Rising from poverty: Action Against Hunger co-launches investment fair in Kidapawan City

ARAKAN VALLEY — Faced with the challenge of massive poverty, civil society organizations (CSOs) linked with the Arakan Valley Complex Project Management Office (AVC PMO), Action Against Hunger Philippines, and the Provincial Government of Cotabato in conducting a two-day investment fair, dubbed as the “Arakan Valley Complex and Tulunan Investment Fair” on September 19 and 20, 2019 in Kidapawan City.

Poverty incidence in North Cotabato, of which the Arakan Valley Complex and Tulunan are part, was recorded at 25.6 percent of the population, according to the Philippine Statistic Authority 2018 report.

The underlying factor of poverty in the valley is attributed to the low market price of farm produce, according to Van Cadungon, Provincial Administrator of North Cotabato. Cadungon was the keynote speaker during the opening of the investment fair.

“Farm productivity and market support programs are priority strategies that need to be implemented in the valley to address poverty,” Cadungon said.

“The investment fair resulted from a participatory planning done among the six municipalities where key development projects intended to spur economic growth in the Arakan valley were identified,” said Kerwin Jade Mallorca, the AVC PMO administrator. These projects are in the sectors of Good Governance, Agriculture, Environment, Health, Basic Social Services, Economic, Education, and Water-related Services, and Infrastructures.

The AVC Investment Fair is a two-day activity that is meant to attract social investors in the area of agriculture, trade and commerce, basic social services, and utilities into the Arakan Valley and Tulunan. The Fair incorporates project pitching, site tours, gallery display of investment opportunities, conversations, and cultural events that are intended to generate external interest in the opportunities present in the Arakan Valley and link local social entrepreneurs, governments, and people’s organizations with social investors.

“This is a breakthrough initiative because for the first time we are creating a venue for community leaders and social investors can come together and collaborate towards economic and social development,”

“This is a breakthrough initiative because for the first time we are creating a venue for community leaders and social investors can come together and collaborate towards economic and social development,” said Jules L. Benitez, Head of Project of “Reinforcing, Instituting, and Scaling Up Efficient CSO-LGU Interaction towards Enhanced Local Governance (RISE).”

Reinforcing, Instituting, and Scaling Up Efficient CSO-LGU Interaction towards Enhanced Local Governance (RISE) was funded by the European Union and implemented by Action Against Hunger.


Read more


Arakan, a first-class municipality in the province of North Cotabato and home to many indigenous people in Mindanao. Despite the diversity of its culture, Arakan is faced with daily struggles as poverty and impacts of natural disaster and conflict are day to day realities of the population. People struggle with limited income opportunities and scarce food production. More importantly, insufficient access to clean and safe drinking water and sanitation materials and facilities plays a crucial problem in the area.

Since 2012, Action Against Hunger and the United Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have been working together to provide necessary interventions in Arakan, giving people a chance to hope for change and transformation in the community despite the many challenges they are dealing with. While change is a gradual and cumulative process, Action Against Hunger and UNICEF cannot solve everything with their programs alone. Strong leadership in the community must propel change as a personal statement to allow hope to break through the hearts and minds of the people.

One man has become a champion for change and is trailblazing the work on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). Elmer S. Montales works as the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator of Arakan. In early 2010, he had a personal experience which forever changed the way he deals with WASH issues.

His team was in Kulaman Valley, a remote mountainous area the Matigsalog tribe called home, conducting a standard Barangay survey.  A desperate mother approached them for medicines since her child was not recuperating from diarrhea. “We only had emergency medicine for simple stomach bugs,” he recounted, “early the next morning, we found out that the child died due to dehydration.” It was a tragic experience that led Elmer to rethink his work.

“It is a complicated situation. The local health office reported that water-borne diseases, like diarrhea, are caused by poor sanitation and hygiene practices – some leading to death,” he explained. “Malnutrition is another outcome when people don’t have access to clean water and sanitation.  The children become wasted and stunted during a critical moment of growth whose effects will last a lifetime.”

In his resolve, he could not do it alone.  Elmer needed to influence local leaders of the realities of children dying of diarrhea and that the solution would not come easy. The goal of reversing health outcomes of several barangays seemed daunting and ambitious, but Elmer welcomed the challenge.

Without wasting time, Elmer immediately worked and coordinated with Action Against Hunger and UNICEF to spearhead activities in Arakan by facilitating policy and technical work to ensure that WASH is prioritized in the executive and legislative agenda of the government and included in the Barangay Development Plan.

The journey towards change has not been easy for Elmer. Municipal and barangay officials were indifferent at first, but this changed when the Zero Open Defecation (ZOD) program was implemented and health outcomes began to improve. Cases of Diarrhea and malnutrition have drastically dropped from a prevalence rate of 18% in 2013 to 4.7% in 2018. In 2015, Arakan was able to achieve municipal-wide ZOD out of 11 LGUs in the Philippines, a model that is being followed by other LGUs in North Cotabato and neighboring provinces.  Elmer realized that, as a result of his experience, the journey towards a new reality was slowly taking shape and is impacting the lives of the people.

“The backbone of success is hard work, determination, good planning and perseverance,” Elmer quotes famous soccer icon Mia Hamm, “institutionalizing WASH as a way of life is best realized at the grassroots level of every family, purok and sitio, especially among Indigenous People and far-flung marginalized communities.”  He continues to dream big for his town to improve the lives of the people through the WASH program, to bring in fresh ideas and new ways of working. From the perspective of a planner, contexts are always changing and the quest for new knowledge and experience is constantly evolving.



Kinawayan is a remote barangay situated in the mountainous area of Arakan Valley. 70% of the 238 households living in the barangay are from the Manobo group. Grace Fordan-Rivera was stationed in Barangay Kinawayan from 2010 to 2015 as midwife, under the supervision of the municipal health officer. She championed Action Against Hunger and UNICEF’s WASH programs in the area that emphasized Zero Open Defecation (ZOD).


Why did you personally choose to be a champion for WASH?

  • As a community health worker, seeing young children suffering and dying because of diarrhea is frustrating. I want to help the community, and finding solutions for their problems in WASH is one way.


What were the challenges that you experienced in trying to change social norms in terms of sanitation and hygiene?

  • Most of the people lacked awareness on proper hygiene practices. Changing the behavior of the community, especially in an indigenous people’s (IP) community, was very challenging.


What did you do to address this?

  • To gain their trust and support, I did regular home visits, sometimes walking for 10 kilometers to reach the farthest household to ensure that no one gets left behind. Until now, I constantly meet their community leaders and promote the importance of WASH.


What was the situation regarding hygiene in your barangay before the program began?

  • Prior to Action Against Hunger’s interventions, only 103 out of 238 households were using toilets; the remaining were practicing open defecation. People collected their drinking water from the open spring. Kinawayan has 23.80% malnutrition prevalence rate (MPR), recurring diarrheal cases (12 cases a month), and 2 cases of child death due to diarrhea or dehydration in 2011. They were unaware of the importance of handwashing with soap during critical times.


What were the changes that occurred after the program was implemented?

  • Now, with the WASH intervention, there is a sudden decrease of health-related diseases. Most importantly, from 2013 to current, no child has died because of diarrhea and MPR was reduced to 4.06%. I want Kinawayan to be the role model for other IPs in Arakan to follow.



Muntinlupa School for Child Development (MSCD), Nord Anglia International School Manila (NAIS) and Philippine Cultural College – Main Campus (PCC-Main), have committed to organize the Race Against Hunger in their respective campuses for the school year 2018–2019. This would be the third consecutive year that these schools are empowering their students to help Filipino families suffering from hunger.

“We’ve been doing a lot of fundraising here in the school through the years, especially during the Christmas season. The way we did charity was usually through giving,” said Ms. Winsdy Marcos of PCC-Main. “When I first heard about the Race Against Hunger and how

it works, it was something special because it was fun and challenging at the same time. For our students, they have to break their own limits and try to run as many laps as they can, while at the same time convince their family and friends to pledge an amount for every lap they finish. It’s not just a dole out, because they really work for it in a fun way.”

“This year we hope to beat last year’s total,” stated David Kirkham, NAIS’ principal. “It is important that schools raising funds for any charity to directly impact the local community, so that the young people can see the real impact of their efforts.”

“We’ve included the race in the student handbook which makes our commitment to helping official. The students were so excited to see that—it’s an activity that they look forward to,” said Renier Correa of MSCD. “As long as the campaign continues to exist, MSCD will continue to support it.”

The Race Against Hunger is an international campaign held in 26 countries that aims to create awareness of the problem of malnutrition to young people and raise funds for Action Against Hunger’s projects. In the Philippine edition, all funds raised will be used to help projects in the country.


Meet Mikkel Cruz, the 5 year-old student from University of Asia and the Pacific – Child Development and Education Center who was able to raise ₱50,730 during UAP’s Race Against Hunger last January 26, 2019.

Interview with Mommy Patricia Eliza “Pia” Cruz:

At home, how did you motivate Mikkel to get pledges for the campaign.

He was already interested in the race part itself because his older siblings already had an experience with fun runs but this was the first time that our family engaged in a fundraising activity. I thought of reading [the newsletter] to him, and read to him the story of the one-year-old child whom Action Against Hunger helped. I guess that’s what made the difference for him because as a child he is already shows great empathy. Rather than randomly asking our relatives for pledges, he thought of making a short invitational video explaining what the race was all about. I took a chance of posting it in our family groups and sharing with friends, I wasn’t expecting it but I was surprised that the pledges kept coming in.

How many sponsors did Mikkel get?

We used up 5 booklets, so we got around 45 people.

How many laps did Mikkel finish?

He did around 25 rounds/laps. In total he ran for about 3 kilometers. I was asking him, “what made you run?” and he would say, “because I want to help children.”

How was he able to do it?

He was very excited because he was with his friends, classmates and even the morning of the race, pledges were still coming in so that added to his excitement. He was so full of energy because the next day after the race, he joined dad to go jogging.

What advice can you give to parents who would like to motivate their children to give back to the community?

I think it would help a lot if you have the children see how the situation is for the other kids who are not as privileged. What helped Mikkel was when I shared the stories and showed him pictures of the child that you featured in your newsletter. I just told him that not everyone lives the same kind of life that you do, that there are a lot of people there that have nothing to eat. Just let that sink in and also how to make them realize that even if they’re just little kids, they can do something about it. No one is too young to help!. ●


Food establishments and food lovers will once again unite to take action against malnutrition through Love Food Give Food, the campaign that aims to create awareness and raise funds for Action Against Hunger’s projects in the Philippines.

From October 1 to December 1, the campaign encourages any food establishment—from independent restaurants, restaurant groups or chains, bakeries, cafés, cafeterias and even online food sellers—to fundraise in two ways: 1) select 1 or more special items and for every order, a portion of the profits is donated, or 2) encourage their customers to voluntarily donate.

“Running the campaign is really simple, which is why a lot of the food establishments that joined since we started in 2016 continue to support us,” said Dale Nelson Divinagracia, Fundraising Manager for Action Against Hunger. “We know how busy running a business is, especially food service. We send participants all they need in one handy kit that contains all they need to run the campaign: posters, table-cards, menu inserts, guide for staff, donation envelopes and boxes.”

172 food establishments joined in 2018, raising ₱697,557. The campaign was previously known as Restaurants Against Hunger. “We rebranded this year to Love Food Give Food because we wanted any type of food establishment, be it a milk tea kiosk or a carinderia have the opportunity to help out – to make their food good in more ways than one,” continues Mr. Divinagracia.


Mario “Luigi” Guiterrez, proud father of 2 boys and 1 daughter, is the Branch Manager of Café Mediterranean Powerplant Mall branch.  Luigi has been with the restaurant chain for 9 years.  First starting as a server in the Greenbelt branch, he has risen through the ranks in several capacities: Service Trainer, Branch Supervisor, and now Branch Manager.

  1. Café Mediterranean has been participating in Restaurants Against Hunger (Love Food Give Food) ever since it started in the Philippines in 2016, how has this been received by your customers?

The reception was great!  Having the table cards in each table really makes our customers curious about the campaign.  They ask the waiters more about Restaurants Against Hunger and we tell them that just by ordering their favorite appetizers, they are donating to Action Against Hunger’s projects for families and their children in the Philippines.

  1. Is the campaign easy to implement?

Very easy!  Again, the materials you send (the tabletops, posters) makes it easier for us to explain the campaign to our customers.

  1. Does joining this campaign affect the tips that waiters receive?

Not at all.  When customers donate, they know that the tip for the waiter is different. This does not affect any

  1. What do you do to motivate your servers to be proactive in promoting the DISHES THAT FEED MORE?

Our boss Marla (Café Mediterranean Owner Ms. Marla Moran) is very supportive of the campaign and we as front liners feel that, just by endorsing the DISHES THAT FEED MORE to our customers, we are also helping our less fortunate countrymen.

  1. How does it make you feel – that the company you work for is actively taking action in ending child hunger in the Philippines?

Really proud!  I and all of the servers are at an economic level where we really see the effects of hunger.  We would like to help as well.  By promoting the campaign, we really feel that we are donating. By promoting the Charity Dishes to our customers, the servers and staff feel that we are also helping our less fortunate countrymen. ●

Nutrition-focused Programming

SITTIE AINA PALAO, 25, is a mother of 3, residing in the Municipality of Buadiposo Buntong, Lanao del Sur which was greatly affected by Typhoon Tembin when it hit the Philippines in December of 2017. Typhoon Tembin or locally known as Typhoon Vinta, is considered as the deadliest tropical cyclone to strike the Mindanao area since Typhoon Bopha in 2012. Her municipality is also host to internally displaced persons from the Marawi Siege, a 5 month-long armed conflict which started in May 2017.

Sittie’s husband works at a farm while she manages their small sarisari store or neighborhood variety store. Both were damaged during the typhoon which resulted in their dependence on humanitarian assistance, being unable to restore their small enterprise.

In addition to their family’s economic insecurity, Sittie is a lactating mother with Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) measurement of 20.7cms on initial nutritional screening, which means she is identified as having severe acute malnutrition (SAM). One of her children was also detected to be severely stunted wherein height is inappropriate to age, another was detected to be severely wasted, while the baby below 6 months on exclusive breastfeeding was also identified to have SAM.

With this economic, health and nutrition status, Action Against Hunger provided Sittie support to restore their livelihoods through cash transfer program where she received Php7,000 last 8 February 2019, in addition to 3 rounds of food aid. Since they are malnourished, Action Against Hunger referred them to RHU for management and treatment using the Ready-to-use Therapeutic and Supplementary Food (RUTF and RUSF).

Aside from these, Sittie also participated in awareness sessions on IYCF and hygiene promotion. After a month, Sittie shared that with the food aid given, she is now able to prepare quality meals for her family and that unlike before they no longer eat just once a day. She further shared that the startup capital now provides them an income of at least Php500 per day. “I will really work hard so my store will become big. I am also saving so I can buy a washing machine,” says Sittie of her plans. Further, Sittie narrates that the project helped her to understand nutrition risk to children and PLW. This motivates her to ensure that the regular checkup schedules are followed. Sittie added that the nutritional status of her children has improved because of the joint support of Action Against Hunger and Rural Health Unit of Buadiposo Buntong. She is also happy on the health services provided by the RHU.

In Photo: Sittie and her child during a check-up at the Rural Health Center

Sittie is just one of the many vulnerable women identified by Action Against Hunger through its nutrition-focused targeting for cash-based interventions. Action Against Hunger provides cash transfer to mothers like Sittie to enable them to buy food and/ or other urgent basic needs and/ or restore income generating activities while helping to support local markets. It empowers them to take control of their health and nutrition, enables them to provide for themselves and their family, and allows them to see their children grow up strong.

(Written by Menchie Lacson for Action Against Hunger)


In the morning of September 15, Sinamar’s home in Barangay Camp 3 of Tuba, Benguet was caught in a landslide due to Typhoon Ompong. Sinamar, her husband Dennis, their 6-year-old son and other relatives managed to safely evacuate the area. Unfortunately, they also lost a family member as Dennis’ aunt was initially trapped under the eroded soil that buried her home. Four months after their ordeal, Sinamar and her family were left without a home and had to temporarily reside in the evacuation center located at their Barangay’s elementary school.    “We couldn’t pass through the main road because it was already eroded by then, so we climbed through the mountain despite the landslide. When we got to the hospital, we stayed there for a week because the children were traumatized,” recalled Sinamar.

Fifty-five-year-old Editha had a similar experience as she, her husband Philip, and their 3 youngest children had to leave their home after the typhoon left damages to their area. They, along with several other families, were no longer allowed to return to their home in Barangay Gumatdang, Itogon, Benguet after it was categorized as part of the danger zone. This left them no choice but to rent a house nearby at ₱3,000 per month. Before Ompong, Philip used to have a stable income by working in the mines. Since the mines needed to be closed for safety purposes, for the time being he creates soft reed brooms which Editha sells in the city. Editha also takes laundry and cleaning jobs as added income. “I hope there won’t be another typhoon like Ompong. Right now, I just wish we’ll be able to go back to our old home so that we won’t have to pay monthly rent,” said Editha.

Editha shares her story how they had to evacuate from their home after a landslide occurred in their neighborhood due to Ompong.

Typhoon Ompong, internationally referred to as Mangkhut, made landfall on September 15, 2018 as a category 4 typhoon with sustained wind speeds of over 200 km/h and gusts of up to over 300 km/h.  The large diameter of the typhoon, close to 900 km, affected Regions I, II, III, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), IV-A, IV-B and Metro Manila. Damages to infrastructure and agricultural resulted to an estimated 33.9 Billion Pesos – the 4th costliest typhoon in Philippine history.

The families of Sinamar and Editha including more than 2.14 Million individuals were affected by the typhoon. The landslides proved fatal for families in Benguet, with a total of 71 deaths and 50 injuries confirmed by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

Action Against Hunger’s Mission Emergency Response Team were on the ground immediately after Typhoon Ompong made landfall and assessed the humanitarian needs of the affected communities in Benguet from September 15 to 20 and have since provided necessary interventions thereafter since provided necessary interventions. Sinamar and Editha’s families were some of the beneficiaries that were given hygiene kits and financial aid as part of Action Against Hunger’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and food security, & livelihood (FSL) projects funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), European Union – Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). ●



No matter the magnitude and scale of a disaster, the people in the community are always the first to deal with its impact. Thus, it is imperative for people in the community to be well-equipped, not only to respond to, but more so to prepare for disaster risks that they face in their communities. While it is the primary responsibility of government and state actors to uphold people’s right to life and safety and to be protected from any forms of threat, may it be natural or human-induced, people in the community also have the right to develop their capacities to contribute to the process of community resilience building.

The second phase of the I-RESPOND project, implemented by the Action Against Hunger and in partnership with the Kindernothilfe (KNH), seeks to contribute towards this process of resilience building by enabling community-based and multi-stakeholder approach to disaster risk governance. Building on the gains of I-RESPOND Phase 1, wherein 25 Civil Society Organization (CSO) partners of KNH were capacitated to conduct Participatory Capacity and Vulnerability Assessment (PCVA) and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Planning in their covered barangays in the Philippines, I-RESPOND Phase 2 seeks to raise the stakes among different DRRM actors in the community to engage in participatory and inclusive risk governance.

Participants of the Training on Good Governance in DRRM of Brgy. Dualing, Aleosan, N.
Cotabato learn about the basic concepts in DRRM. (Photos by Louielyn Morada)

In partnership with 7 out of 25 CSOs from Phase 1, namely Balay Rehabilitation Center, Inc., BULAK Kabataan, Inc., Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse (CPTCSA), Foundation for the Development of Agusanons, Inc. (FDAI), Lakas ng mga Ina, Kabataan, at Sambayanan (LIKAS) Federation, Inc., Self-Help Approach and Rights-based Environment, Inc. (SHARE), and the Tribal Leaders Development Foundation, Inc. (TLDFI), I-RESPOND Phase 2 will focus on capacitating community-based organizations such as Self-Help Groups (SheGs), and Cluster Level Associations (CLAs) in 7 areas in Mindanao and Luzon to collaborate with and influence their respective local government units in disaster risk governance processes. This affirms the fact that members of at-risk communities, including the most vulnerable groups, must be able to participate in decision-making processes and collective action in DRRM through their organizations. Upholding the provisions of the Philippine DRRM Act of 2010 (R.A. 10121), CSO’s must have an enabling space within the local DRRM councils/committees in order to represent their sectors and communities in assessing disaster risks, formulating, budgeting for and implementing DRRM plans, as well as in setting in place mechanisms for accountability.

The Philippines have seen significant developments in policies and practice in DRRM in the past decade. It is similarly so at the international level, with the advent of post-2015 agenda such as the Sendai Framework for DRR, the Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Agreement, and the World Humanitarian Summit. With these in mind, project partners also hope for I-RESPOND 2 to enable the process of reflecting on these developments using the experiences at the local level. Because more than the question of whether these contributed positively on the lives of people in the communities, is the question of how we worked together towards a safe and resilient community. ●


The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that 46,360 people have been displaced in Maguindanao since March 2019 because of the renewed armed conflict between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and a faction of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the interior areas of the SPMS box (Salibu, Pagatin, Mamasapano and Shariff Aguak).

The SPMS box and the surrounding municipalities have seen continuous hostilities between government forces and rebel groups in the past several years, causing repeated displacement of the same communities in the area.

(Photo by Mhods Suga for Action Against Hunger)

17% of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) live with relatives while 83% are staying in evacuation centers scattered across the area.

“Living conditions are difficult for those in evacuation centers due to inadequate sleeping quarters that offer limited protection from the elements, inefficient cooking areas, limited access to water and sanitary facilities,” said William Baang, former Head of Base for Action Against Hunger’s office in Cotabato. “These variables increase the likelihood of diseases spreading, so it is important that people are given the necessary tools and training to stay hygienic.”

Action Against Hunger conducted hygiene and sanitary promotion sessions along with providing emergency nonfood items and hygiene kits to 600 households in Datu Salibu and Shariff Saydona Mustapha. ●


Rohaima & Usman Bungkas had a general merchandise store in the commercial district of Marawi. After being displaced for almost a year following the Marawi siege, the family came back to find their store destroyed. With four teenage children to take care of, the couple needed an income source.

The Palaso family had similar struggles. Fatima Palaso, her husband Arman, and 5 children found refuge from the violence in the nearby town of Balindong.  Her family’s only source of income was Arman’s livelihood as a driver-for-hire – not enough for the household.  With only a thousand-peso-capital, Fatima decided to open a small store to augment their income.

As part of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Livelihood Restoration Project implemented by Action Against Hunger, Fatima, Rohaima and Usman were some of the beneficiaries who attended a series of financial management orientations and received a cash grant of ₱10,000.

Rohaima and Usman opened a small eatery in Barangay Luksadato which now earns ₱11,500 per month. “I am very happy for the support I received to put up my eatery. If not for this, my family would not have any income at all. I am very grateful,” said Rohaima.

Rohaima and Usman hapilly accommodate a customer buying a meal from their eatery


Fatima on the other hand used the grant as additional capital. Her store now earns ₱ 8,000 net income monthly. “The cash grant is a big help for my family because my store is getting bigger.  I now have money for the daily school expenses of my children.” She is positive that her store’s success helped them overcome the initial hardships they endured when they fled Marawi. ●


Kautin Bano, his wife and children, had to leave their home in Barangay Pandi, Datu Salibo on March 11, 2019, Maguindanao due to the airstrikes that occurred in Barangay Inaladan, Shariff Saydona.

“We were all panicking and we didn’t know what to do at the time that airstrikes started,” recalled Kautin. “We left around 6 in the morning and evacuated to the nearest health center. When we got there, we had no choice but to wait and observe.”

This was not the first time that Kautin and his family were forced to leave their home. During the 1980s, they had to evacuate several times due to a conflict that started with a personal grudge between powerful families. In 2000, they went through a long evacuation process because of the all-out-war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Mindanao. Eight years after, Kautin’s family were part of the 390,000 people displaced when the renewed fighting took place in October 2008 after the drafting of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD).

This time around, Kautin’s family face the same challenges they experienced as frequent evacuees. He explained how difficult their situation was due to the limited supply of clean water. They had to wait for a month until the barangay was able to provide them access to potable water. As a farmer and a fisherman, Kautin’s source of income was put on hold. “We couldn’t go back to our livelihoods because of the conflict in the area,” he explained.

Kautin and his family have experienced the struggle of leaving their home ang setting aside their livelihood for the past three decades. Until this day, he still worries and fears for that time that they would be forced to evacuate again due to another conflict.

Kautin’s family was one of the six hundred families that received non-food items (NFI) and hygiene kits and received training on hygiene and sanitation from Action Against Hunger’s emergency response funded by the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) of United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID). ●