanced water treatment and purification equipment to assist local government units (LGUs) with poor-quality water sources.

DILG Secretary Ismael ‘Mike’ D. Sueno said the highly advanced water purifying equipment being offered by the South Korean government to LGUs in the form of soft loans can reportedly purify salt water and even canal water in high volumes.

“If our agreement with South Korea would push through, the said equipment will help communities in far-flung areas where access to clean drinking water remains to be a challenge,” said Sueno.

The South Korean government expressed its willingness to be of assistance to LGUs during a meeting between DILG and Korean officials at the DILG Central Office in Quezon City just recently.

"Although nothing is official yet, we are excited about this and we are in close correspondence with the Korean government to come up with a mutually-beneficial understanding," Sueno said.

He said a technical working group may soon be created to facilitate and discuss the specifications of the equipment and its suitability to the needs of LGUs.

In the same meeting, DILG Assistant Secretary for Plans and Programs Epimaco V. Densing III said the assistance will complement DILG’s efforts in providing waterless LGUs easy access to potable water supply through the Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig para sa Lahat (SALINTUBIG) project.