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Malaysia: Dengue Situation Update 464, 05 May 2015

7 May 2015 - 7:16am
Source: World Health Organization Country: Australia, Cambodia, China, French Polynesia (France), Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Viet Nam

Northern Hemisphere

China (no update)

As of 13 April, there were 66 cases of dengue reported in China for 2015. Compared with the same period of the previous of 2012 to 2014, the number of dengue cases reported in China has increased slightly in 2015 (Figure 1).

Malaysia

As of 25 April 2015, there were 38,517 cases of dengue reported in Malaysia for 2015. This is 33.7% higher compared with the same reporting period of 2014 (n=28,814) (Figure 2). From 19 to 25 April 2015, there were 1, 446 cases of dengue reported, 5.2% higher than the same period of the previous week (n=1,370).

Philippines (no update)

From 1 January to 4 April 2015, there were 19,946 cases of dengue, including 53 deaths, reported in the Philippines. This is 6.49% higher compared with the same reporting period in 2014 (n=18,730) (Figure 3).

Singapore

As of 25 April, there were 2,608 cases of dengue reported in Singapore for 2015. From 19 to 25 4 April 2015, 113 dengue cases reported, 26 cases less than the previous week (Figure 4).

Cambodia (no update)

As of 24 March, there were 342 cases of dengue, including one death, reported in Cambodia for 2015. To date for 2015, Cambodia has experienced a relatively stable number of new cases reported each week, following the seasonal pattern seen in 2014 (Figure 5).

Lao PDR

As of 24 April, there were 202 dengue cases and no deaths reported in Lao PDR for 2015. From 18 to 24 April 2015 (week 17), the number of dengue cases reported in Lao was 12. This is higher compared with the number cases reported in the week 16 (n=8) of 2015 (Figure 6).

Viet Nam

As of 19 April 2015, there were 9,727 cases of dengue including 8 deaths reported in Viet Nam for 2015.

Compared with the same reporting period of last year, the number of reported cases increased by 23%, and number of deaths increased by 4 cases. From 13 to 19 April 2015, there were 433 cases of dengue reported from 29 out of 63 provinces and no deaths. Compared with previous week (n=410 cases, no death), number of cases increased by 5.6% (Figure 7).

Southern Hemisphere

Australia

As of 30 April, 831 laboratory-confirmed dengue cases have been reported in Australia for 2015. Compared with the same reporting period of last year (n=816), the number of reported cases is slightly higher, but is consistent with previous seasonal trends (Figure 8).

French Polynesia

From 13 to 19 April 2015, 20 confirmed dengue cases were reported in French Polynesia (Figure 9). There were 11 hospitalisations in April 2015.

Philippines: Central Mindanao update, May 2015

7 May 2015 - 5:31am
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross Country: Philippines

An update of our activities in central Mindanao, Philippines.

Content:

The uncertainty of displacement

Clean water for vulnerable communities in Pikit

Health: Life-saving support without distinction

Lessons on humanity

Promoting international humanitarian law

Philippines: P1.2-B mobilized for Typhoon 'Ruby' rehab

7 May 2015 - 1:44am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA, May 7 -- The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P1.2 billion to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to aid various communities that were hit by Typhoon ‘Ruby’ last year.

The P1.2-billion release—which will be used for post-Ruby rehabilitation in Regions IV-B, VI, and VIII—was charged against the P14-billion National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRMMF) in the FY 2015 General Appropriations Act (GAA). The release will support various Cash-for-Work activities that will benefit 146,961 typhoon-affected families, as well as the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) program, which will help 12,034 families whose houses were totally damaged.

Another 68,988 families in Ruby-stricken areas whose houses were partially damaged will also receive aid through the ESA program.

The Cash-for-Work program is a short-term government intervention that provides temporary employment for distressed or displaced individuals. On the other hand, the ESA program offers materials or financial assistance to augment the resources of affected families in rebuilding their houses damaged by natural or man-made disasters.

“In previous typhoons, the DSWD’s rehabilitation work was a tremendous help to families, especially as they sought to rebuild their lives. That’s why it’s important for us to release NDRMMF funds very efficiently. When we facilitate the quick release of funds, agencies can also move faster in restoring normalcy in disaster-affected areas,” said Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad.

Click here for a breakdown of the numbers

“Given that our country plays host to a yearly cycle of typhoons, ensuring the safety of communities against these disasters is our first concern. At the same time, the government must also pursue proactive rehabilitation measures like the Build-Back-Better policy so we’re better prepared for future calamities,” Abad said.

Typhoon Ruby (international codename: Typhoon Hagupit) was considered the worst typhoon to hit the country in 2014. However, the typhoon weakened before it made landfall in Eastern Samar on December 6.(DBM) - See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/1781430898292/p1-2-b-mobilized-for-typhoon-ruby-rehab-#sthash.JHIjgOWb.dpuf

Philippines: Foreign Medical Teams in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan 2013 – Who Were They, When Did They Arrive and What Did They Do?

6 May 2015 - 4:14pm
Source: Public Library of Science Country: Philippines

AUTHORS

Kim Brolin
Omar Hawajri
Johan von Schreeb

ABSTRACT

Background: Foreign medical teams (FMT) are international medical teams sent to provide assistance in the aftermath of a disaster. In the last decade, there has been an increase in FMTs deployed following disasters. Despite the potential benefit FMTs might have in substituting the collapsed health care and caring for excess morbidity after large-scale disasters, several studies have demonstrated the difficulties in determining the quality of the response, mainly due to lack of reliable data. In order to bridge the knowledge gap on functioning of FMTs, the aim of this study is to assess the timing, capacities and activities of FMTs deployed to the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan.

Methods: This is a retrospective, descriptive study. Data on characteristics of FMTs present in the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan was provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and compiled into a single database. Additional data was collected through a web survey, email correspondence and internet searches.

Results: A total of 108 FMTs were identified as arriving to the Philippines within the first month following typhoon Haiyan. None of these were operational in the affected areas within the first 72 h and the average time between arriving and being on-site operational was three days. Of the 108 FMTs, 70% were FMT type 1, 11% were FMT type 2 and 3% were FMT type 3. 16% of FMTs had unknown status. The total number of staff within all these FMTs were 2121, of which 210 were medical doctors, 250 nurses and 6 midwifes. Compared to previous sudden onset disasters, this study found no improvement in data sharing.

Philippines: Child survival rates in Metro Manila improved by 50%

6 May 2015 - 12:24pm
Source: Save the Children Country: Philippines

Metro Manila was among top cities in the world to cut child mortality rates among urban poor, according to 2015 State of the World's Mothers global index published by Save the Children today.

The annual global mother's index report reveals that in the last 20 years, child survival rates among the the urban poor in Metro Manila, have improved in comparison to other developing countries. Between 1993 and 2008, the child mortality rate went from 81 to 38 deaths per 1,000 lives deaths. Over this period of time, the poorest urban children went from being 4 times as likely to die to being twice as likely to die compared to their wealthy peers. The capital region has also achieved about 4% reduction in under-5 mortality per year since 1998.

Metro Manila's success comes from improved quality of services, public-private partnerships, structural reforms and health care innovations introduced to the local government units and sustained involvement of civil society in maternal and child health care programs.

Despite progress, the global study cited the National Statistics Office (NSO data) which suggests that 1 in 5 infants who died in 2010 were in the capital region. While health facilities and obstetric care are physically more accessible in the capital region, the report revealed that many poor people still could not afford associated health costs.

As progress in child survival continues to be localized and in some areas stalls, Save the Children Philippines is working alongside the government and families to ensure that the good work continues and children, particularly those in Manila are given every opportunity to fulfill their potential .

In this year's country ranking of the State of the World's Mothers report, which ranks the wellbeing of mothers and children, Philippines maintains its place from last year at number 105 out of 179 countries, behind Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia in South East Asia. The country is just ahead of Timor-Leste and Indonesia.

Ned Olney, Country Director of Save the Children, says:
"The progress we have seen in the past two decades shows that closing the child survival gap between rich and the poor is attainable. But cities need to keep up with the breakneck growth as thousands of mothers and children in cities still have limited access to essential health services, food and clean water they need to survive and stay healthy. Save the Children is calling for strict implementation of maternal, child and newborn health care programs, including infant and young child feeding and increased local government investment to trainings for frontline health workers."

"If Philippines is going to complete the task of ending preventable child and maternal deaths, we have to continue to find better ways of getting health care to urban populations, regardless of income," he added.

The full '**State of the World's Mothers : The Urban Disadvantage**' can be downloaded here.

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact National Media Manager April Sumaylo at april.sumaylo@savethechildren.org or call +639173011240+639173011240.

Note:

Rankings reflect a composite score derived from five different indicators related to maternal well-being - maternal health; children's well-being; educational status; economic status; and political status.

About Save the Children:

Save the Children has been implementing programs in the Philippines for over 30 years in the areas of education, child protection, health and nutrition and child rights governance in both development and humanitarian settings.For more information, please visit savethechildren.org.ph or visit us on Twitter at @SaveChildrenPH

Philippines: Federated States of Micronesia, Philippines – Tropical Cyclone NOUL - ECHO Daily Map | 06/05/2015

6 May 2015 - 12:02pm
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department Country: Micronesia (Federated States of), Philippines

FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA

• NOUL formed in the northern Pacific Ocean, south-east of Fais island (Yap State),
Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), on 3 May and started moving west, intensifying and passing the islands of Fais and Ulithi, as a Tropical Storm. Afterwards it crossed Yap island, strengthened into a Typhoon, late on 5 May, and it started moving away from FSM.

• Heavy rains and winds affected several islands of Yap State during its passage.

• In March 2015, the very intense Typhoon MAYSAK caused damage and deaths in Yap and Chuuk states.

PHILIPPINES

• After having passed Micronesia, NOUL continued moving west-northwest, over the Philippine Sea.

• Over the next 72 h it is forecast to continue moving north-west towards northern Philippines, strengthening. It is expected to enter in the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on 7 May, where it will be locally named “DODONG”.

• According to the forecast data of 6 May 9.00 UTC, it may start approaching northern Luzon on 10 May, as a Typhoon. However the uncertainty of the forecast track/intensity is still very high.

• In April 2015, Typhoon MAYSAK (CHEDENG), that caused damage in FSM, reached the northern Philippines, weakened into a Tropical Storm. According to NDRRMC report, there were no reported dead (directly attributed to MAYSAK).

Micronesia (Federated States of): Federated States of Micronesia, Philippines – Tropical Cyclone NOUL - ECHO Daily Map | 06/05/2015

6 May 2015 - 12:02pm
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department Country: Micronesia (Federated States of), Philippines

FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA

• NOUL formed in the northern Pacific Ocean, south-east of Fais island (Yap State),
Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), on 3 May and started moving west, intensifying and passing the islands of Fais and Ulithi, as a Tropical Storm. Afterwards it crossed Yap island, strengthened into a Typhoon, late on 5 May, and it started moving away from FSM.

• Heavy rains and winds affected several islands of Yap State during its passage.

• In March 2015, the very intense Typhoon MAYSAK caused damage and deaths in Yap and Chuuk states.

PHILIPPINES

• After having passed Micronesia, NOUL continued moving west-northwest, over the Philippine Sea.

• Over the next 72 h it is forecast to continue moving north-west towards northern Philippines, strengthening. It is expected to enter in the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on 7 May, where it will be locally named “DODONG”.

• According to the forecast data of 6 May 9.00 UTC, it may start approaching northern Luzon on 10 May, as a Typhoon. However the uncertainty of the forecast track/intensity is still very high.

• In April 2015, Typhoon MAYSAK (CHEDENG), that caused damage in FSM, reached the northern Philippines, weakened into a Tropical Storm. According to NDRRMC report, there were no reported dead (directly attributed to MAYSAK).

Philippines: ACT Alliance Alert/Update: Typhoon Haiyan, Philippines

6 May 2015 - 7:00am
Source: ACT Alliance Country: Philippines

Geneva, May 6, 2015

1. Brief description of the emergency and impact

Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) slammed into the eastern Philippines on November 8, 2013.
The strongest typhoon recorded in history killed more than 6,300 people and caused catastrophic damages to 44 provinces, 57 cities, 591 municipalities, affecting more than 16 million people. Total damages were estimated to have reached $2.04 B, including major damages to the agricultural sector.
Fisher folk and small coconut farmers, already among the poorest sectors suffered tremendous losses.

World: Helping Farmers Adapt to Climate Change

6 May 2015 - 3:12am
Source: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Country: Peru, Philippines, World

Helping Farmers Adapt to Climate Change

Amidst the coastal rice paddies of the Bicol region in south-eastern Philippines, local farmers stand knee-deep in water as an agricultural extension worker introduces new flood-tolerant seeds to adapt to changing weather patterns.

In collaboration with APEC and funded by Japan, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) initiative provides local climate projections, assesses its impact on agriculture, and develops strategies to enable farmers to respond effectively. The project was initially launched in the APEC Action Plan on Food Security at the APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security in Niigata, Japan in 2010.

“The impacts of climate change affect farming livelihoods by damaging harvests and lowering crop yields, thereby increasing poverty and food insecurity for communities in the Asia-Pacific,” explained Dr Hideki Kanamaru, Natural Resource Officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) headquartered in Italy, who leads the project.

“Governments and communities need to understand the impact of climate change on agriculture and start developing action plans to adjust to these changing weather patterns.”

Filling the Climate Change ‘Knowledge’ Gap

Limited data for observed and projected impacts of climate change on food production systems in Asia is one of key barriers to effective planning. Together with APEC and Japan, the FAO Analysis and Mapping Impacts under Climate Change for Adaptation and Food Security (AMICAF) project was established to address this knowledge gap. By collecting and analyzing data on rainfall, temperature, water discharge from streams as well as crop, hydrology and economic modelling, the project enables governments to make evidence-based climate change adaptation planning. The FAO developed innovative climate change models and then trained local experts on how to utilize the modelling systems.

“After using these models to assess shifting weather patterns and their impact on agriculture in the Philippines and Peru, two APEC member economies, the project then took the next step to test adaptation options on the farm and train farmers to adopt climate-smart agricultural practices,” said Kanamaru.

Climate-Smart Farming

In areas identified as high rainfall, flood-tolerant rice varieties and other climate-smart farming practices were introduced in the Philippines, this year’s APEC host.

“For example, projected increases in rainfall will require farmers to plant some crops early, such as corn, garlic and onions, to avoid excessive amounts of water that can damage the crop,” explained Dr Eulito Bautista, Project Manager for the Food and Agriculture Organization AMICAF project in the Philippines, which was piloted in January 2012 and completed at the end of 2014.

“Mango is another crop that usually flowers at the onset of the dry season. If rainfall occurs, flowering will be damaged or delayed. Excessive rainfall also has similar effects on rice plants, reducing grain setting and yield,” added Bautista.

“In response, our project taught farmers to alter planting cycles as an adaptation strategy for evolving weather patterns.”

As part of the project in the Philippines, the Climate Smart Farmer Field School trained small-scale farmers on innovative agricultural techniques from crop nutrient management to farm planning based on weather forecasts.

Green Super Rice

Green Super Rice—a climate-tolerant rice variety which can withstand multiple stresses such as floods, droughts and increased salinity—was also introduced to farmers as a way to accommodate new variations in weather. One of the key courses at the Climate Smart Farmer Field School focused on a FAO-developed system known as PalayCheck, an integrated rice crop management system that improves crop yields while balancing technology and sustainability. For example, PalayCheck has helped farmers substitute pesticide use for an integrated pest management system that relies instead on the pests’ natural predators.

“We developed a training course for farmers that used the PalayCheck platform to combine climate information and meteorology topics in the curriculum for an entire crop season,” said Bautista.

Some of the climate-related topics covered in the course included the relationship of the weather to pest and crop growth and development; weather and climate information products and sources; and interpreting and incorporating climate forecasts into farmers’ decision-making process.

“We also discussed various adaptation strategies with farmers and demonstrated one or two options like a climate-resilient seed variety, alternate wetting and drying technology for crops, as well as raising ducks on rice paddies as a way to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the use of chemicals,” added Bautista.

As a result of the project, over 200 farmers were trained for three crop seasons at the Climate Smart Farmer Field School in the Philippines. The communities selected were identified by local government units based on climate change events occurring in the region such as drought, saline-intrusion or flooding.

Strategic Response to Climate Change

The project is currently being implemented in Peru, another APEC member economy, set to host APEC in 2016. A second phase of the project will begin soon and enable climate change modelling and farmer community outreach to occur in two more economies. The Philippines and Peru will share the proven Climate Smart Farmer Field School approach and other lessons learned with the new project participants.

“Climate change unfortunately is a reality we face,” said Kanamaru. “We are already seeing the negative effects of even small variations in rainfall and temperature on farmers and their livelihoods.”

“This initiative is a key component of the Asia-Pacific’s strategic response to one of the biggest challenges of our time,” concluded Kanamaru.

For more information on the project, click here.

For more information, contact: media@apec.org

Philippines: Cash coordination in the Philippines: A review of lessons learned during the response to super Typhoon Haiyan

5 May 2015 - 4:01pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Cash Learning Partnership Country: Philippines, World

In the last five years there has been a growing trend towards the use of cash transfer programming (CTP) as a response modality in emergencies across the humanitarian sector. The fungibility of cash, when provided without restrictions, offers increased choice for affected populations to meet cross-sectoral needs according to their priorities. There is consequently a growing interest in the mainstreaming of cash transfers in response, recovery and rehabilitation and in the potential of so called multi-purpose cash grants within some international non-governmental organisations and donors. The effective and appropriate use of CTP requires strong intra and inter-agency coordination and communication between various actors across sectoral divisions, which poses particular challenges as well as opportunities for aid coordination efforts.

CaLP and UNHCR commissioned this review in order to document lessons learnt on the effectiveness of cash coordination during the initial three to four months of the response to Typhoon Haiyan, and to provide recommendations on inter-agency and cross-sectoral coordination.

Philippines: Life Goes on After Yolanda

5 May 2015 - 11:49am
Source: Action Contre la Faim Country: Philippines

PALO, Leyte--"If it was not for the small fish selling business, we could not have started to rebuild our lives back after the typhoon," says Ebeth Mendaza.

Ebeth is a fish vendor in Barangay Cogon in Palo, Leyte. Her husband is a coconut wine gatherer. Even with their measly income, they were able to raise 15 children.

But Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) changed it all. “I was worried that time. How will we survive? How will we feed our children? We got nothing. All my livelihood assets for fish vending were washed out. There were no coconut trees. There was no more livelihood for me and my husband," Mendaza said.

Worse, Mendaza and her family stayed in an evacuation area in Palo.

“It was a room occupied by more than 50 people. My family stayed there for one month with no decent clothes, not having anything at all. I thought we would not survive,” she said.

What pained her more was seeing her children eat in one plate. “I saw them eat in one plate, sharing rice and dried fish or noodles. That time there was no relief goods. You can even see people washing their clothes and wearing it back notwithstanding that it is still wet,” she added.

In March 2014, with funding support from the United States Aid for International Development – Office of the Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID-OFDA), ACF International, implemented a livelihood project aimed at ensuring sustainable recovery of the fisheries sector affected by the typhoon.

“Even if it was uncertain that I would be chosen as a beneficiary, I had hope. I really prayed that I will be chosen. I am a fish vendor with 15 kids, I know God will not forsake me.” Mendaza recalled the time when ACF staff conducted house-to-house validation for those who are listed under the fisheries sector.

And the good news came.

“The day I saw my name as one of the beneficiaries of ACF and USAID project, I cried. I was thanking God for bringing hope to our devastated lives,” she said.

Mendaza has returned to fish vending. Her son, Rodulfo Jr., also received P10,000 worth of fishing materials. The Mendazas were also supported by other organizations to rebuild their house. “There is always a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. For the Mendazas, ACF and USAID helped her find the light

About ACF

ACF international | Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization committed to ending world hunger and malnutrition. ACF responds to help vulnerable populations around the world through programs that empower communities to overcome the barriers standing in their way.

In the Philippines, ACF tackles the root causes of hunger, prevents outbreaks of life-threatening acute malnutrition, and helps the most vulnerable communities regain self- sufficiency through integrated programs in health and nutrition, care practices and psychosocial and care practices, food security and livelihoods; water, sanitation and hygiene; disaster risk management; good governance and advocacy while incorporating crosscutting issues such as gender, care for the environment, climate change adaptation and cultural sensitivity.

Our programs save lives and provide communities with long-term solutions to hunger and its underlying causes. We work in more than 45 countries and reach approximately eight million people annually.

For more information, please contact:

Rosa May de Guzman Maitem
Communications Manager

ACF International - Philippine Mission
Email: rmaitem@ph.acfspain.org
Tel/Fax: +63-(02) 840-1808; +63-(02) 659-3598
Cellular: + + 63-998-560-5447

Philippines: Farmers Rise from Yolanda

5 May 2015 - 11:47am
Source: Action Contre la Faim Country: Philippines

GENERAL MacARTHUR, Eastern Samar—Erlinda Dael, the 48-year old mother of three and barangay (village) chairman of Pinggan in General MacArthur town in Eastern Samar, lost most of her belongings to Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan).

Immediately after the typhoon struck, she received help from various government and non-government organizations. She cherished the livelihood assistance she received to begin a new life after the storm. Dael said the farm implements and seeds gave her a chance to plant in more areas and, literarily, begin a new life after the storm.

What she earns from her farm produce augments her salary as a village chair. “It helps in the day-to-day expenses. I even have some savings for the education of the children,” she said.

Dael said she was thankful for the help she and her village received. Despite the devastation, Dael still thinks Typhoon Yolanda also brought something positive— making residents realize the importance of living life with a purpose. Thus, as the village leader, Dael is looking at working for the construction of a flood control system and the strengthening of their evacuation center. With these two projects, Dael hopes that the damage to life and property will be mitigated when typhoons hit their village.

In the same village, Oscar Belicario’s life as a farmer had less problems. His two-hectare farm provided for his family of six. But Typhoon Yolanda came and wrought havoc in its path, including Balicario’s coconut and banana farm. Rising from the devastation, Belicario started to replant on his farm. But it would take a year before he could harvest his bananas.

Thanks to ACF International and its shelter and livelihoods assistance funded by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), Belicario and Dael received seeds and farming tools. Aside from the livelihood assistance, they also received help for them to rebuild their homes.

The 61-year old farmer planted root crops and vegetables such as taro, sweet potatoes, squash, eggplant, bitter gourd, string beans and lady fingers. While waiting for harvest time, Belicario also worked as a carpenter, building houses in nearby towns.

Even food on the table has changed. Before typhoon, Belicario said, they could afford anything they wanted— like pork and chicken. This time, however, the family’s regular diet would be rice and fish. But the assistance made life more bearable for Belicario and his family.

“As a beneficiary of conditional cash transfer, I was able to buy medicines for myself and my children. I would not have the means to start life anew, recover from the devastation without the help extended to my family,” he said.

ACF and ECHO, responded quickly after Typhoon Yolanda struck Central Visayas, providing humanitarian assistance and early recovery interventions. Priority was given to the most severely affected people providing them with life-saving shelter, food, water, sanitation and healthcare, as well as livelihoods and reconstruction support.

ACF implemented the ECHO-funded project as part of a consortium with Save the Children and Care International. ACF covered Eastern Samar, CARE in Leyte and SCI in Panay. All three partners implemented shelter, food security and livelihoods projects, education and health infrastructure repairs; water, sanitation and hygiene; and child protection programs in their respective areas.

The organizations paired cash and in-kind assistance with training. Households were trained in applying Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) methods to their daily lives; community carpenters and families who received cash and shelter repair kits were trained how to Build Back Safer homes; households who received livelihood grants were given management skills and sector-specific DRR training; staff of rehabilitated barangay health stations, day care centers and schools, and parents were trained on psychological first aid and child protection.

Overall, the grant reached €4.9 million in 2014. Through the project, more than 7,300 houses have been built back safer, more than 7,300 households have recovered their livelihoods, and 65 health and education facilities have been rehabilitated increasing access to basic social services to more than 71,700 Filipinos. #

About ACF

ACF international | Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization committed to ending world hunger and malnutrition. ACF responds to help vulnerable populations around the world through programs that empower communities to overcome the barriers standing in their way.

In the Philippines, ACF tackles the root causes of hunger, prevents outbreaks of life-threatening acute malnutrition, and helps the most vulnerable communities regain self- sufficiency through integrated programs in health and nutrition, care practices and psychosocial and care practices, food security and livelihoods; water, sanitation and hygiene; disaster risk management; good governance and advocacy while incorporating crosscutting issues such as gender, care for the environment, climate change adaptation and cultural sensitivity.

Our programs save lives and provide communities with long-term solutions to hunger and its underlying causes. We work in more than 45 countries and reach approximately eight million people annually.

For more information, please contact:

Rosa May de Guzman Maitem
Communications Manager

ACF International - Philippine Mission
Email: rmaitem@ph.acfspain.org
Tel/Fax: +63-(02) 840-1808; +63-(02) 659-3598
Cellular: + + 63-998-560-5447

Philippines: Engaging women in improving village sanitation

5 May 2015 - 11:03am
Source: Action Contre la Faim Country: Philippines

GEN. MaCARTHUR, Eastern Samar-- Without help from her husband, who has a daytime job, Gregoria Canatoy dug a six-foot hole that would serve as a septic tank. Then, the 39-year old mother of three, did some carpentry--installing lumber, concrete flooring and, finally, the ceramic toilet bowl.

“After four days of labor, I managed to build the latrine,” a satisfied Gregoria said.

“It’s quite difficult but I’ve tried hard to get it done. My husband and children are happy. Thanks to the clean latrine, our dignity has been restored through this sanitation project," Gregoria added.

Gregoria is just one of the women in the remote villages of Gen. MacArthur in Eastern Samar who did not have access to clean toilets.

One of ACF’s goals is to end open defecation through implementing innovative solutions to the challenges of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in the communities. ACF, in collaboration with UNICEF, works hard in its campaign to end child and maternal undernutrition and mortality.

In 2013, Typhoon Yolanda, considered the strongest typhoon ever to hit the Philippines, devastated Gen. MacArthur town, destroying homes and livelihoods, including water systems and toilets.

The town's remote and almost-inaccessible communities made it difficult for the families to have access to basic social and healthcare services. In Gen. Mac Arthur, 18 communities are considered geographically isolated.

“Sanitation has always been a problem in the municipality. Every time we have year-end evaluation in the province, Gen. Macarthur gets a red mark because of poor access to sanitation facilities. The advocacy to promote proper use of latrines and support the Department of Health’s Zero Open Defecation campaign is a big help to us,” said Dr. Corazon Miflores, the municipal health officer.

Esther Magdayo, head of WASH project in Eastern Samar, said women played a big role in improving hygiene and sanitation issues in the said town. “Women have been actively engaged in our implementation.”

“They bear the impact of dirty and inadequate water and hygiene and sanitation practices. But they rose up from these challenges. They were the first ones to understand the devastating effects of unhygienic practices, and the benefits of Open Defecation Free (ODF) status,” she added.

ACF, in coordination with Municipal Health Office and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, was in the forefront in promoting the significance of having toilets in far-flung communities.

“The CLTS (community-led total sanitation) behavioral changes process encourages community self-analysis of existing defecation patterns and threats, and promotes local solutions to reduce and ultimately eliminate the practice of open defecation," Magdayo said.

“Typhoon Yolanda has taught women that they can step up and do more beyond their traditional roles of tending the households and caring for their children. They, too, can rebuild their homes,” shares Magdayo.

In March 2014, a consultative workshop was held in Borongan City. It was attended by municipal sanitation inspectors and non-government organization partners. There, 129 barangays from the 11 Yolanda-affected towns in Eastern Samar were identified as target for the Zero Open Defecation (ZOD) project.

“It has been my long-time dream that Gen. Macarthur become a clean community not only in front of our houses but the whole community as well,” Mayor Jaime Ty then said.

“I am grateful that the eight barangays heeded the call stopping open defecation. I would also like to encourage the residents to build their latrines and practice proper hygiene,” the mayor added.

A year after Typhoon Yolanda, ACF, through the generous support from its donors and with its WASH services, has reached over 400,000 people in the three worst affected areas: Leyte, Samar and Panay. #

About ACF

ACF international | Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization committed to ending world hunger and malnutrition. ACF responds to help vulnerable populations around the world through programs that empower communities to overcome the barriers standing in their way.

In the Philippines, ACF tackles the root causes of hunger, prevents outbreaks of life-threatening acute malnutrition, and helps the most vulnerable communities regain self- sufficiency through integrated programs in health and nutrition, care practices and psychosocial and care practices, food security and livelihoods; water, sanitation and hygiene; disaster risk management; good governance and advocacy while incorporating crosscutting issues such as gender, care for the environment, climate change adaptation and cultural sensitivity.

Our programs save lives and provide communities with long-term solutions to hunger and its underlying causes. We work in more than 45 countries and reach approximately eight million people annually.

To arrange for interview, please contact:

Rosa May de Guzman Maitem
Communications Manager

ACF International - Philippine Mission
Email: rmaitem@ph.acfspain.org
Cellular: + 63-999-673-9099

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 29 April–5 May 2015

5 May 2015 - 10:35am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, Vanuatu, World, Yemen

Snapshot 29 April–5 May 2015

Nepal: The death toll from the earthquake has reached 7,250, with more than 14,000 injured. Aftershocks are still occurring, and some villages have still not been reached. 300,000 homes are estimated to need rebuilding or repair.

Yemen: The estimated number of IDPs has doubled since 17 April to reach 300,000, as conflict continues. Food distribution, health, and WASH systems are on the verge of collapse, due in large part to severe fuel shortages.

Nigeria: 9.7 million people are living in the areas worst affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, and 300,000 new IDPs have been recorded since February. In Damasak, Borno state, hundreds of people have been found dead following Boko Haram attacks.

Updated: 05/05/2015. Next update: 12/05/2015

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

World: The Urban Disadvantage: State of the World’s Mothers

5 May 2015 - 8:27am
Source: Save the Children Country: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Liberia, Philippines, Uganda, World

Introduction

Save the Children works in some of the world’s toughest places to ensure that mothers and children survive and thrive. And through our global campaign, EVERY ONE, we are working hard to influence changes in policies, norms, laws and budgets so that we end preventable child deaths. The world has made remarkable progress towards this goal – 100 million children are alive today because of reductions in child mortality since 1990. Millions of mothers are alive today because of improvements in essential health care during pregnancy and childbirth. But there is a major unfinished agenda. Increasingly, further reductions in child and maternal mortality will depend on strengthened efforts in urban areas.

Every year, millions of families move from the countryside to towns and cities, in search of a better life. Yet in many cases, children and mothers in cities continue to face a high risk of death from preventable causes. In most countries, the poorest urban children are at least twice as likely to die as the richest children before their fifth birthday, and often face mortality rates well above the national average. We call this the urban disadvantage.

Our 16th annual State of the World’s Mothers report explores the urban disadvantage in rich and poor cities around the world. Among our most important findings:

• The world is urbanising rapidly, with virtually all future population growth in developing countries expected to happen in cities. As a result, a greater share of child deaths will take place in urban areas.

• In developing countries, the urban poor are often as bad as, or worse off than, the average rural family, and for many rural families, moving to the city may result in more – rather than less – hardship.

• Few countries have invested sufficiently in the infrastructure and systems, including health care and water and sanitation, which are critical to addressing the basic health needs of the urban poor. More countries need to adopt universal health care as a national policy to help address the needs of the urban poor.

There is no simple solution to tackling child and maternal mortality in the world’s cities, but a number of the major cities cited in the report – such as Addis Ababa and Manila– have made real progress in addressing the health needs of the poorest families. These examples hold important lessons for other cities, and demonstrate the scope for progress even where resources are scarce and the burden of need is heavy.

Save the Children is proud to have contributed to these successes. We are working in urban settings around the world to improve care for pregnant mothers and newborn babies and provide improved nutrition, education and sanitation. We partner with local and national governments to create policies and strategies that make it easier for the poorest urban families to get essential services. We leverage the unique advantages cities have to offer – technology, highly skilled partners and existing services – that need to be made more accessible. Many more lives could be saved with fully resourced plans that ensure universal access to services for every mother and every child.

We must seize the opportunity that 2015 presents us, with the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals, to set the world on the trajectory to ending preventable deaths within a generation. I encourage you to take a look at the Take Action section of the report. It’s time for all of us to work to set things right – to reverse the urban disadvantage, once and for all.

Jasmine Whitbread CEO, Save the Children International

World: IDMC Quarterly Update January - March 2015

5 May 2015 - 7:57am
Source: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre Country: Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Philippines, Somalia, Ukraine, World

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) is pleased to present its quarterly update for the period January to March 2015 in a modified format that reflects IDMC’s new strategic objectives and expected outcomes. 2015 is a transitional year for IDMC during which we will meet our running commitments and at the same time engage in activities within the new strategic framework. These reports will of course continue to keep you updated on progress made towards achieving our goals.

World: Asia Pacific Food Price and Policy Monitor, April 2015 - Issue 20

4 May 2015 - 3:18am
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Philippines, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Viet Nam, World

Highlights

  • In India, unseasonal rains damaged 8.5 million hectares of crops, mainly wheat. The Government has responded mainly by increasing input subsidies and facilitating the processing of insurance claims.

  • Thailand has launched a loan relief programme for affected farmers through the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives.

  • In Pakistan, potato prices have fallen by 45 percent year on year as farmers switch from growing wheat to potatoes.

  • Kazakhstan is diversifying crops and improving productivity to increase economic performance of the agriculture sector.

  • Viet Nam approved three varieties of genetically modified maize to boost yields and reduce reliance on imports.

  • Fiji implemented its first school feeding programme for more than 20 000 first-year students.

Philippines: Philippines: Cash Transfer Programming (4 May 2015)

4 May 2015 - 2:36am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

Philippines: Philippines: Mindanao Humanitarian Snapshot (as of 30 Apr 2015)

2 May 2015 - 2:10am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

In February and March 2015, a-month-long law enforcement operation (LEO) lead by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) left over 120,000 people displaced in 13 municipalities of the province of Maguindanao. As of 24 April, some 43,900 IDPs remain in 32 evacuation centres (ECs) in six municipalities of Maguindanao.

Philippines: Philippines Humanitarian Bulletin Issue Issue 4 | 1 – 30 April 2015

1 May 2015 - 11:57am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

HIGHLIGHTS

  • About 60 per cent of IDPs in Maguindanao province return home, while some 43,900 people remain displaced

  • Preparedness efforts champion Typhoon Maysak response

  • WASH Cluster steps up assistance to droughtaffected IDPs in Zamboanga

  • Community consultations in Mamasapano reveal unmet needs of IDP women