In response to the devastating 7.4 Magnitude earthquake in Surigao del Sur on December 2, 2023, Action Against Hunger acted swiftly, deploying on-ground teams within 24 hours to assess the situation. The Department of Social Welfare and Development reports that over 100,000 people have been displaced. Collaborating with the EU Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid-ACCESS consortium partners, our Siargao field team is conducting rapid assessments and coordinating with local government units to gather crucial reports. In one barangay in the municipality of Barobo, Surigao del Sur, access to clean water poses another challenge. With no water refilling stations, residents must travel 8km to the next barangay to purchase drinking water.
The earthquake’s impact extends to the livelihoods of the community, where 95% are engaged in fishing activities, with the remaining 5% involved in part-time farming. Despite the existence of fisherfolks and farmers associations, the lack of registration with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) prevents them from accessing crucial assistance during calamities or disasters. The community emphasizes the need for organization and registration to enhance their resilience in the face of future challenges.