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Philippines and UN align relief efforts for upcoming typhoon season

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MANILA — The United Nations (UN) Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines, Gustavo Gonzalez, announced a contribution of over P380M from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund mechanism (CERF) to better address the upcoming typhoon season. The funds will be allocated as part of an innovative pilot test for anticipatory actions.

The announcement was made in the context of a High-Level Meeting co-chaired by the Secretary of National Defense and Chair of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Delfin Lorenzana, and the UN Philippines chief.

The high-level talk brought together the Department of National Defense (DND) and its Office of Civil Defense (OCD), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Ambassadors of Canada, Germany, EU and UK, which are key countries supporting the anticipatory action as well as the CERF.

A collaborative dialogue explored ways in which anticipatory approach can address challenges of the climate crisis. Secretary Lorenzana noted that ‘the Government of the Philippines is inspired to embark on this joint anticipatory action program and is eager to further explore how to contextualize the pilot and ensure it empowers the local government units which are our first line of defense’.” He added that the “current focus provides a good start to eventually roll out the pilot to other areas”.

With the two-year funding from the UNCERF, the pilot’s anticipatory interventions will be executed by FAO, IOM, UNFPA, UNICEF and WFP, and their implementing partners, while OCHA will provide overall coordination. The framework is designed to support 270,500 most vulnerable people in 44 municipalities across Regions 5 (Bicol) and 8 (Eastern Visayas) three days prior to landfall of a category-4 or 5 typhoon.

“This work would not be possible without international collaboration and I welcome the resource partners and recognize their commitment, both globally and nationally, in advancing humanitarian response, disaster risk reduction and addressing climate change”, said Gonzalez. “UK, Germany, EU and Canada are key contributors to the CERF and these resource partners, together with the World Bank, are also pioneering supporters of anticipatory action.”

A series of anticipatory pilots are facilitated by the CERF around the world and there is a compelling amount of evidence that acting before the disaster hits, cuts the costs of humanitarian response, preserves people’s dignity and allows for a faster recovery by protecting hard-won development gains that were already achieved.

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