Philippines - ReliefWeb News
Lessons from Yolanda
ACF Provides Assistance in Typhoon Ruby-Affected Areas
Rosa May de Guzman Maitem
DOLORES, Eastern Samar–With the images of devastation wrought by Typhoon Yolanda still fresh in their minds, the people of Dolores, a low-lying coastal town in Eastern Samar, prepared for the worst three days ahead of Typhoon Ruby’s (international name Hagupit) landfall in the central Philippines in December 2014.
Suelo Igdalino, 80, instructed his children and grandchildren to look for a place where they could seek shelter. Suelo looked up to a hilly part of Dolores and decided that they could run there should heavy rain and intense wind come. “We still have time to prepare, take the children, bring clothes and food and put up a tent up there. We’ll be safe there,” Elsa Igdalino, 51, recalled his father as telling them.
The family heeded. All the while, the local government’s disaster management teams drove around town, enforcing the preemptive evacuation of 339 families. In less than 48 hours, Typhoon Ruby rammed everything on its path— blowing off roofs, bogging down walls, uprooting trees, and toppling down power and communication lines.
QUEZON CITY, March 9, (PIA) - -The International Labor Organization (ILO) will provide a livelhood grant to some 36 municipalities in Visayas that were ravaged by typhoon Yolanda.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano–Soliman and ILO Country Office Director Lawrence Jeff Johnson signed a grant agreement on Monday (March 9, 2015) at the DSWD’s central office in Quezon City to support sustainable livelihood and community enterprise development in the 36 municipalities in Tacloban, Leyte, Northern Cebu and Coron in Palawan.
Under the agreement, the ILO will provide US$480,000 to DSWD to rebuild livelihood assets and to support community-driven enterprises. The agreement further stipulated that it will assist 1,200 vulnerable workers and guarantee minimum wage, social security, health, and accident insurance coverage. Personal protective equipment such as masks, hats, gloves, boots, and protective clothing will also be provided to ensure safety at work.
The ILO estimated that about 6 million workers were affected when Typhoon Yolanda struck the Philippines in November 2013. Of these, 2.6 million workers were already in vulnerable employment and living near or at the poverty line even before the onslaught of the storm.
Typhoon Ruby and Seniang that entered the country in December 2014 affected the same communities erasing whatever progress made to uplift the affected people and further aggravated their situation.
The livelihood grant comes at an opportune time, when international humanitarian aid is dwindling and the focus of the response is shifting towards long-term development, with the government in the driving seat.
“This partnership with ILO will provide ‘Yolanda’ survivors with sustainable and decent sources of livelihood to help them regain normalcy in their lives as well as protect them from exploitation,” Sec. Soliman said.
On his part, Director Jeff Johnson said that ILO will support the Philippine government in building back the lives of the affected people through decent work and sustainable livelihood.
“Together, we will reach out to Workers in vulnerable employment, who often have no choice but to accept or create whatever work is available in order to survive,” emphasized Dir. Johnson
The project will continue until June 2015 and will take an integrated approach, using DSWD’s Cash for Building Livelihood Assets and the Community-Driven Enterprise Development approaches, while complementing ILO’s experience on placing decent work and livelihood at the forefront of disaster response and recovery. (DSWD/RJB/LFB/PIA-NCR)
CATBALOGAN, 7th March 2015 (WAM) --- Officials from the Emirates Red Crescent, have inspected the progress of the construction of a UAE-funded hospital in Western Samar, the Philippines.
The delegation led by Chairman of the board of directors of ERC, Hamdan Musallam Al Mazrouie, was accompanied to the site of the project by Stephen James T. Tan, Vice-Governor of Samar Province.
When completed the hospital, which is part of the US$10 million in aid ordered by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will serve more than 350,000 citizens in the Philippine province which was ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.
Al Mazrouie said that the AED2 million hospital is being built in cooperation with the local government and that, in the second phase, it will be provided with modern medical equipment.
The ERC senior official added that the humanitarian agency is planning a new healthcare centre in Dolores City, Eastern Samar. The project which will cost AED2 million will serve more than 124,000 people in the province.
Al Mazrouie emphasied that ERC is working under directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and is supported by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and President of ERC.
He noted that ERC, in addition to providing emergency assistance at times of disaster in the short term, works on enhancing development of the affected communities in the long term.
Philippines: Bohol earthquake recovery operation comes to an end; Boholanos grateful for repaired shelter, new homes
Husband and wife Pablito and Carmelita Taghap, 66 and 65 years old respectively, who live in Cahayag, Tubigon, Bohol were left homeless after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Central Visayas on October 15, 2013, totally damaged their house, along with the other homes and structures in their community. Without a place to go, the couple lived in a makeshift tent for a while, which made their situation very difficult especially when typhoon Yolanda struck Bohol the following month.
When the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) stepped in to provide core shelter and shelter repair assistance, they were among the selected families who became beneficiaries of the core shelter project. Pablito, a farmer, and Carmelita, a tailor, actively assisted the skilled workers in building their home. They were very thankful to the PRC for their new home, which they said they would not be able to build by themselves from their meager earnings.
Pablito and Carmelita are just two of the individuals reached by the recovery projects of the PRC and partners in the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in Bohol. A year and four months after, PRC’s recovery operations in Bohol ended in February after completing all its target projects for all affected communities in the province.
Shelters, hygiene and sanitation
At the end of PRC’s recovery efforts in Bohol, a total of 304 core shelters or full houses were constructed. To help build damaged houses and structures, 100 carpenters and masons were given training and 1,700 shelter repair kits were provided through conditional cash grants.
Along with construction and repair of damaged structures, the PRC also focused on hygiene and sanitation in schools and communities with the construction of school latrines, supported with hygiene and sanitation trainings in schools and communities. Ten water and sanitation (WatSan) latrines were constructed in public schools, while a total of 2,883 pupils were reached through children hygiene and sanitation transformation (CHAST) sessions. To ensure that proper hygiene and sanitation are observed in schools, 80 individuals were given CHAST training for school-based WatSan committees.
Similarly, families and health volunteers participated in participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation (PHAST) sessions to help prevent the spread of diseases in communities affected by the earthquake. A total of 6,025 families and 96 community health volunteers participated in PHAST training.
PRC emergency earthquake response
In the wake of the tremor, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) was one of the first agencies to provide emergency response through rescue and transport of casualties in hospitals, first aid management, provision of food and necessary non-food items for displaced families in evacuation centers, clean water, health and hygiene promotion, and welfare assistance such as psychosocial support, guidance and counseling, tracing and restoration of family links, and referrals.
The earthquake left 225 people dead, almost a thousand injured, thousands of people displaced, and damaged 73,000 structures including homes, buildings, roads, bridges, churches, air and sea ports, hospitals, and local government structures in both Cebu and Bohol.
As of 5 Mar over 82,000 people are displaced due to continuing insecurity in the provinces of North Cotabato and Maguindanao in Central Mindanao. This is an increase of about 12,100 people over the previous three days, according to the authorities of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). As of 4 Mar, over 64,000 people were staying in 48 evacuation centres across 12 municipalities, while others were hosted by relatives and friends. The situation along the border of the two provinces has stabilised.
82,000 people displaced
48 evacuation centres
On 5 Mar, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of the ARMM led a Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis in the affected municipalities with the support of the Mindanao Humanitarian Team. Findings of the assessment mission will be shared in due course.
Local and national authorities with support of UN agencies, ICRC and NGO partners continue to assist the displaced families through provision of food, NFIs, WASH and health assistance and are pre-positioning additional relief goods.1
Fighting continues between the Government of Myanmar Army and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and other armed groups in the Kokang self-administered zone, northeast Shan State. Due to insecurity, lack of access and continuing conflict, the number of people displaced to China and within Myanmar is difficult to verify. Chinese media has reported 30,000 people crossing into China, while some 13,000 people are estimated to have fled the Kokang region to other parts of Myanmar, according to local authorities. Those displaced in China or within Myanmar were provided with assistance. Assistance was provided by local authorities to those displaced in China and for internally displaced in Myanmar,
Myanmar Red Cross Society and local civil society organizations.2
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Heavy rainfall on 3 Mar caused river overflows in the provinces of Western Highlands, Central Highlands, Southern Highlands and Jiwaka.
As of 4 Mar, local authorities and local media report six people killed in the village of Polga in Jiwaka province, while a number of houses were destroyed throughout the affected area. In total, about 100,000 people were affected by the rainfall and floods.3
6 people killed
100,000 people affected
On 9 Mar, the National Weather Service issued strong weather warnings for areas south of Port Moresby. This system is responsible for continuous rain and gale force winds in the southern region from Daru to Samarai.4
SOUTH PACIFIC A severe tropical depression located north of Vanuatu and east of Solomon Islands is rapidly intensifying. Weather models predict it is likely to track southeastward and reach tropical cyclone category by the evening of 9 Mar after which it will be named Tropical Cyclone Pam.
As of 9 Mar, the Solomon Islands are experiencing heavy rains on the outer islands. The National Disaster Operations Centre reports that 38 people were evacuated in Malaita province and several houses and a bridge have also been submerged.
A response preparedness meeting with the Pacific Humanitarian Team was held on 9 Mar and partners are on stand-by to deploy.5
Other ongoing emergencies:
Philippines: Zamboanga crisis
Myanmar: Rakhine crisis
Myanmar: Kachin crisis
Tacloban City, Leyte – Some 2,110 partner-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program from the provinces of Samar, Leyte, and Eastern Samar received a free copy of their live birth registration certificate last February 23, 2015.
In a Civil Society Organization (CSO)-led conference on Civil Registration held recently at the Ritz Tower de Leyte, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman commended the group behind the Mobile Civil Registration Project for helping Typhoon Yolanda survivors recover and reconstruct their civil records which were lost or damaged by the typhoon.
The project, which was launched in April 2014 and is still ongoing, is spearheaded by the Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Legal Services (IDEALS) in partnership with the DSWD; Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA); United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); 20 local Civil Registrar’s Office of Leyte, Samar, and Eastern Samar; and various CSOs such as Plan International and Save the Children International.
“This project is essential because you are providing the beneficiaries with vital documents that would establish their identity and entitlement to their rights and privileges. Without the birth certificate, you can’t have the death certificate and your right to anything from the government or from anyone,” Sec. Soliman explained.
The project has two phases. Phase I, which is undertaken by the UNDP as lead CSO partner, has targeted to restore 83,790 civil registry documents of ‘Yolanda’ survivors in Eastern Visayas. To date, a total of 126,078 documents have been reconstructed.
Of this, around 8,000 documents belong to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
On the other hand, a total of 10,061 legal documents were produced for some 3,723 households. This resulted in an estimated aggregate sum of P30.71 million worth of benefits accessed by the beneficiaries.
For Phase II, which is implemented by UNICEF as CSO partner, a total of 43,266 civil registry documents were submitted to the local civil registrar’s offices, while 6,000 legal documents of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries were facilitated.
Sec. Soliman added that civil registration does not just go beyond identifying people, but it also facilitates access to social and child protection programs and services.
She also cited the importance of civil documents especially for the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya.
“To help identify our Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, among the documents that we need are birth and marriage certificates,” the Secretary continued.
The Secretary expressed optimism that this initiative will continue until all Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, whose documents were destroyed during the typhoon, will be provided with a copy of their civil registry documents.
For his part, IDEALS Executive Director Egad Ligon said, “Since 2013 we have been trying to help disaster survivors to reconstruct or register their civil records and obtain copies of their birth or marriage certificates or the death certificates of their relatives.”
He added that they have already assisted around 120,000 ‘Yolanda’ survivors since 2013 and that they are targeting to assist another 120,000 survivors for this phase.
A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
Several fires broke out in the densely-populated Parola compound in Tondo, Manila on 2 March 2015. The worst of these reached general alarm (the highest level) before being declared under control by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and finally out in the early hours of 3 March. The Bureau of Fire Protection, together with local authorities and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) are currently assessing the damage caused by these fires.
As of 5 March, the Social Welfare Department of Manila City estimates almost 10,000 families (50,000 people) are affected, with more than 800 houses totally destroyed and some 200 suffering extensive damage. Latest reports indicated some 5,000 families (25,000 people) are being housed in six evacuation centres. No casualties due to the fire have been reported. The situation in Tondo, however, demonstrates how urban poverty and disaster risk are closely intertwined. Tondo is a shanty community where most houses are made of light materials; most of the fire cases reported are due to faulty electrical wiring in slum communities – usually caused by illegal power connections.
The month of March is generally hot and dry, traditionally the “fire season” in the Philippines, and is declared Fire Prevention Month. According to the Bureau of Fire Protection, a total of 2,277 fire incidents have been reported nationwide since January 2015, with 23 fire incidents reported on 1-3 March 2015 alone. In Manila itself, over 615 fire incidents have been reported since the beginning of 2015.
Responding to the fire, PRC has deployed two staff members, 20 volunteers and 11 disaster response teams to the affected sites. A water tanker from the PRC National Headquarters (NHQ) was also deployed together with an emergency medical team to support government efforts in putting out the fire and providing essential medical and/or ambulance services to those affected. PRC also continues to provide a range of welfare services to affected people in evacuation centres.
Red Cross chapters around Metro Manila have been responding to scores of people affected by fires since the beginning of the year, with three chapters responding to the current situation. While this is only the beginning of March, resources are already being stretched, and it is impossible to predict the size and intensity of potential fire incidences and the magnitude to which these will affect people, especially urban dwellers in informal residences. It is in this context that PRC has requested for support from the IFRC Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to enable the delivery of immediate relief assistance to affected families, including food and non-food items such as blankets, mosquito nets, sleeping mats and jerry cans as well as hygiene kits.
Planning for the response has been coordinated with the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO). Under this response PRC will deliver food assistance to 1,800 families and non-food relief to 900 families. Priority will be on families that have lost all or most of their possessions, and currently in evacuation centres.
Sultan Kudarat, Philippines | | Saturday 3/7/2015 - 06:00 GMT
Hundreds of Muslim rebels lined up in the Philippines Saturday to register as voters, keeping faith with a 2014 peace pact that was thrown into doubt after 44 policemen were killed in a botched terror raid.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels, unarmed and wearing civilian clothes, had their photographs and fingerprints taken at a government building in the southern town of Sultan Kudarat to qualify for voter identification cards.
"They are all very eager to take part," Von al Haq, spokesman for the 10,000-member MILF's military wing told AFP.
Some would be voting for the first time, he added.
"This is part of our preparations to lead our own government," he said, referring to a March 2014 agreement in which the MILF committed to end an armed rebellion that has claimed 120,000 lives.
As part of the deal, the MILF is to disarm and President Benigno Aquino is set to legislate an area of Muslim self-rule.
Rey Sumalipao, regional head of the government's Commission on Elections, told AFP he expects about 1,500 members to register within the day to allow them to vote in national and local elections.
Other MILF members are expected to apply later, he added.
Muslim rebels have been battling for independence or autonomy in the southern islands of the mainly Catholic Philippines since the 1970s.
The peace process was thrown into doubt on January 25 when MILF forces and other armed groups ambushed police commandos going after Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir, one of the world's most wanted Islamic militants.
The fighting left 44 policemen dead and sparked a public backlash, causing parliament to suspend debates on the proposed self-rule law.
The MILF returned some of the dead commandos' weapons and pledged to go after other militants sought by the Philippine courts, but rejected Aquino's demand that it surrender those who took part in killings.
Rebel leaders said they would impose their own sanctions on those found at fault.
The Senate and the House of Representatives have since said they will resume discussions on the bill that they said would likely pass by mid-June.
Al Haq, the MILF spokesman, said Saturday the high rebel turnout was proof they remained committed to the peace process.
"We're very confident that the peace process will continue," said Al Haq, adding he last voted in 1986 before becoming a full-time guerrilla.
© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse
Why community-led partnerships matter
Recurring large-scale disasters coupled with smaller localized events and changing weather patterns call for strategies that effectively address local impacts of natural hazards and climate change. In recent years, policymakers and civil society organizations have noted that national legislation, policies and programs in place to advance disaster and climate resilience have not yielded results at local levels,1 particularly for communities that already suffer from structural inequalities and marginalization. Experience has shown that governments need the collaboration of local communities who live and work in hazard prone areas to ensure that proposed solutions strengthen the resilience of rural and urban poor communities that are most adversely affected by natural hazards and a changing climate.
Yet many policymakers are unaware that community-driven initiatives are already underway addressing the needs of impoverished, marginalized communities in the face of disaster and climate change. These initiatives have built multi-stakeholder partnerships with local and national governments, universities, researchers and the private sector. When successful, the results invariably benefit all concerned. National and local governments are able to design and deliver effective programs that fulfill their commitments to marginalized populations, as community partnerships help ground government policies and practice in local realities. At the same time, communities driving local action benefit by gaining access to public resources, technical training, and decision-making processes to scale up and sustain their initiatives, equipping them to better withstand the potentially devastating effects of disasters. In addition, partnerships are transforming relationships between communities and other stakeholders, recognizing communities as active agents, citizens, constituents, and stakeholders who have knowledge, experience, and capacities to contribute to problem-solving. Most importantly these partnerships are precedent-setting, demonstrating that reducing the impacts of disasters and climate change requires new kinds of collaborative strategies in which communities must play a central role.
ROXAS CITY, Capiz, March 5 (PIA6) – Four hundred eleven core shelter units have been completed by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) as of Feb. 27 out of the 2,232 house construction target in view of its ongoing Typhoon Yolanda Recovery Phase assistance to identified sites in the province.
Tropical Storm (TS) Yolanda Operation Reporting Officer Alfred Dave See said that the completed units worth P105,000.00 each were already turned over to the beneficiaries as these are ready for occupancy.
“Construction of 126 more housing units is underway,” he noted, adding that building of additional batch of core shelters will commence this month.
The PRC’s shelter assistance with a total budget of P278,460,000.00 is for identified beneficiaries in the barangays of Panay, Dumalag, Dumarao, Panit-an, Dao, Ivisan and Tapaz towns.
The operation has also extended Shelter Repair Assistance to 4,658 households affected by the supertyphoon in November 2013.
A ceremonial hand over of 32 housing units by PRC to identified beneficiaries in Brgy. Capagao in Panit-an town last Nov. 8, 2014 marked the first anniversary of the devastation.
Aside from the housing assistance, the operation has also focus on livelihood support, water and sanitation, health facilities, rehabilitation and construction of classrooms, distribution of school kits and conduct of Community Based Health and First Aid sessions, among others. (JSC/AAL-PIA6 Capiz)
Manila, Philippines | | Friday 3/6/2015 - 12:47 GMT | 304 words
Super typhoon Haiyan and surging rice prices pushed the number of Filipinos living in poverty to 25.8 percent in the first half of last year despite strong economic growth, official data released Friday showed.
The 1.2 percent rise was compared to the 24.6 percent of people in the Philippines who were considered poor a year earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority said in a statement.
The increase followed Haiyan which struck in November 2013, killing more than 7,350 people and ravaging an area as big as Portugal in the nation of around 100 million people.
The government agency deemed a family of five who lived off 8,778 pesos ($199.3) a month -- roughly $1.33 per person a day -- to be poor.
Nevertheless the Philippines, one of Asia's fastest-growing economies, saw the average income of Filipinos rise by 6.4 percent in the first six months of 2014, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in the statement.
"The very high prices of food wiped out the gains in per capita income," he added.
The areas ravaged by Haiyan saw the most substantial jumps in poverty levels, he said.
Notwithstanding the ravages of Haiyan, the Philippine economy expanded by 6.1 percent last year, second only to China among Asian economies according to the government.
The biggest rises in per capita income, percentage-wise, occurred amongst the poorest sections of the Philippines during this period, Balisacan said.
However, the domestic price of rice, the staple cereal that accounts for 20 percent of the budget of low-income families, also shot up by 11.9 percent, he said.
Lean harvests and less imports were to blame, pushing up the inflation rate and eroding per capita income gains, he added.
The government is forecasting growth of between 7-8 percent this year, raising hopes it would make further inroads on reducing poverty.
© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse
Philippines: NDRRMC SitRep No.1 Internally Displaced Persons due to Series of Armed Conflicts in Mindanao
At 5:45 PM, 09 February 2015, a Rido incident between Nayang Timan and Giman Saligan broke out at Sito Tatak, Kalbugan, Pagalungan, Maguindanao. On February 19, 2015, the incident has escalated and affected Barangays Darampua and Masulot, Sultan Sa Barongis, Maguindanao
On February 27, 2015, at 8:00 AM, a joint operation was conducted by PNP, Philippine Army and Philippine Marines against BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters) in the Municipality of Datu Unsay
Jemin B. Guillermo
ROXAS CITY, Capiz, March 5 (PIA6) – Capiceños are grateful to the Japanese government for the continued help to supertyphoon Yolanda-affected residents in the area.
Panay mayor Dante Bermejo said that they are very thankful to the government of Japan for the various assistance to his people who were among the victims of typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.
He said that the Japan government through the Japan Heart was the first to respond to his town in the aftermath of said devastating typhoon that displaced many of his residents.
“Aside from the Japan Heart, several other Japanese organizations have likewise extended their help to us particularly in providing livelihood opportunities for the coastal and island residents,” he said.
Bermejo added that the Japanese government has likewise partnered with the UN Habitat and Department of Social Welfare and Development in the construction of 70 houses.
He also expressed his appreciation to the said government for positively responding to their request for food for work program in the area.
The Japan government through its Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries donated to Panay town a total of 175.11 metric tons of rice for the identified 5,837 families in the area for the food for work program.
The donation to said municipality is part of the 580.08 metric tons of rice donation for victims of Yolanda in Carles, Iloilo and Balete, Aklan.
The rice donation, for which Panay is the only recipient in Capiz, was made through the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) for the Tier 3 program.
Bermejo said that each beneficiary is given a total of 30 kilograms of rice after rendering five days works such as clean-up and clearing activity in the barangay roads and highways as well as dredging of canals and drainage.
The turnover of rice donation, March 5, in Panay town was personally attended by APTERR General Manager Wiroj Saengbangka, MAFF-Japan Director General Akira Karasawa, Japan Embassy in the Philippines First Secretary Ryutaro Aoki and other Japan officials.
Also present were top officials of the National Food Authority led by Deputy Administrator Ludovico Jarina and NFA Assistant Administrator Joseph Dela Cruz, representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, as well as representatives from the provincial governments of Iloilo, Aklan and Capiz. (JSC/JBG-PIA6 Capiz)
SAMAR, 5th March, 2015 (WAM) – The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) delegation headed by Dr. Hamdan Musallam Al Mazrouei, ERC's Chairman of the Board of Directors, today opened four schools in the South of Samar Province in the Philippines.
The event is in implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan regarding provisions of humanitarian assistance at a value of US$10 million for victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
Governor of Western Samar Sharee Ann Tan, Governor of Eastern Samar Conrado B. Nicart and the UAE Ambassador to the Philippines Moosa Abdulwahid Alkhajah were present. The number of reconstructed and revamped schools by ERC has reached 10.
The opening of the schools is seen in the framework of the ERC's efforts to follow up on the latest developments regarding the conditions of the victims of the typhoon and to be briefed on the results of the exerted efforts of a number of relief organisations in the Philippines.
At the conclusion of the event, Filipino officials hosted a reception in honour of the ERC delegation.
Al Mazrouei expressed his happiness at the end of the first phase of the relief programme in Philippines, adding, "I cannot but express my happiness, as I feel proud that the ERC team has contributed positively in building the Island, and I extend my thanks for your efforts which drew joy from the parents and children."
Since February 04, thousands of civilians from Barangays Buliok, Kalbugan, and Bagoinged, in the municipality of Pagalungan, Maguindanao and Kabasalan, Rajah Muda, Bulol, Buliok and Barungis in the municipality of Pikit, North Cotabato have fled their homes due to intense armed clashes between the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). According to reports shared by Municipal Social Welfare and Development offices of Pikit, Pagalungan, Sultan sa Barongis and ARMM-HEART, a total of 72,833 displaced persons have taken temporary shelter in evacuation centers and host communities (home-based) as of March 2, 2015.
In close coordination with the local government units, IOM Cotabato has conducted assessment missions in the affected sites to identify the most pressing needs and concerns of the IDPs for possible response and referrals. To date, IOM Cotabato has assessed seven sites (four in Pikit, North Cotabato and three in Pagalungan, Maguindanao).
Manila (ICRC) – Thousands of people have fled their homes as fighting between government security forces and armed groups escalates in Maguindanao province, in central Mindanao. The number of displaced people is rising.
Entire communities from villages in Kalbugan and Buliok, in Maguindanao, displaced by a range of clashes in early February fear returning to their homes owing to the risk of explosive devices and the general uncertainty of the situation.
"Civilians are forced to flee out of fear. Displacement, especially when it's prolonged and repeated, uproots people from their normal lives and causes untold suffering," said Pascal Mauchle, head of the ICRC's delegation in the Philippines. These families need food, clean water and access to sanitation, he said.
The ICRC reminds all parties to the fighting to respect human life and dignity. Civilians and civilian property – such as houses, agricultural land, water-supply lines and health-care facilities – must be safeguarded. All injured or sick people – regardless of their religion, ethnic group, gender or political beliefs – must receive medical treatment appropriate to their condition.
Working closely with the Philippine Red Cross, the ICRC delivered relief, such as food and hygiene items, last week to some 20,000 people in North Cotabato and Maguindanao; and began providing drinking water daily in two evacuation centres. With their presence on the ground and close proximity to the affected population, both organizations stand ready to provide further support.
The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization whose mandate is to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence. It has had an established presence in the Philippines for over 60 years and a permanent presence in Mindanao since 1986.
For further information, please contact:
Allison Lopez, ICRC Manila, tel: +63 908 868 6884
Wolde Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Manila, tel: +63 918 907 2125
World: 56% of the 100 cities most exposed to natural hazards found in Philippines, Japan, China, Bangladesh – Verisk Maplecroft
The strategic markets of Philippines, China, Japan and Bangladesh are home to over half of the 100 cities most exposed to natural hazards, highlighting the potential risks to foreign business, supply chains and economic output in Asia from extreme weather events and seismic disasters, according to new research from global risk analytics company, Verisk Maplecroft.
The 5th annual Natural Hazards Risk Atlas (NHRA) assesses the natural hazard exposure of over 1,300 cities, selected for their importance as significant economic and population centres in the coming decade. Of the 100 cities with the greatest exposure to natural hazards, 21 are located in the Philippines, 16 in China, 11 in Japan and 8 in Bangladesh. The analysis considers the combined risk posed by tropical storms and cyclones, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, severe storms, extra-tropical cyclones, wildfires, storm surges, volcanoes and landslides.
The Philippines’ extreme exposure to a myriad of natural hazards is reflected by the inclusion of 8 of the country’s cities among the ten most at risk globally, including Tuguegarao (2nd), Lucena (3rd), Manila (4th), San Fernando (5th) and Cabantuan (6th). Port Vila, Vanuatu (1st) and Taipei City, Taiwan (8th) are the only cities not located in the Philippines to feature in the top 10.
Manufacturing and logistics hubs among cities most at risk
According to Verisk Maplecroft, natural hazards constitute one of the most severe disrupters of business and supply chain continuity, and also threaten economic output and growth in some of the world’s key cities, especially for those located in the emerging markets.
“As typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the tsunami in Japan showed us, natural hazard events can have far-reaching and long-lasting impacts on supply chains, business and economies,” states Dr Richard Hewston, Principal Environmental Analyst at Verisk Maplecroft. “Understanding how, where and why those risks manifest is an imperative in managing potential shocks.”
According to the NHRA, several key manufacturing and logistics hubs are highly exposed to natural hazards. One of the world’s busiest ports Tokyo is ranked 22nd, while the commercial centres of Manila (4th), Taipei City (8th) and Dhaka (35th) and the important Chinese manufacturing locations of Wenzhou (49th), Foshan (63rd) and Dongguan (80th) all feature among the 100 most exposed cities.
Despite gains, the fastest growing economies still lack resilience to natural hazards
The highest risk cities in Japan and the Philippines are highly exposed to a variety of hazards, including earthquakes, typhoons, severe storms and landslides. Tuguegarao (2nd), Lucena (3rd) and Manila (4th) in the Philippines, along with Kawasaki (15th), Osaka (16th) and Nara (17th) in Japan are highly prone to earthquakes and typhoons – two of the deadliest and costliest hazard types.
Natural hazard risk is compounded in the Philippines by poor institutional and societal capacity to manage, respond and recover from natural hazards events. In addition to assessing exposure, the Natural Hazards Risk Atlas also evaluates a country’s ability to manage and mitigate the impacts of natural hazard events, through the Socio-economic Resilience Index. While Japan, which ranks 178th out 198 countries for resilience, is classified as ‘low risk,’ the Philippines (80th), is considered ‘high risk’, in part due to entrenched corruption and high levels of poverty.
“With foreign investment continuing to flow into countries highly exposed to natural hazards, those which are unable to demonstrate robust resilience may lose an element of their competitiveness,” adds Hewston. “Company decision-making over sourcing locations or market entry is increasingly influenced by issues such as strength of infrastructure and institutional robustness.”
Notes to editors:
Verisk Maplecroft's 5th annual Natural Hazards Risk Atlas provides a framework to evaluate business risks and acts as a tool to support decision making to achieve a real reduction in risk. The Atlas not only identifies locations which are prone to natural hazards, but also quantifies the socio-economic resilience in those locations, providing support for informed, preventative decision making by governments, communities, individuals and indeed businesses to facilitate disaster risk reduction. It consists of 29 indices and interactive maps analysing major natural hazards across 198 countries, including: seismic activity, tsunamis, volcanoes, landslides, flooding, tropical storms and cyclones, storm surges, severe storms, extra–tropical cyclones, wildfires and drought.
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