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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

Philippines: Policy Forum on disaster response to children set

29 April 2015 - 10:08pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

ILOILO CITY, April 30(PIA)—A Policy Forum on Children’s Charter Progress Report, was organized April 29, to assess performance of stakeholders’ response to disasters and risk reduction management involving children.

This is being spearheaded by Save the Children Philippines, which operates in Estancia, Iloilo, one of the hardest-hit towns in northern Iloilo.

Krista J. Zimmerman, humanitarian advocacy manager of SC-Philippines, said the Children’s Charter Progress Report is based on research done with communities, policy makers and policy implementers in Manila, Leyte and Iloilo.

“The study assessed the performance of pre-Yolanda disaster risk reduction policy on the Philippines through the perspective of child rights and protection,” Zimmerman said.

She added that the Progress Report on the implementation of the Children’s Charter on Disaster Risk Reduction was published in November 2014 and distributed to government agencies and legislators in the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives.

“Since then, the House has passed legislations encapsulating the recommendations on the report,” Zimmerman said, adding that the Senate is also considering companion bills.

SC has dubbed the forum “Children’s Charter Progress Report and the Children in Emergencies: Building a Better Scorecard for Local Policy and Practice Monitoring.”

The policy forum will serve as platform for expressing interests, expertise sharing, and knowledge exchange among government agencies, local government units, civil society, academe and the private sector.

On top of it, according to Zimmerman, is charting a way forward on child-centered disaster risk reduction and management, based on the Children’s Charter Progress Report.

The event was at the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Conventions Center, Iloilo City. (JCM/ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

Philippines: Jesuit priest, Moro youth plea for peace on final BBL hearing

29 April 2015 - 10:05pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA, April 30 -- A Jesuit priest representing the country’s top Catholic Church leader and a Muslim youth-leader who also comes from a Moro royal house have joined forces in appealing to Congress to help achieve peace in Mindanao by passing the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) president Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J. told the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law that he believes the BBL “requires a search for compromise and consensus” and that “peace building is essentially trust building.”

In the same forum, Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman, a multi-awarded youth leader and Moro princess, said the BBL is the last hope for peace in the Bangsamoro, as she appealed to fellow Filipinos especially those in Metro Manila to understand the Filipino Muslims’ yearning for peace.

“We hope you will respond to the struggles of our ancestors. As the youth of today, we will safeguard what you will bestow upon us,” Usman said.

Tabora represented Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, who along with Usman, were named by President Aquino as members of the National Peace Council that was convened to study the BBL and find ways to explain it further to the public. The other members of the Peace Council include former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jaime Zobel de Ayala and former Ambassador to the Holy See Howard Dee.

According to Tabora, any delay in the passage of the BBL would be “wasteful” of the previous efforts that had been exerted to attain peace. He also wondered aloud why people are seemingly disregarding the efforts put forth and sacrifices made by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front all these years.

“Peacemakers on both sides—of the government and the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front)—have spent 17 years to bring us to this juncture. There is enough goodwill on both sides to bring this agreement to its conclusion, one that would provide communities in one of the most deprived regions in the country with a genuine fresh start. To set it aside now would be foolhardy,” he said.

Tabora also stressed that it is vital for the BBL to be passed now since there has been no other time when so much political will has been invested in the peace process.

“It would be foolish for us to end at this time and try to restart again in an indefinite future,” he said, echoing Former Chief Justice Davide’s earlier comments.

Davide, speaking for the council, has stated that the timing for the creation of a Bangsamoro autonomous region is “auspicious” in light of the 17 years of negotiations, the Aquino administration’s firm commitment to the peace process and most especially the mutual trust and goodwill that has already been established.

He also referred to the BBL as “an autonomous law that broadens the original one and more fully complies with our government’s constitutional promise and duty.”

Passing the BBL a good starting point for peace

The Peace Council has called for the immediate passage of the BBL, claiming that it is faithful to the constitution and would not lead to a Moro sub-state. They also shared their five major findings about the draft BBL and their recommendations in a report which they submitted to the House Ad Hoc Committee through Rodriguez.

Usman, on her part, appealed once more to lawmakers to give the BBL a chance.

“We strongly believe that the BBL will start us on the path that will bring peace to Mindanao and the rest of the country. The BBL is not a ‘silver bullet’ that will solve all our problem but we cannot even begin to solve the problems if we don’t address it. It’s an excellent starting point,” she said.

Usman, founder of Teach Peace, Build Peace Movement, also read statements and messages from Bakwits which include young children. She said the messages she has received are simple ones, yet seldom heard in Metro Manila.

“Imagine ourselves in that kind of situation. It is clear that only peace and cessation of war and conflict could arrest the downward spiral of the lives of millions of our brothers and sisters in Mindanao,” she said. (PPMB)

World: The Market Monitor - Trends and impacts of staple food prices in vulnerable countries, Issue 27 - April 2015

29 April 2015 - 3:11pm
Source: World Food Programme Country: Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Global Highlights

  • In Q1-2015, FAO’s global cereal price index fell a further 13 percent year-on-year. It is now 5 percent lower than in Q4-2014.

  • Real prices of wheat have fallen by 10 percent over the last quarter. Prices are 20 percent lower than in Q1-2014 and at their lowest levels since mid-2010, thanks to large supplies, favourable production forecasts and strong export competition.

  • Real prices of maize have largely stabilized, falling just 2 percent since Q4-2014. Even so, prices are 17 percent lower than in Q1-2014. Although production has started to contract slightly, large carry-over stocks will ensure ample global supply.

  • Real prices of rice have fallen by 3 percent since Q4-2014 to pre-crisis levels last seen in early 2008.
    Global market supplies remain ample and competitively priced.

  • In Q1-2015, real prices for crude oil reached half what they were the year before. This is translating into significantly lower diesel and gasoline prices in some countries.

• The cost of the minimum food basket increased severely (>10%) during Q1-2015 in eight countries: Cameroon, Colombia, Mozambique, Peru, Zambia, Tajikistan, South Sudan and Syria. High increases (5–10%) were seen in nine countries. In the other 50 monitored countries, the change was low or moderate (<5%).

  • Price spikes, as monitored by ALPS (Alert for Price Spikes), are evident in India, Ghana, Nepal, Rwanda and Sudan (see the map below). These spikes indicate crisis levels for one of the two most important staples in the country, whether they are maize, rice, wheat, sorghum or bananas.