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World: The Challenge of Climate Disasters - From delivering aid to ending need

2 September 2016 - 7:10am
Source: World Vision Country: Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

In the wake of El Niño

We are living in the most unusually warm period in history and this is taking a huge toll on the world’s most vulnerable. 2015 was the hottest year on record and 2016 looks set to be even hotter.
As this year’s El Niño in the Pacific lurches towards becoming a La Nina1 , the run of record temperatures looks set to be broken again. But in some ways, this year is not unique. It has become widely acknowledged among the development community that weather-related disasters are the ‘new normal’.

Over the last twenty years, 90 percent of disasters have been caused by floods, storms, heatwaves and other weather related events. Over this period, weather-related disasters claimed 606,000 lives, an average of some 30,000 per annum, with an additional 4.1 billion people injured, left homeless or in need of emergency assistance.2 60 million people are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance due to El Niño.3 More than 26 million children are at risk from hunger, disease and lack of water in Africa alone.4 On a continent where 70 percent of the population is dependent upon agriculture,5 El Niño is having catastrophic consequences. Economic losses due to disasters can be 20 times greater (as a percentage of GDP) in developing countries compared to developed countries.

World Vision’s Response

A dollar invested in resilience, disaster risk reduction and early action can save around four dollars in emergency relief. Funding needs to support these kinds of programmes as well as humanitarian relief. It also needs to be multi-year and flexible – at least ten percent of development finance needs to be made available to manage climate risks.

World Vision works in and with communities for up to 15 years and is able to release 20 percent of its community development budget for immediate humanitarian support.

Officially, World Vision has emergency responses to the disaster in 16 countries (Angola, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, TimorLeste,
Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Haiti, Somalia, Honduras)

Recognising the unjust toll that disasters take on those who are already struggling, World Vision has focused on four specific areas in order to minimise the impact of some of the worst weather-related disasters:

• Preparedness & response,

• Resilience,

• Disaster risk reduction; and

• Recovery.

In the Philippines, we have integrated development with emergency response in our nutrition hubs. In Ethiopia, Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration has made communities resilient and resistant to drought. In Zambia, our water programmes have reduced the affects of disasters by reducing the exposure to water borne diseases that so many children are susceptible to.

World Vision has so far reached over five million people affected by El Niño – half of those were children.

World: Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER), 2 September 2016, vol. 91, 35 (pp. 405–420) [EN/FR]

2 September 2016 - 4:05am
Source: World Health Organization Country: Bangladesh, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Sri Lanka, United Republic of Tanzania, World


405 Global leprosy update, 2015: time for action, accountability and inclusion


405 Situation de la lèpre dans le monde, 2015: l’heure est à l’action, à la responsabilisation et à l’inclusion

Philippines: Philippines - Conflict (ECHO, OCD-ARMM, OCHA, ECHO partner)(ECHO Daily Flash of 01 September 2016)

1 September 2016 - 7:46am
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office Country: Philippines
  • The Philippines armed forces have intensified operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sulu and Basilan after the killing of 15 soldiers. Military operations in the area are ongoing for several weeks affecting the population and causing displacement.
  • As of 31 August, a total of 1 020 families (4 521 people) are displaced in Sulu due to the intensified fighting. Classes have been suspended in five public schools in Sulu affecting 1 140 students. Another 1 047 families (3 947 people) are displaced in Basilan. IDPs are reportedly hosted in houses, the majority either with relatives or friends. The IDPs are advised to not to return to their places of origin yet due to the security situation.
  • The local authorities are monitoring the humanitarian situation and are providing relief assistance (food and temporary shelter) with the support of the Philippine Red Cross. No international humanitarian actors are present in the area due to the high insecurity.

Philippines: Philippines Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 8 | 1 to 31 August 2016

1 September 2016 - 1:45am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines


  • Mines and Unexploded Ordnances (UXOs) in farmlands, roads, villages and waterways in Mindanao continue to cause harm to the community, with children being the most vulnerable.

  • In preparation for La Niña in the coming months, the authorities have issued a directive for all local governments to carry out disaster preparedness measures and develop La Niña action plans.

  • There is growing capacity and political will in AsiaPacific governments to lead in disaster management.

  • World Humanitarian Day in the Philippines honoured those who brave tremendous difficulties to assist those who are most in need.

  • Armed conflict in Maguindanao that started on 13 July 2016 has ceased following intervention by authorities. Over 30,000 people were displaced, affecting 20 schools.


Southwest Monsoon

Families affected Over 250,000 (1.18M people)
(Source: National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) as of 24 August)

Basilan Displacement

# of IDPs hosted by friends and relatives 19,333
(Source: Integrated Resource Development for Tri-People Inc. (IRDT) as of 15 August)

Zamboanga Crisis

IDPs in transitional sites 13,899
(Source: Zamboanga City Social Welfare and Development Office as of 8 August)

Mines and Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) in Mindanao

In conflict areas, non-state armed groups often use mines and munitions during combat, putting the local populace at risk of death and disability. Unlike weapons that are aimed or fired, mines are explosive containers that lie dormant until a person or vehicle triggers their detonating mechanism. UXOs are munitions that did not explode when they were employed, and pose a risk of detonation. Abandoned ordances such as artillery shells or hand grenades, are stocks of explosives left behind on the battlefield. In Mindanao, mines and munitions are strewn across roads, villages and waterways, putting at risk the lives and limbs of people, in particular children. The long-term damage to people, livestock and farmland greatly hinders development in the region. Mine risk education is aimed at reducing the risk of mines, UXOs and abandoned ordnances by raising awareness and promoting behavioral changes through public information campaigns, training and engaging with communities. Old mines from as far back as the Second World War and UXOs from recent conflicts continue to maim or kill people in southern Mindanao.

Mine Education in Mindanao

From 2013 to July 2016, 107 cases involving UXOs and 6 cases involving old mines were recorded by Fondation Suisse de Deminage (FSD), or the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action, an international non-government organization that is undertaking focused mine risk education in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Children are the most vulnerable to mine risk. Fifty-four per cent of the victims are under the age of 18. Hand and rifle grenades constitute 66 per cent of the UXO casualties while 51 per cent are caused by M79 grenades.

Philippines: Typhoon survivors get safe homes from DSWD

1 September 2016 - 1:20am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

A total of 95 informal settler families who were affected by Typhoon Vinta that hit Santiago City, Isabela last year are now proud owners of safe and secure homes through the Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

CSAP is the provision of environment-friendly, structurally strong shelter units that can withstand up to 220 kph wind velocity, earthquakes, and other similar natural hazards.

The said core shelter units located in Bannawag Norte were awarded to the families during the inauguration ceremony held last August 22. The project was made possible in partnership with the local government unit (LGU) of Santiago City.

Santiago City Mayor Joseph Salvador Tan acknowledged the efforts of DSWD in staying true to its mandate of promoting the welfare of the vulnerable sectors.

For her part, DSWD OIC- Regional Director Ponciana P. Condoy encouraged the families to give importance to the many livelihood opportunities available to them so that they can support their families and maintain the upkeep of their new houses.

“Now that you’re out of danger, focus on enhancing your skills as there are lots of livelihood opportunities available to you from your LGU, DSWD, other agencies and private enterprises, “said OIC-Dir. Condoy.

DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo, on thexother hand, emphasized that the implementation of rehabilitation programs of the Department for the victims of disasters should be efficient as these families need them the most.

“Maagap at mapagkalingang serbisyo ang kailangan ng mga nawalan ng bahay dahil sa sakuna, maging ang mga pamilyang nakatira sa di ligtas na lugar (Efficient and compassionate service is urgently needed by those who lost their houses due to calamities and/or those living in highly dangerous areas),” Sec. Taguiwalo said.

On her first day in office, Sec. Taguiwalo said that the Department under her leadership will ensure the timely and adequate response to emergencies and calamities.

Philippines: NDRRMC Update: Severe Weather Advisory No. 07 re Typhoon "DINDO" (I.N. LIONROCK)

30 August 2016 - 7:37pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines


  • Estimated rainfall amount is from moderate to heavy within the 400 km diameter of the TYPHOON.

Philippines: NDRRMC Update: Severe Weather Advisory No. 06 re Typhoon "DINDO" (I.N. LIONROCK)

30 August 2016 - 7:34pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines


  • Estimated rainfall amount is from moderate to heavy within the 400 km diameter of the TYPHOON.

Philippines: NDRRMC Update: Severe Weather Advisory No. 05 re Typhoon "DINDO" (I.N. LIONROCK)

30 August 2016 - 7:31pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines
1. Situation Overview


  • Estimated rainfall amount is from moderate to heavy within the 400 km diameter of the TYPHOON.

Philippines: Philippines: Building Bridges To A Better Life

30 August 2016 - 10:58am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Canada, Philippines

By Anthony Chase Lim

In a village affected by conflict in Mindanao, in the Philippines, a bridge-building project supported by the Canadian Government is helping local people rebuild their lives and improve food security.

The barangay or village of Tubak lies about 150 kilometers outside of Cotabato City in Maguindanao in the Philippines. The community is home to over 500 households or about 3,000 people, most of whom belong to the indigenous tribe of the Dulangan Manobo.

Agriculture is the primary source of income in Tubak, with 99 percent of adults working in fields that have been passed down from generation to generation. They grow rice, corn and other crops for sale in the nearest market in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat.

Travel to Esperanza happens frequently but the 43-kilometer journey on narrow, winding roads is neither quick nor easy. The already arduous travel conditions are exacerbated by sudden downpours that turn the unpaved roads to mud.

“Travel during or after the rain is challenging, especially when we’re transporting commodities because we can only afford to use motorcycles,” said Santos Uloy, a farmer and barangay Chairman of Tubak. “The rainy season is difficult for the children, too. A number of them walk to school, even when the weather is bad. By the time they arrive, they’re cold and tired, and their classes haven’t even begun yet,”

When WFP’s Cash For Assets (CFA) project was introduced to Tubak, consultations were held with key community stakeholders and it became clear that addressing this issue was a priority.

One proposal was to construct two small bridges to help residents cross particularly problematic sections of road. With the guidance of WFP and the local government, a group of 143 men and 20 women worked together to build the bridges using locally-sourced materials.

Since the completion of the bridges, travel to and from Tubak is easier. “Nowadays, it’s less stressful for us to transport our goods to the market. We no longer lose time trying to get around those difficult areas,” said Santos. “We’re also proud of our accomplishment because we have a sense of ownership over it. We can look at those bridges and proudly say: ‘We did that!’.”

In addition to improving access to Tubak, the project provided a source of income for those who worked on it. The Canadian Government, through WFP, provided Php2,000 (USD 42.47) to each participant for their 30 days of work. “This money gives us additional support for our families. I’m a father of five children, so every amount helps us in purchasing needs such as food and medicine,” said Santos. “Receiving cash assistance while we help ourselves is special. I can’t remember the last time I received this much money in a single payout.”

In 2016, the Canadian Government provided over Php4.24 million (USD 90,000) in support of WFP’s Cash For Assets projects in conflict-affected areas of Central Mindanao.

Author: Anthony Chase Lim
Anthony Chase Lim is the Documentation Officer for WFP Philippines' Manila country office. Follow him at @WFPchase.

Philippines: Cost of Hunger: Philippines

30 August 2016 - 4:36am
Source: Save the Children Country: Philippines

Save the Children report: PH economy loses P328 billion a year due to malnutrition

Manila, Philippines – A new report released today by Save the Children reveals that the Philippine economy is losing at least P328 billion a year due to the impact of childhood stunting on workforce productivity and education. Stunting is the most prevalent form of undernutrition, and has permanent effects on a child’s growth and development.

The report entitled “Cost of Hunger: Philippines” suggests that, in 2013, childhood stunting cost the Philippines almost 3 percent of its GDP. The overall economic loss of PhP328 billion consists of:

1) PhP166.5 billion worth of lost income as a result of lower level of education achieved by the working population who suffered from childhood stunting;

2) PhP160 billion in lost productivity due to premature deaths among children who would have been members of our current working-age population;

3) PhP1.23 billion in additional education costs to cover grade repetitions linked to undernutrition.

Ned Olney, Save the Children Philippines Country Director, said: “This study proves that undernutrition has a cost to all of us. In just a year, Philippines has lost almost 3 percent of its GDP in terms of education and productivity costs due to stunting. If we add up health costs, the likely impact would be an additional 0.05 – 1.6 percent.”

The report shows that stunting is the best predictor of productivity and income, and that undernutrition is linked to lower human capital. Children who are stunted in the first two years of life are more likely to repeat grade levels, drop out of school, delay school entry and have lower income levels when they enter the workforce.

Olney added: “If stunting rates continue to rise, it would be difficult for families to break free from poverty. It is the poor and neglected sectors of society that carry the burden of stunting. Any investment in reducing childhood undernutrition will reduce suffering and poverty, and will ultimately stimulate economic growth for all Filipinos.”

The report found, however, that Philippines’ investment in nutrition programs is very low at only 0.52 percent of general government expenditures compared to the global average allocation of 2.1 percent. Citing the report findings, Save the Children highlighted the need to invest in nutrition programs during the child’s first 1000 days, from pregnancy up to the second birthday, which is considered a critical period of care to avert stunting.

Olney said: “Nutrition is the cornerstone of all development efforts. This new report tells us that for every US$1 spent on programs to avert stunting in children below 2 years old, the Philippines could save over 100 US dollars in health, education, and lost productivity costs.”

“It should outrage us that 95 children will die every day because of malnutrition.”

Save the Children is raising the alarm on the nutrition crisis, and is calling the national and local government, private sector and the donors to end the appalling state of malnutrition in the Philippines:

  • Support the “First 1000 Days Bill” to enhance the delivery of quality nutrition interventions in the first 1000 days of a child’s life to prevent stunting among children.

  • Push and sustain equitable nutrition policies and programs and ensure budgetary allocations that address the immediate, underlying and basic causes of malnutrition.

  • Ensure security of tenure and sustained training of the community front-liners e.g. such as barangay health workers and nutrition officers and scholars. Health and nutrition workers are highly politicized, lack incentives and support for trainings, have no security of tenure.

  • National and local governments provide clear and separate budget for nutrition-specific interventions to avoid confusion between health and nutrition budgets.

  • Intensify health and nutrition-related training, research and extension support activities to support the First 1000 Days Program through the Barangay Integrated Development Approach for Nutrition Improvement (BIDANI) Network Program of the Rural Poor and other relevant approaches, thereby strengthening delivery systems in partnership with the LGUs.

  • Scale up cost-effective and affordable high-impact nutrition interventions to prevent undernutrition that cripples the country, such as promotion of exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding, vitamin A and iron supplementation, treatment of acute malnutrition and maternal nutrition.

  • Strengthen enforcement of the Milk Code (Executive Order Number 51), and the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act (Republic Act Number 10028) to protect, promote, and support optimal infant and young child feeding, both in private and public facilities and spaces.

  • We call for the strict and sustained implementation of nutrition-specific interventions, including infant and young child feeding (IYCF), micronutrient supplementation and the Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM), which is now required to be implemented nationwide.

  • Revise conditionalities under the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to include mandatory breastfeeding and education sessions on infant and young child feeding.

  • Align health and nutrition programs to the priorities and directions of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition and the Strategy for Women, Infant, and Young Child Nutrition

  • Increase the focus on water, hygiene and sanitation interventions for children by targeting child-related behaviors and risk factors, such as safe disposal of human waste, complementary food hygiene and handwashing and intensifying promotion of Philippine Approach to Total Sanitation (PhATS) program to reinvigorate our country’s progress towards the national goals of eliminating open defecation.

Philippines: Welfare Secretary appeals for help for Lumad children falling ill in evacuation centers

30 August 2016 - 1:19am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo today said that she will instruct all regional directors of the department’s field offices (FOs) all over the country to monitor more closely the situation faced by Filipinos taking refuge in evacuation areas because of natural disasters and/or man-made calamities.

She said that the DSWD’s FOs should find means to assist refugees in whatever they can, and said that the department will also coordinate with other government agencies on the same.

Sec. Taguiwalo was moved by reports regarding a two-year old Manobo child who died of pneumonia last Friday at an evacuation camp in Bukidnon, Malaybalay City. The boy was among the 150 Lumads who were forced to leave their community when they were attacked by paramilitary forces led by Alde “Butsoy” Salusad earlier last month.

According to reports from the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, two-year old Charwin Amas had been suffering from diarrhea before he fell ill from pneumonia at the camp. The group also reported that 13 other children have also become sick, as well as 17 women, five of whom are pregnant.

“At the onset, the DSWD-Field Office X will assist the family by providing burial assistance for Charwin. We are also now coordinating with health authorities on how to help the other children and the women who have also fallen ill. As a welfare agency, our mandate is to contribute to over-all efforts of the national government to alleviate the poverty of Filipinos and to provide immediate assistance in times of emergency. Employees and staff of all DSWD units are all social workers either by profession, training, or by orientation; this means that we must all be conscious of our duty to be compassionate to those in need and to exercise what powers are within our means to give that compassion and to be of service to the needy,” Sec. Taguiwalo emphasized.

Sec. Taguiwalo also reiterated her stand that all displaced Lumad citizens should be given the assistance they need so they can return safely to their communities and restore their traditional way of life.

“We are working full-time on plans to help the Lumads currently in evacuation areas to return to the ancestral lands and communities where we will also build schools for the children and help the parents return to their traditional farming and cultivation activities. These efforts are in coordination with the Department of Education and other agencies,” she said.