Working together with local agencies and LGUs to provide rapid response

“MOVE UP Project, in coordination with the Parang MDRRMO has been instrumental in the delivery of Multipurpose Cash Transfer and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support interventions under its Rapid Response Mechanism to the displaced families affected by armed conflict in GT Biruar. These interventions benefitted the IDPs, especially the most vulnerable who were provided immediate, life-saving assistance,” shares Ms. Norah Mamariong, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Officer (MDRRMO) of Parang, Maguindanao del Norte.

With funding from the European Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), MOVE UP 5 through Action Against Hunger provided cash assistance and conducted a Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support (MHPSS) Session for Adults who were affected by the recent ‘rido’ in Barangay G.T Biruar, Parang.

Thanks to the support of the Ministry of Social Services and Development – BARMM, MDRRMO of the Municipality of Parang, and the officials of Barangay G.T Biruar, MOVE UP 5 was able to quickly respond to the needs of the affected community.

This rapid response is part of the Moving Urban Poor Communities Towards Resilience (MOVE UP 5) consortium project implemented by Action Against Hunger Philippines, ACCORD Incorporated, CARE Philippines, Plan International Philippines, and Nissa Ul-Haqq Bangsamoro with funding support from the European Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).

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Surviving Crisis Mode with MOVE UP’s Support

Hindi namin alam kung saan tatakbo, kasi yung barilan, nakapalibot sa mga bahay namin,” shared Rasi, 44. She and her four children were among the displaced due to an armed conflict last February 6, 2023 at GT Biruar, in the Municipality of Parang, Lanao del Sur.

(We didn’t know where to go [at the time], because our houses were surrounded by gunfire.)

According to Rasi, that night they heard gunshots being exchanged by the parties involved. The gunfighting, allegedly caused by Rido or clan dispute, injured a number of residents including Rasi’s nephew.

Four days after that first encounter, a band of armed individuals occupied parts of the sitio where the encounter originally occurred- raising tension. Frightened and worried for their safety, families started to evacuate. A total of 69 households were displaced. A total of 69 households were displaced.


Displaced residents at the multipurpose cash assistance distribution of MOVE UP 5. (Photo by Ericka Refalbor for Action Against Hunger)

With funding from the European Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), our MOVE UP Project team responded by activating the rapid response mechanism to deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance to the affected families. All 69 displaced families were given multipurpose cash assistance which is intended to support families in buying their basic needs whilst away from their homes and livelihoods.

RRM Cash Assistance beneficiary (Photo by Ericka Refalbor for Action Against Hunger)

“This [cash assistance] is a big help because we don’t know when we’ll be able to go back home.”

Rasi expressed her appreciation to the MOVE UP Project for the cash support they received. “Malaking tulong talaga ito kasi hindi po namin alam kailan kami makabalik,” she said. (This [cash assistance] is a big help because we don’t know when we’ll be able to go back home.)

Rasi and her daughter buy food and supplies after receiving the emergency cash assistance from Action Against Hunger. (Photo by Ericka Refalbor for Action Against Hunger)

One of the beneficiaries receiving their cash assistance from the designated financial service provider. (Photo by Ericka Refalbor for Action Against Hunger)

This rapid response was also complemented by support from the local government which provided food packs, hot meals, and transportation of the beneficiaries to and from the distribution area.

To this day, the tension between the two clans continues. Action Against Hunger, in coordination with the local government, continues to monitor the condition of the displaced families until they can safely return to their community.

Moving Urban Poor Communities Towards Resilience (MOVE UP) is a consortium project that offers durable solutions in terms of capacitating local governments and communities in mitigating the adverse socio-economic effects of disasters. With funding from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, MOVE UP 5 is implemented by Action Against Hunger, CARE PhilippinesPlan International, ACCORD Incorporated, and Nissa Ul-Haqq Bangsamoro. Read more

Real Life Heroes: Rural Women for Community Resilience

Gemma Andot is a women’s leader in the MADADMA Community, part of the Obo Manobo indigenous group. Since 2020, she has been an active volunteer of Action Against Hunger in promoting community resilience through the ECHO-funded MOVE UP project.

This International Day of Rural Women, we highlight and celebrate women like Gemma. Get to know her and how she engages and inspires her community in Ilomavis, Kidapawan City towards resilience.

How long have you been working as a humanitarian worker (volunteer)?

“Since 2012, isa na akong aktibong IP Community member na aktibong sumasali at nagsasagawa ng pagtulong, pagvovolunteer sa pagpreserve ng aming kultura at kapaligiran. Sa tuwing may mga NGO na dumarating dito, nagvovolunteer ako lagi.”

Since 2012, I have been an active IP Community member actively participating and helping─volunteering to preserve our culture and environment. Whenever NGOs come here, I always volunteer.

What motivates you to continue volunteering?

“Naiintindihan ko kasi ang hangarin at adbokasiya ng Urban Resilience lalo na sa usapin ng pagse-savings. Gusto ko maging involved sa paghahanda ng community kapag may dumating man na sakuna.”

[I understand the desire and advocacy of urban resilience, especially in the matter of savings. I want to be involved in making sure that my community is prepared if a disaster is to come.]

Why are you making this sacrifice?

“Hindi ko na iniisip ang sakripisyo, nakatingin nalang ako sa hinahanarap at sa magandang maaring maging resulta ng pag-sesave.”

[I don’t think about the sacrifices anymore, I just look at the future and the good that can be the result of having savings.]

What have been the challenges to your work?

“Minsan kailangan hatiin ang panahon ko para sa pamilya, negosyo, at community work, pero kaya naman kasi nandiyan naman palagi ang Action Against Hunger na kaagapay lalo na sa community.”

[Sometimes I need to divide my time between family, business, and community work─ but I’m able to do it because Action Against Hunger has been supporting us in the community.]

What motivates you to keep doing your work even these challenges?

“Nakikita ko kasi na balang araw ang mga kapwa ko IP ay magiging mas resilient kami kapag lahat kami naisabuhay ang pagsesavings.”

Seeing that one day, my fellow IPs will be more resilient when we all start having savings [motivates me].

What are you most proud of?

“Na dati nagsimula lang kami sa Agoho Community Savings Group. Ngayon, isa na kaming federation sa Kidapawan. Magpaparegister na din kami sa DOLE at SEC sa tulong ng Action Against Hunger at Public Employment Service Office ng LGU Kidapawan.”

Previously we just started with Agoho Community Savings Group. Now, we are a federation in Kidapawan. We will also register with the Department of Labor and Employment, and the Securities & Exchange Commission with the help of Action Against Hunger and the Public Employment Service Office of LGU Kidapawan.

How can you engage the youth in your line of work?

“Kami na mga magulang ay nagsesavings. Sana itong mga kabataan ay makita nila kami bilang magandang ehemplo. Sila na rin ay nagsesavings gaya namin kaya ebidensya ito na naiimpluwensyahan namin sila.”

[We parents are having savings. I hope these young people can see us as a good example. They are also saving like us, so this is evidence that we influence them.]

Read more about Gemma’s work the Pines (Agoho) Community Savings Group

Moving Urban Poor Communities Towards Resilience (MOVE UP 4) is a consortium project that offers durable solutions in terms of capacitating local governments and communities in mitigating the adverse socio-economic effects of disasters. With funding from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, MOVE UP 4 was implemented by Action Against HungerPlan InternationalCARE Philippines, and ACCORD Incorporated.

International Day of Rural Women

Over the last century, the world’s population has steadily shifted from leading a rural existence to living in urban settings. Yet a vast amount of people (approximately 3.4 billion) are still living in rural areas. These rural communities are often characterized by limited access to resources, lower standards of living and generally high levels of poverty.

In the Philippines, around 2 million women work in rural industries including agriculture, fishing and mining. Yet land ownership for women remains low at around 10%. Women play a vital part in rural cultivation within the country yet are rarely the beneficiaries. To this end, significant land reform in accordance with gender transformative measures is required to address the situation.

Action Against Hunger has engaged with several projects across the Philippines to address the issues surrounding gender in rural communities. Specific focus has been placed on influencing household decision-making and ensuring gender is integrated into existing food security & livelihoods programming.

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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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