Action Against Hunger provides emergency response equipment to Maguindanao

MAGUINDANAO — The municipality of Datu Saudi Ampatuan received a total of 745 various emergency response equipment from Action Against Hunger last August 27, 2021. This intervention is part of our USAID-funded disaster risk reduction (DRR) project at the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) which aims to strengthen the local resilience of hazard-prone communities.

The equipment were allotted to the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management (MDRRM) Office, and five barangays namely: Dapiawan, Elian, Gawang, Kitango, and Madia. DSA Municipal Administrator Musib Tan, MDRRM Officer Rohanna Salik, and the Association of Barangay Chairpersons (ABC) President Anwar Kedtag received the emergency equipment during the short turn-over ceremony. The ceremony was also participated by representatives from each of the five barangays.

DSA Municipal Administrator Musib Tan shares a short message during the turn-over of emergency response equipment. (2021 © Photo by Michael Ryan Queman for Action Against Hunger)

“We are thankful for all the support—from capacity building on DRR and livelihood to the provision of equipment. These will help enable our response to disasters more effective,” said Musib Tan.


Strengthening Local Resilience and Building Capacities in Area 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.

Written by Michael Ryan Queman | Edited by Joyce Sandajan

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MOVE UP 4 featured in DILG-LGA Newsletter

Spotted: Our Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP 4)—or also known as MOVE UP Mindanao Project— was featured in the 2nd Quarterly LGA Merit Newsletter!

The Local Government Academy’s (LGA) second quarterly newsletter for the year 2021 can now be accessed at the LGA website lga.gov.ph. The LGA releases monthly and quarterly newsletters showcasing its projects, programs, and activities, as well as best practices all geared towards local governance excellence.

The publications also highlight the stakeholders and partner agencies including the Local Governance Resource Centers (LGRCs), Local Government Operations Officers (LGOOs) and many more.


GRAB YOUR COPY HERE

 

 

Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP 4) is an urban disaster risk reduction (DRR) project which aims to build resilience among urban poor communities in Mindanao. With funding from the European Union, MOVE UP 4—also known as MOVE UP Mindanao—is implemented by a consortium of partners consisting of Action Against Hunger PhilippinesPlan International PhilippinesCARE Philippines, and their local partner ACCORD Incorporated.

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Barangays in Davao de Oro receive early warning devices

Photo by Lea Anora for Action Against Hunger (2021)

DAVAO DE ORO — Just last August 13, 2021,  twenty (20) barangays in Maco and Mabini, Davao de Oro had received early warning devices from Action Against Hunger through our ProACT Project.

Weather patterns have become unpredictable due to climate change. Many communities in the area have been experiencing various weather events and calamities. Because of this, we wanted to ensure that these communities are well informed and duly prepared in the event of a disaster.

Photo by Lea Anora for Action Against Hunger (2021)

These early warning devices will be tested during community drills which are scheduled to occur within the months of August to September, during which increased rainfall will be expected.

Photo by Lea Anora for Action Against Hunger (2021)

This disaster risk reduction (DRR) support is part of our commitment to building resilient communities by supporting barangays to have efficient early warning protocols, while improving the information dissemination community members and other groups, coming from the barangay level or local government units (BLGU).

Photo by Keith Filipinas for Action Against Hunger (2021)

ProACT aims to strengthen the partner communities’ capacities with regard to climate change adaptation, promotion of food security, and also income generation. To do so, the project uses a value chain approach for 3,650 families affected by disasters in the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, and Davao de Oro.

The main goal is to improve disaster, climate resilience, and socio-economic conditions of vulnerable communities we work with.


‘Advancing Climate and Disaster Resilience Transformation in the Provinces of Agusan Del Sur, Surigao Del Sur, and Davao de Oro’ (ProACT) is a consortium project funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation or Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID), and implemented by Action Against Hunger and Fundacion CODESPA.

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Hundreds of displaced families in Zamboanga City receive multi-sectoral cash assistance

On September 9, 2013, conflict broke out in Zamboanga City between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and a rebel group, an event that displaced 109,000 people in the city alone.

Eight years after the Zamboanga Siege, more than 700 families are still living in transitory sites of Masepla, Rio Hondo, Asinan, and Buggoc and they face further setbacks when COVID-19 started. Many have been struggling with food insecurity after losing their livelihoods as a result of the pandemic.

Under our project funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), we hope to support the remaining displaced residents through a Multi-purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA) program.

During the first round of the payout last July 28, an initial 167 families had received 5,100 pesos which can be used for livelihood, hygiene, health, or shelter purposes among many others. Some of the participants who had already received the cash assistance have reportedly spent it on either capital for their small business, medicine and health services, or shelter purposes such as rental payment and purchasing of kitchenwares and solar lamps.

This marks the first MPCA activity of the project as the team will be conducting scheduled payouts in the coming weeks.


Our ‘Multi-Sectoral Lifesaving Assistance To People Most Vulnerable To The Covid-19 Pandemic, Conflict, and Disasters’ is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

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Local Government Academy, MOVE UP Consortium ink partnership agreement to promote disaster resilience

From left to right: Local Government Academy (LGA) Executive Director Thelma Vecina, CARE Philippines Country Director David Gazashvili, ACCORD Inc. Executive Director Sindhy Obias, Action Against Hunger Philippines Disaster Risk Reduction Coordinator Juan Blenn Huelgas (representing Country Director Suresh Murugesu), Plan International Philippines Country Program Manager for Disaster Resilience Chrisnobel Cruz (representing Country Director Annie Locsin), LGA Assistant Director Esmeralda Daphne Purnell, and MOVE UP Project Consortium Manager Roger Cabiles sign the Partnership Agreement today during the virtual ceremonial signing program. (Courtesy of MOVE UP 4 Consortium)

28 July 2021 – The Local Government Academy (LGA) and the Moving Urban Poor Communities Towards Resilience (MOVE UP) Project signed a partnership agreement as part of their commitment to strengthen disaster resilience.

Cooperation between the capacity and development arm of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and MOVE UP includes the review of various L!STO Operations Manual and conduct of capacity development interventions to local chief executives and other relevant stakeholders involved in disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) activities.

The MOVE UP project, funded by the European Union, aims to help in institutionalizing urban resilience and disaster preparedness mechanisms for urban poor communities across the Philippines. The project is implemented by a consortium of international non-government organizations led by Action Against Hunger Philippines, with Plan International Philippines, CARE Philippines, and ACCORD.

During the event, LGA Executive Director Thelma Vecina said the ceremonial signing is highly symbolic as it coincides with the celebration of the National Disaster Resilience Month and is aligned with the LGA’s vision to build resilience through local government capacity-building activities.

“Today’s partnership is really significant and symbolic as we celebrate the National Disaster Resilience Month this July. For us in the LGA, this is really a great contribution to our efforts to build resilience of the local governments,” she said.

Furthermore, LGA Executive Director Vecina expressed that the LGA believes that increasing disaster resilience requires collective will and action from and among the communities, the local leaders, and stakeholders. “This is one among our many efforts to translate these commitments into actions. Hopefully, this initiates more cooperation in the future that will strengthen our nation’s resilience towards disaster,” she added.

Meanwhile, Juan Blenn Huelgas, Disaster Risk Reduction Coordinator of Action Against Hunger Philippines underscored the important role played by local government units in our collective effort to reduce the impact of disasters.

“Our local government units are at the forefront of mitigation, prevention, response, and management of these risks and vulnerabilities. It is right that we strengthen their capacities on resilience so that our urban poor population can withstand and manage the impact of natural and human-induced disasters, the very objective of the MOVE UP Consortium,” Huelgas said.

Child-centered organization Plan International Philippines’ Country Program Manager for Disaster Resilience Chrisnobel Cruz, meanwhile, emphasized the effects of disasters on the most vulnerable population, particularly girls and young women.

“Disasters could be detrimental to our effort to protect the rights and welfare of girls and young women. Disasters, and the crisis that comes with it, subject young women to the continual risk of violence, child marriage, and early and unplanned pregnancy, and threaten to roll back gains made in girls’ access to education,” Cruz said.

A strong partnership between the government and the civil society is needed to continuously increase the capacity of LGUs to prepare for and respond to disasters amid the mobility restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, CARE Philippines Country Director David Gazashvili said.

“As of last year, our webinar series entitled the Resilience Knowledge Exchange Series (RKES) reached 95 academic institutions, 80 CSOs, 83 national or regional government agencies, and 27 private-sector organizations. All of this of course would not be possible without the dedicated and passionate work of our partners and funders in the implementation of various development programs across the country. Therefore, we greatly cherish and foster the partnerships and collaborations with the likes of our consortium members and the DILG-LGA,” he said.

The Partnership Agreement, ACCORD Executive Director Sindhy Obias said, is a collective promise to share expertise to support local government units who are on the frontline in DRRM activities.

“As we sign this partnership agreement today, we view it not just a piece of paper but an expression of our collective commitment to work together towards the common goal of supporting our partners, particularly the local governments who are on the frontline when it comes to dealing with disasters, among many other related concerns on the ground. Being part of the MOVE UP consortium, ACCORD is very excited to work with DILG-LGA and share our experiences in resilience building,” Obias said.

Watch the Virtual Ceremonial Signing

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 Philippines, Plan International Philippines, CARE Philippines, and ACCORD Incorporated.


For inquiries or concerns, contact: Claudine Complativo,

Communications and Advocacy Specialist (MOVE UP Project)  | 0906-589-8180

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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MOVE UP 4 Mindanao strengthens support to partner communities this National Disaster Resilience Month

MOVE UP 4 reinforced the partnership with the Provincial Government of Cotabato by providing technical assistance in updating their DRRM plan during the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Planning Workshop held last July 14-15, 2021 at Parkland Suites, Kidapawan City, North Cotabato. The workshop was conducted in line with the 2021 National Disaster Resilience Month’s theme, “Tamang Pamamahala’t Kahandaan, Kaalaman at Pagtutulungan sa Sakuna at Pandemya’y Kalasag ng Bayan.” 
Roger Cabiles, MOVE UP 4 Consortium Manager and Head of Project for Action Against Hunger Philippines, held a discussion on ‘Shock-Responsive Social Protection and Resilient Livelihoods in DRRM Planning.’ Aside from tackling the importance of supporting disaster-resilient livelihoods, the discussion also emphasized the need to have effective, responsive, and inclusive social protection for communities.
Roger Cabiles, Jr. presenting in front of the seated participant with the project area presentation flashed on an overhead television on his right.

In photo: Roger Cabiles, Jr. shares updates on the MOVE UP 4 projects within intervention areas.

The MOVE UP consortium manager also shared updates on various MOVE UP livelihood activities in Kidapawan City. Among the examples were the establishment of Community Savings Groups in addition to providing livelihood assistance to at-risk households, promoting crop insurance, and other risk transfer mechanisms.
Three representative individuals from Action Against Hunger talk with Cotabato PDRRM Officer, Abril Espadera

In photo (L-R): Lyndon Arbes (Deputy Head of Project for Action Against Hunger), Delilah Chua (Action Against Hunger Head of Iligan Base). Roger Cabiles, Jr. (MOVE UP 4 Consortium Manager & Head of Project for Action Against Hunger), and Abril Espadera (Cotabato Provincial DRRM Officer)

MOVE UP 4 Mindanao continuously supports local government units in building the resilience of our partner communities. It aims to strengthen the disaster preparedness, response, and management capacity of both the national government and local government units (LGU).

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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Emergency Preparedness Helps Action Against Hunger Team Escape Mt. Apo Landslide

KIDAPAWAN CITY – Twelve (12) Action Against Hunger staff members were left stranded after a landslide had blocked a part of Mt. Apo Highway last July 16, 2021. The incident was reported to have occurred sometime in the morning after a series of heavy rainfall in the area.

No casualties were reported and the staff members managed to safely go over the landslide area before the Kidapawan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) rescue vehicle arrived and assisted them back to the city proper. The staff members who experienced the ordeal were part of the MOVE UP 4 Project team in Kidapawan and visiting staff from Action Against Hunger Philippines’ Manila Head Office.

The teams were already on their way back in two separate vehicles after conducting field visits in Barangay Illomavis when they reached the roadblock caused by the landslide. Being the first to witness the scene and having no alternate routes going to the city proper, the stranded staff decided to go over the mound of debris by foot.

The landslide covered a portion of the road, making it impossible for vehicles to pass throigh.

Photo by Roger Cabiles, Jr. for Action Against Hunger

“[The situation] gave us an opportunity to reflect about humanitarian workers, that we are dispensable,” shared MOVE UP 4 Consortium Manager and Head of Project Roger Cabiles. Despite facing a predicament, the team remained calm and quickly followed emergency protocol. “Being careful is really important as well as assessing risks and hazards and knowing what to do if a disaster happens,” he added. Deputy Head of Project Lyndon Arbes then coordinated with Kidapawan CDRRMO Head Psalmer Bernalte, who facilitated the quick rescue response.

“[The situation] gave us an opportunity to reflect about humanitarian workers, that we are dispensable…Being careful is really important as well as assessing risks and hazards and knowing what to do if a disaster happens,” he added.

Photo courtesy of Kidapawan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office

Clearing operations on the highway began immediately thereafter. According to Psalmer Bernalte, soil movements have gradually been covering portions of the highway two months earlier, prompting the city to conduct preventive measures against potential landslides.

For the MOVE UP 4 team, the experience further strengthened their commitment to work with partner LGUs and communities through disaster risk reduction, emergency response, and resilience building.

“These risks and hazards are normal to the communities we serve, and they experience it in their everyday lives… our work in building the resilience of our communities continues,” said Roger Cabiles.

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.

 

Related stories:

Philippine News Agency – Int’l NGO workers narrowly escape Mt. Apo landslide
GMA News – 12 NGO employees na naipit sa landslide, nasagip


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.

MOVE UP 4 signs agreement with Cotabato Provincial Government

KIDAPAWAN CITY — The MOVE UP 4 Mindanao reached another milestone as the disaster risk reduction (DRR) project signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Provincial Government of Cotabato last July 15, 2021, at the Provincial Capitol, North Cotabato. Roger Cabiles (Action Against Hunger Head of Project and Consortium Manager of MOVE UP 4) and Efren Piñol (North Cotabato Provincial Administrator) were the main signatories during the ceremony.

In photo (L-R): Delilah Chua (Action Against Hunger Head of Iligan Base). Roger Cabiles, Jr. (MOVE UP 4 Consortium Manager & Head of Project for Action Against Hunger), Efren Piñol (Cotabato Provincial Administrator), and Mercedita Foronda (PDRRMO Head)

The agreement outlines the partnership between the two parties which supports the promotion, adaptation, and replication of MOVE UP 4’s tested urban resilience strategies. Mercedita Foronda (Head of Cotabato Provincial DRRMO), Delilah Chua (Action Against Hunger Head of Cotabato Base), Lyndon Arbes (Action Against Hunger Deputy Head of Project), and Louie Bullanday (Action Against Hunger DRR Supervisor) were also present as witnesses of the ceremonial signing event.
The partnership is a leap towards achieving the project’s goal of building the resilience of urban poor communities by strengthening disaster preparedness, response, and management capacity of the national government and local government units.

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.

MOVE UP 4 launches Webinar on Mainstreaming Social Protection Initiatives at the Local Level

A webinar on ‘Mainstreaming Social Protection Initiatives at the Local Level’ was launched last Thursday, June 24, which was organized by the Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP) project in partnership with the Local Government Academy. The webinar was attended by almost 500 local chief executives and local government unit staff from all over the Philippines.
Roger Cabiles, Action Against Hunger Head of Project and MOVE UP 4 Consortium Manager, presented the Urban Resilience Model and Basic Concepts on Shock-Responsive Social Protection while Atty. Melchor Mergal, Municipal Mayor of Salcedo in Eastern Samar, shared the successful implementation of an Anticipatory Action in DRRM project in their municipality.

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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ACTION AGAINST HUNGER PREMIERES SHORT FILM ABOUT THE FILIPINO SPIRIT FINDING HOPE DESPITE HUNGER

‘The Invisible Monster’ is a short film directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Javier Fesser and renowned writer and radio host Guillermo Fesser through collaboration with Action Against Hunger, a global humanitarian organization. The film is scheduled to have an online premiere in the Philippines on 27 November 2020.

The film is a story of the Filipino spirit finding hope and happiness amidst poverty, loss, war, and hunger. It features Aminodin and his cousin Aliman, narrating the lives of these two Maraonon children before and after the Marawi Siege in 2017. Through them, we see that both happiness and hunger are not always seen by the naked eye. The 32-minute film was shot in post-conflict Marawi City with actual residents starring as actors. It intends to mobilize people against the extreme form of hunger – malnutrition, a disease that affects 4 million Filipino children.

“In the world there are two types of stories, those that impress and those that move you…the Invisible Monster wants to move you, so that it may remain in your memory,” shares Guillermo Fesser. “It shows the reality for thousands of children in the Philippines,” adding that “hunger is much more than just a food problem.”

Guillermo elaborates on the creative process: “it began very simply.  We observed and sat down to listen to people’s stories.  With these little bits of reality, we added a narrative thread that includes touches of humor.”  He continues, “The film is fiction, but stars real people.”

“Humor generates a lot of empathy,” Javier Fesser points out. “Despite the harshness of life in the dumpsite and in the refugee camp, I saw hundreds of kites flying in the Mindanao sky…happiness can be found where you least expect it.”

Photo caption: Aliman takes a stroll at the evacuation center

An estimated four (4) million Filipino children under 5 years old are suffering from chronic malnutrition, or what is commonly called stunting, according to the latest survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-FNRI).

“We wanted to show everyone through the film the invisible reality for a lot Filipino children” states Dale Nelson Divinagracia, Fundraising and Resource Development Manager for Action Against Hunger. “The symptoms of stunting is not as evident as compared to acute malnutrition, but the effects are as severe: those affected may never attain their full possible height, have weaker immune systems, and their brains may never develop to their full cognitive potential. They will face learning difficulties in school and get sick more often.  If not treated in the first 1,000 days of a person’s life, the effects of malnutrition are irreversible and will last that person’s whole life.”

On their collaboration with the humanitarian organization, Guillermo Fesser shares “we have realized that the invisible hunger, the chronic hunger, the constant and daily hunger is a social illness that is suffered in silence.” Javier agrees to this sentiment and adds, “we feel very privileged of being able to shout ‘action’, but against hunger, against injustice, against inequality.”

As the world’s hunger specialist for over 40 years, Action Against Hunger is in the frontline fighting malnutrition in nearly 50 countries providing life-saving aid focused on Nutrition & Health, Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene, Food Security & Livelihoods, and Emergency Response.

The film will premiere online in Action Against Hunger Philippines’ YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/user/ACFphilippines, and will be available until December 11.  Moviegoers may register at Action Against Hunger Philippines’ website, www.actionagainsthunger.ph/the-invisible-monster,  to receive reminders and more details about the film.  Viewers are encouraged to donate to support Action Against Hunger’s projects in the Philippines.

The online premiere of The Invisible Monster is supported by Action Against Hunger ambassadors, Chefs Rolando and Jacqueline Laudico, and in collaboration with The Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Nyxsys Philippines Inc., Pitchworks, and Summit Media Outdoor.

 

 

The Invisible Monster Synopsis

Aminodin’s father always smiles because he says that “happy people live longer.” That is why, at eight years old, Aminodin puts on his best smile while working at the Papandayan dumpsite, where he lives with his family.

His cousin Aliman, on the other hand, lost his smile when bombs fell from the sky in his hometown of Marawi City.  As Aliman spends his days sad and crestfallen in a refugee camp, Aminodin devises a plan to make him smile again.