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DSWD, UNICEF embark on innovative, lifesaving efforts in times of disaster

MOU between DSWD and UNICEF

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Philippine Country Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov on Thursday (April 11) at the DSWD Central Office, Quezon City to strengthen the government’s provision of shock responsive social protection measures during emergencies and disaster.

Secretary Gatchalian said the partnership between the DSWD and UNICEF Philippines is an innovation that will provide social protection assistance that is tailor-fit for its intended beneficiaries.

“We know that every single vulnerable sector has distinct needs, especially in disaster response so this is something that is innovative, that is new. It is a template that we can also adopt, cascade and expand, and we look forward to learning from it because it is new,” Sec. Gatchalian said in his short message.

For her part, UNICEF Country Representative Dendevnorov affirmed that the partnership will provide “life-saving assistance to children and their families in times of emergencies.”

The signed MOU will serve as a basis for both parties for the implementation of a Standby Agreement on Emergency Cash Transfer (ECT) to ensure that disaster-affected families or households and their children will have access to financial aid after an emergency using existing DSWD social protection programs and disaster response mechanisms.

The ECT is an adaptive strategy for bridging the gaps between immediate disaster relief, humanitarian response, and early recovery support through outright cash aid for disaster-affected families in areas under a state of calamity.

Other attendees of the MOU signing were DSWD Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group Diana Rose Cajipe, Assistant Secretary for Partnerships Building and Resource Mobilization Ana Marie Rafael, and UNICEF Philippines Deputy Representative for Programmes Behzad Noubary.

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