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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.

 

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Awareness Training on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in the Community and Municipalities of Mindanao City

Humanitarian crises create devastating impacts to the communities affected, but what is most scarring is the psychological trauma and stress that these emergency situations leave behind.

We are steadfast in mitigating these impacts and work closely with several conflict-affected communities in Mindanao.

Thus, last August, we facilitated an 𝗔𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗻 𝗠𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗣𝘀𝘆𝗰𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗼𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗦𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗡𝘂𝘁𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 for 60 community volunteers, leaders and LGU health staff members from the municipalities of Saguiaran, Kapai, Balindong and Madamba in Lanao del Sur, and Municipality of Pantao Ragat in Lanao Del Sur.

Funded by EU Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid – ECHO, the training was part of our ‘Response to the Unmet Humanitarian Needs of the Most Vulnerable Conflict-Affected Populations in Mindanao’ (REACH) Project in partnership with CARE Philippines and Oxfam Pilipinas.

Subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about our 𝐧𝐮𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐦𝐬: https://actionagainsthunger.ph/

Life After The Mindanao Earthquake: Wheels of Hope

“Mother, why are we different from other kids?” asks 6-year old John Rey to his mother, Janisa. John Rey and his two older brothers Christian and Gary Jr., have not been able to walk and run like other children because of a bone condition that started when each of them turned six years old.

Janisa looks at John Rey and finds it difficult to answer his question. Even the doctors that they consulted could not determine the reason why her sons’ bones in their lower bodies were shrinking.  All the doctors could recommend was to conduct more medical examinations to determine the cause of the boys’ conditions and how to treat it.

The eldest, Gary Jr. who is now 13 years old, has trouble sitting down and usually spends days lying on the sleeping mat. The father, Gary Sr., earns just enough to get by their daily needs as an on-call carpenter. Janisa stays at home and takes care of the children. As much as they want to have their sons treated, they have limited financial capabilities to do so.

To make matters worse, their community in Balabag, Kidapawan was affected by the series of earthquakes that struck Mindanao during the last quarter of 2019. The disaster affected more than 300,000 people, almost half of them displaced, including Gary Sr. and Janisa’s family.

Despite their struggles, the Lopez family continues to move forward especially after our Earthquake Response Protection Team, together with the Integrated Provincial Health Office – IPHO and the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), referred and assisted the Lopez brothers to Kidapawan City Public Hospital and other private hospitals in the area for more extensive check-ups and medical examinations. John Rey, Christian, and Gary Jr. each received wheelchairs courtesy of the IPHO, and the CSWD provided financial assistance for their family. Action Against Hunger continues to monitor the condition of the three children.

Prior to the referral, the Lopezes also received humanitarian support forms of multi-purpose cash transfer, hygiene and shelter kits. Inside their evacuation tent, Janisa watches her two youngest sons play, the eldest brother lies in his back beside them. The boys may not be able to use their legs like other children, but Janisa is hopeful that at least her sons will now be able to walk and run in their own special way with the help of their new wheelchairs.

 

Life-saving Humanitarian Assistance to People Affected by the Mindanao Earthquake is funded by the European Union, and implemented by Action Against Hunger Philippines, CARE Philippines, and ACCORD Incorporated.


Written by Joayra Gem Balagtas

Life After The Mindanao Earthquake: Struggle of a 71 Year Old Farmer

Written by Joayra Gem Balagtas for Action Against Hunger

 

Merlyn Igaan, 71 year-old, has had a rough year that most of us can only imagine.

Her community in Sitio Embassi, Barangay Perez in Kidapawan City was badly affected by the #MindanaoEarthquake. Ever since the disaster she and her family have been living in an evacuation site. Recently, they had to transfer to another site and build their tent anew because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Earning for a living as a senior citizen is becoming so difficult, especially since the earthquake. Aside from my old age, I am afraid to go back to the farm. I fear that an earthquake might occur again while I’m there,” she said.

To help her through these challenging times, we provided Merlyn with ₱4,560 cash assistance. Accompanied by her daughter, she received the money from our partner money transfer company on August 25 and immediately used it to buy medicine and food from the nearby market.

This is part of our food security and livelihood activities funded by EU Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid – ECHO for people affected by the Mindanao Earthquake. 𝗔 𝘁𝗼𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗼𝗳 𝟭,𝟮𝟬𝟬 𝗳𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗲𝘀 from the provinces of 𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗮𝗼 𝗗𝗲𝗹 𝗦𝘂𝗿 and 𝗡𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗖𝗼𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗮𝘁𝗼 have been given cash assistance since December 26, 2016.

𝗙𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽 𝗯𝘆 𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘄𝗲𝗯𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗲:
https://actionagainsthunger.ph

In celebration of #WorldHumanitarianDay, meet one of our #RealLifeHeroes: Maricel Vina Menez

Meet Maricel Vina Menez. As a Project Officer, she takes charge of our ProACT project in the Province of Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur and Compostela Valley.  In celebration of #WorldHumanitarianDay, we honor Vina as a humanitarian worker and one of the many #RealLifeHeroes by sharing her story.


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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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