Promoting Hygiene Practices and Safety Measures against COVID in Lanao Del Sur and North Cotabato

𝗪𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗳𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗵𝘆𝗴𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗮𝗳𝗲𝘁𝘆 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘄𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸.

Hygiene kits were provided to a total of 1,718 beneficiaries in Barangay Binidayan in Lanao Del Sur, and Barangay Malabuan and Malungon in North Cotabato last August 5 – 7. The distribution was conducted as part of our 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗 𝟭𝟵- 𝗘𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗰𝘆 𝗪𝗔𝗦𝗛 𝗔𝘀𝘀𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗳𝗹𝗶𝗰𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗘𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗵𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗔𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗼.

With funding from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, our COVID-19 Emergency Wash Project is implemented together with our partners from CARE Philippines and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

Educating Iligan City on the Benefits of Breastfeeding in Celebration of World Breastfeeding Week

Idalia Beruar was expecting her third child when she truly realized the value of breastmilk for her children after attending a seminar on breastfeeding and infant & children care practices back in September 2017.

While she had always breastfed her children because they did not like the milk formula, in the seminar she learned that breast milk is still the most nutritious food for babies. The Breastfeeding & IYCF seminar was organized by Action Against Hunger and funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID Philippines).

“I was amazed that the mothers who trained us brought their babies to the seminar, breastfed them, bathe them and changed their diapers for all of us to see,” Idalia said.

When she delivered her baby Princess on November 2, 2017, Idalia applied what she learned in the seminar and breastfed her baby. She made it a habit to keep herself hydrated with water and vegetable soup. She also maintained taking ferrous sulfate and Vitamin A to keep herself strong and healthy.

Idalia and her family were one of the 350,000 people who were forced to evacuate from their home after conflict broke out in Marawi City between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and rebel groups on May 23, 2017. 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗜𝗱𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗮’𝘀 𝗳𝘂𝗹𝗹 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗻 𝗯𝘆 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝗡𝗼𝗿𝗯𝗲 𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲:

A Series of Orientations for Disaster Preparedness and Resilience Building in Barangay Ilomavis, Kidapawan City

A series of orientations was conducted in Barangay Ilomavis, Kidapawan City last July 29 and 30, 2020. The participants were members of 64 vulnerable households who were displaced due to the November 2019 earthquake and are currently more at risk because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo by Lyndon Arbes for Action Against Hunger

The activity was launched to help raise awareness on the importance of disaster preparedness and resilience building, learning from the recent series of actual disasters and the effects of the pandemic that they experienced which had negatively affected their livelihoods and living condition. The activity was conducted in partnership with the City Government of Kidapawan City Agricultural Office, and the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation Office in Kidapawan City.

Photo by Lyndon Arbes for Action Against Hunger

Written by Joyce Sandajan
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union, or the consortium members. Neither the European Union nor any of the consortium members can be held responsible for them.

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A Training on Open Data Kit to help LGUs of Magpet and Tulunan

Our RISE-CSO-LGU team launched a training on Open Data Kit to help LGUs of Magpet and Tulunan last July 28 to 30, to teach them business tax mapping in their areas which will lead towards increase revenue collection.

In addition to this, a series of civil service organization (CSO) activities were also conducted which includes the approval of the 200,000 pesos LGU allocation to CSO Day implementation in all barangays and the turn-over of the training flipchart on Bridging Leadership for Participatory Governance to CSO Desk officer at Arakan.

These activities were implemented under our ‘Reinforcing, Instituting and Scaling Up Efficient CSO-LGU interaction towards Enhanced Local Governance’ (RISE CSO-LGU) Project together with PBSP, Mahintana Foundation, Inc., and the local government units of President Roxas, Antipas, Magpet, Arakan, & Tulunan, with funding from the European Union in the Philippines.


No More Long and Dark Walks to the Bathroom for Magpet Beneficiaries

Written by Joayra Gem Balagtas for Action Against Hunger

Jessa Ampoy used to walk 500 meters to go to the nearest comfort room in the evacuation site which is dark and water wasn’t always available. Because of this, she and her fellow evacuees prefer to take a bath in the nearby stream instead.

Jessa is one of the 560 people who are now able to practice proper hygiene habits because of the newly constructed hygiene facilities in Sitio Waterfalls at Bongolanon, Magpet as part of our ‘𝗟𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝗦𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗛𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗔𝘀𝘀𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗣𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝗔𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗼 𝗘𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗵𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗸𝗲’ together with CARE Philippines and ACCORD Incorporated, and funding from EU Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid – ECHO.

“𝘐𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘧𝘢𝘷𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘶𝘴. 𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘦 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘴 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘧𝘢𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘴 𝘩𝘶𝘳𝘵 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳… 𝘞𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘮 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘳. 𝘞𝘦 𝘯𝘰 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘶𝘣𝘪𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘳 𝘩𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘺 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘢. 𝘐 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘯𝘰 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘣𝘦 𝘢𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘵 𝘢𝘵 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵,” said Jessa.

(Photos by Joayra Gem Balagtas for Action Against Hunger)

Moving Urban Poor in Mindanao Towards Resilience (MOVE UP 4) Project in Kidapawan, North Cotabato

Our MOVE UP 4 Team conducted a household survey as part of the Community Risk Assessment (CRA) activity from July 20 – 31, 2021 in Kidapawan, North Cotabato. The survey aims to assess disaster awareness and preparedness, access to government social protection program,s and resilient livelihoods among others.

Photo by Lyndon Arbes / Louie Bullanday for Action Against Hunger

The information gathered will be used in designing appropriate urban DRR resilient intervention of the project in the city as well as will serve as the project baseline for impact evaluation at the end of the project.

Photo by Lyndon Arbes / Louie Bullanday for Action Against Hunger


Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP 4) is funded by the European Union and implemented by a consortium of partners consisting of Action Against Hunger PhilippinesPlan International PhilippinesCARE Philippines, and ACCORD Incorporated.

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Action Against Hunger Unites Local Resilience Efforts with Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Agrarian Reform in BARMM

Photo courtesy of MAFAR-BARMM

Action Against Hunger Philippines signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (MAFAR-BARMM) on July 23, 2020, at the MAFAR Regional Office in Cotabato City, Maguindanao. The objective of the collaboration is to unite efforts in strengthening local resilience and within areas in the region that are greatly susceptible to natural hazards.

“Action Against Hunger’s mandate is to fight and to address food insecurity and nutrition insecurity, so I do believe that this MOU with MAFAR is key for us to jointly address issues that are affecting the most vulnerable in the BARMM Region in a collaborative and coordinated manner” Thierry Laurent-Badin, Action Against Hunger Philippines Country Director
During the online ceremonial signing, Thierry Laurent-Badin, Country Director of Action Against Hunger Philippines, talked about the importance of the established partnership in promoting the organization’s advocacy. “Action Against Hunger’s mandate is to fight and to address food insecurity and nutrition insecurity, so I do believe that this MOU with MAFAR is key for us to jointly address issues that are affecting the most vulnerable in the BARMM Region in a collaborative and coordinated manner,” said the country director.
Dr. Mohammad S. Yacob, Minister of MAFAR-BARMM, on the other hand, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating “I am happy to see this partnership, for me, it is a process of long engagement in the community and I am very grateful to continue the aspirations. I express my thanks to Action Against Hunger and we hope and pray that this is the beginning of a fruitful partnership.”
“I am happy to see this partnership, for me it is a process of long engagement in the community and I am very grateful to continue the aspirations. I express my thanks to Action Against Hunger and we hope and pray that this is the beginning of a fruitful partnership.”Dr. Mohammad S. Yacob, Minister of MAFAR-BARMM
Delilah Chua (Head of Cotabato Base) hosted the ceremony alongside Genaro Sanchez (Head of Project) and Gay Marie Aban (Human Resources Officer). Virtually present to witness the signing were Melinda Buensuceso (Operations Coordinator) and Jasper Llanderal (Head of Iligan Base).

Photo by Rhea Poliquin for Action Against Hunger

‘Strengthening Local Resilience and Building Capacities in Areas at High Risk of Natural Hazards in BARMM, Mindanao’ is a disaster risk reduction (DRR) project funded by the United States Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID-BHA) and implemented by Action Against Hunger Philippines with the support of local government units.

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In 2015, MATATAG, a 98-member women-led community savings group Cluster Level Association (CLA) in Hugom, San Jose, Batangas started a mushroom production business after attending a Mushroom Production Training conducted by the Southern Tagalog Integrated Agricultural Research Center (STIARC) and the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) of San Juan, Batangas. Full of eagerness, they were able to start their first mushroom house using light materials. The former barangay captain lent them a space where they constructed the grow house. They started with 250 fruiting bags producing weekly harvest of at least seven kilos of fresh oyster mushrooms. Even with minimal produce, they were eager to introduce their products to the barangay.

By 2016, they needed to relocate and construct a new mushroom house in Sitio Biga since the owner needed the original space lent to them. Here, they were able to produce 800 grow bags in 6 months. In February 2016, STIARC introduced four varieties of oyster mushrooms and provided additional 2000 fruiting bags as assistance to the group. The following year, another 1,500 fruiting bags were provided. STIARC continued to support the group until 2018, providing materials that were unable in San Juan, in addition to technical assistance.

In November 2018, MATATAG began constructing a new mushroom house with their share of ₱50,000 and a grant amounting to ₱456,000 from STIARC. The house was finished in February 2019 and they were able to grow 5,000 fruiting bags but only 3,000 were harvested due to the hot temperature inside the house. In the original building plan from STIARC, the mushroom house did not include the needed insulation system which caused low production. Because of this, the business slowed down and was no longer growing. The low revenue, profit, and remuneration for working members of the group took its toll and manifested in the members’ low morale, lack of motivation to put more hours in the business, and lesser cooperation among each other.

By September 2019, the CLA participated in Action Against Hunger’s Resilient Livelihood Workshop, a component of the ‘Improving Resilience of the KNH NGO Partners to Natural Disasters Phase 2’ (I-Respond 2). The workshop proved to be the turning point for the group. They learned how to improve their business to become resilient amidst existing risks and impending hazards. They saw that all is not lost in the business that they started four years prior. The workshop further strengthened the connection between the disasters and livelihood in the context of resilience. Disaster and business were not new to the organization, as workshops were conducted prior to the livelihood workshop; however, the knowledge how to make their business more resilient towards disasters was the missing link. The realization that the negative effects of disasters especially on their livelihood are primarily due to human choices, the lack of understanding of their risks, and the lack of preparedness fueled their motivation to integrate resilience strategies in their business plan. The knowledge and tools they acquired from the training have therefore been used to implement different mitigation efforts to enhance their resilience.

Furthermore, the Resilient Livelihood Training allowed them to analyze their business and manage it efficiently. This made them realize the potential of their business, and if effectively managed, can provide a livelihood for all the members. The training also made the women members aware of the importance of working together and in the process increase the level of motivation amongst them. Experiencing the training had the working members stepping up and putting more effort into making the business flourish again as manifested by the members more active participation in the governance and operations of the business after the training

The CLA members were excited about the newly regained growth of the mushroom production business, which now allows them to start paying salaries for the 30 members working in the production of the mushrooms. The additional seed capital of ₱50,000 received from Action Against Hunger helped exponentially in regaining their growth by enabling them to buy essential to the business inputs and supporting administrative and labor costs.

Now, the CLA is motivated towards creating a more resilient and sustainable livelihood. Through the mushroom business, the CLA is optimistic that it will be able to provide support to the needs of its 98 women strong membership in the following years. They planned to expand from fresh mushrooms production to other product derivatives and they now understand that the increase in supply and demand in mushroom and its derivatives are key in doing so. The then CLA started to expand their production capacity by advocating mushroom as a viable livelihood option and teaching other barangays how to grow mushrooms. They continued this as an effort to involve more communities in their journey to create a resilient livelihood and better life for all.
The group was able to restart with 2,500 fruiting bags and started to expand their mushroom products to crispy mushroom chicharron with different flavors. By March 2020, they harvested 65 kilos with 1,200 bags worth ₱20,000.

Rowena Villarin, the Treasurer of MATATAG, in reflection to their group’s experiences shared, “when handling a business, you have to be focused and be prepared for any struggles that may come along. Never give up.”


Every year, the Philippines commemorates National ‪‎Nutrition Month and National ‪‎Disaster Consciousness Month in August under the auspices of Department of Health’s National Nutrition Council and the National Risk Reduction and Management Council’s Office of Civil Defense respectively.‬‬
On this occasion, Action Against Hunger joins the nation in making sure individuals, communities, and all citizens of our nation have the same opportunities to be healthy and safe from external shocks through resilience and nutrition security approaches.
The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world, ranking third among countries most prone to calamities, according to the 2015 World Risk Index report. While the level of child malnutrition in the Philippines is declining due to significant nutrition initiatives, malnutrition remains an important public health concern among children aged 0-5. In the 2016 Global Nutrition Report, the Philippines tops the countries in Southeast Asian region with the prevalence of wasted children (underweight) at 7.9% and critical levels of stunting (short for their age) at 30.3%.
Following a disaster, the poor, marginalized and disadvantaged groups, particularly the women and young children, are the most vulnerable social groups to the impacts of hazard events including climate change. Action Against Hunger Philippines believes that it is crucial to build the resilience of the Filipino people, by supporting initiatives that ensure food security and livelihoods through programs, which aim to increase people’s resilience to food crises and prevent undernutrition during and after emergency interventions. Action Against Hunger Philippines’ nutrition and health interventions contribute to reducing the vulnerability to climate related hazards. Children with good food, health and nutritional status are better equipped to face climate-related hazards compared to undernourished children.
Action Against Hunger Philippines implements programs in increasing the resiliency of the vulnerable communities in different parts of the country, providing life-saving interventions to the poorest communities through risk reduction (emergency preparedness and response planning); support adaptation strategies (resilient livelihoods approach); mitigation (social protection mechanism; cash transfer and promoting micro-insurances); and boost community and household capacities through water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs; capacity-building; disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation planning and advocacy.
The increasing impact and threats of climate change and natural disasters calls for concerted efforts now. The expected increase in natural hazards related to climate change will further amplify the vulnerabilities of millions of Filipinos, especially the most vulnerable groups. Action Against Hunger Philippines calls on President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration to prioritize a multiple-track approach:
• Address the drivers of climate change though climate change mitigation and adaptation in order to minimize the extent of future negative and potentially disastrous impacts induced by climate change.
• Scale-up coverage of and increase access to interventions to treat and prevent malnutrition adopting a multi-sectoral approach.
• Mainstream climate sensitive nutrition initiatives and nutrition objectives into national and local Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Plans.
• Secure dedicated funds from both the local government unit development fund and local DRRM fund to ensure institutionalization of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions to effectively address wasting and stunting among Filipino children.


Last June, Ishaiku Yakubu was abducted along with 4 other aid workers from different organizations by a non-state armed group.

Action Against Hunger is extremely concerned and fully mobilized so that the hostage can quickly find his family, safe and sound.

Action Against Hunger provides neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian aid in the state of Borno by providing basic services to the most vulnerable, in particular women and children.

Action Against Hunger asks the public and journalists to respect the dignity and privacy of the person by refraining from sharing images or videos that may circulate on the Internet.

Action Against Hunger has no further comments at this stage.