Six international non-government organizations (INGO) comprised of Oxfam, ACF, Plan International, CARE, Christian Aid and Handicap International have formed into a Consortium to implement the Scale up, Build up (SUBU) Project funded by ECHO under the Disaster Preparedness Program of ECHO (DIPECHO). These six agencies will be working with local government units (LGUs) and other key stakeholders.
The European Commission’s Humanitarian aid and Civil Protection Directorate General (ECHO) provides rapid and effective support to the victims of disasters beyond the European Union’s borders. On average, approximately 16% of ECHO humanitarian relief is a response to sudden-onset natural disasters. The importance of disaster preparedness is clearly recognised in ECHO’s mandate and in the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid adopted in 2007. In 1996 ECHO launched a specific programme, DIPECHO (Disaster Preparedness ECHO) dedicated to disaster preparedness. Disaster preparedness also has a central place in the 23 principles for Good Humanitarian Donorship agreed in 2003 in Stockholm by leading humanitarian donors, including ECHO.
ECHO’s humanitarian mandate prescribes a focus on saving lives, providing relief and thus assisting the most vulnerable groups. ECHO prioritizes “people-oriented” preparedness measures and, therefore, focuses on supporting strategies and complementing existing strategies that enable local communities and institutions to better prepare for, mitigate, and respond adequately to natural disasters by enhancing their capacities to cope and respond. This increases their resilience and reduces their vulnerability. ECHO’s support is a combination of community-based projects and projects at national or regional level that strive to increase resilience in the event of natural hazards. Projects are implemented through a wide range of partners, including local organizations that provide access to the most marginalized and vulnerable people.
ECHO involvement in DRR/DP has increased significantly in the last decade both in terms of funding as well as in terms of expansion of activities (DIPECHO, slow onset disasters, involvement in epidemic prevention, targeted Disaster Preparedness projects). However, the main component of ECHO’s contribution to the global Disaster Risk Reduction efforts remains the DIPECHO programme which now covers eight disaster-prone regions. The DIPECHO programme therefore targets highly vulnerable communities living in some of the most disaster-prone regions of the world. This is what we term our “community-based approach”.
ACF is an international and independent humanitarian organization that fights hunger at all stages, from its most extreme manifestation of severe acute malnutrition to its causes. It intervenes directly in 46 countries on five different continents, and supports 6.4 million people.
Subject to frequent and recurrent disasters, the Philippines is one of ACF’s biggest areas of intervention. This critical situation implies an innovative approach to tackling hunger, as well as immediate relief actions and longer development strategies. As ACF moves from humanitarian response to development assistance, Disaster Risk Reduction becomes a vital cross cutting theme for all its programs with the end view of sustaining development efforts and gains communities have achieved.
CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. We place special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of disease, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity, and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives.
Christian Aid began development assistance in the Philippines in the late 1970s from its London office by working with the projects department of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP). This was followed by relationships with the human rights organization Task Force Detainees (TFD) and the faith-based organization National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) of the Catholic Church both challenging the repressive martial rule of then President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
By the mid-1980s and as democracy returned, Christian Aid programming expanded to agrarian issues, child victims of militarization, and other themes. In the early 1990s however, serious ideological rifts within the progressive movement of which many Christian Aid partners aligned (or unaligned) reached a vicious state such that organizations were being torn apart causing set backs on sectoral reforms. Issues relating to accountability of some older partners also became apparent and important questioning arose as to whether the forms of organizing under an oppressive regime continued to be appropriate.
In 1996, 10 years after the People Power Revolution toppled the Marcos dictatorship, a Country Programme Strategy Plan (CPSP) was developed for the Philippines and new partnerships were forged. At this time, partnerships in the north of the country were phased out with a shift to officially identified poverty regions and provinces of Bicol, Eastern Visayas, and Mindanao regions. The next CPSP covered the period of 2002-2007 and addressed a variety of thematic and sectoral concerns. It was followed by the recently reviewed 2007-2012 plan where programme focus was on urban poverty, mining and its impact on indigenous peoples and rural poor communities, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, challenging macroeconomic policies keeping people poor and humanitarian response.
Handicap International (HI) is an independent international aid organization working in situation of poverty and exclusion, conflict, and disaster. Working alongside persons with disabilities (PWDs) and other vulnerable groups throughout the world, our action and testimony are focused on responding to their essential needs, improving their living conditions and promoting respect for their dignity and their fundamentals rights. With a network of eight national associations (USA, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and UK) Handicap International, founded in 1982 and co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in 1997 and recipient of the Hilton Prize in 2011, has program in 60 countries and acts in both emergency and development situations. Handicap International (HI) in the Philippines has been operational since 1985 and is one of the key organizations in the disability sector. It has wide range of complimentary projects that assist to promote inclusion of persons with disabilities and their issues in development policies and actions, build capacities of key local stakeholders and reduce the impact of natural disasters and conflicts. The organization is committed to enhance PWDs’ access to services, promote their active participation and social inclusion, developing partnerships at all levels, in the frame of the national and international policies on disability.
Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations networked together in more than 94 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future free from the injustice of poverty. In the Philippines, we work with poor people to sustain their livelihood, and reduce their risks to natural and human-made disasters and climate change impacts. We strive to enable poor people to have a voice in economic issues affecting them and we support poor women as they lead in transforming unequal social and economic relations.
Plan has been working in the Philippines since 1961, helping poor children to realize their rights to health care, education, protection, and a high quality of life. We work in 420 communities nationwide. More than 80,000 families benefit from our projects. Currently, we are promoting the “Learn Without Fear” campaign which is working towards making schools safe learning environments, free from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Research conducted among 2,442 children from three provinces has shown that 50 to 70% of children in elementary school and 60% in high school have experienced violence in school. The campaign seeks to empower children to claim their right to a good education, to encourage them to maximize their opportunities and to ensure they are learning in an environment where they can truly enjoy being children.
The DRRNetPhils is a national tertiary formation of 28 civil society organizations, communities, practitioners and advocates adhering to the Hyogo Framework for Action on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and implementing the community-based disaster risk management.
It advocates transforming the emergency-oriented and reactive paradigm to disasters to the paradigm of risk-reduction, participatory community-based and proactive disaster risk management. DRRNetPhils calls for a strategic approach that underscores the importance of DRRM in achieving sustainable development, and addresses issues on governance, risk assessment, knowledge management, reduction of vulnerabilities and risks, disaster preparedness, as well as strengthening people’s capacities.