Typhoon-vulnerable areas to benefit from DSWD-UNICEF Advance Action Agreement – Philippines
A total of 22,000 households, including 42,239 children, in typhoon-vulnerable municipalities will benefit from multipurpose unconditional cash transfers, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the United Nations Children’s Fund ( UNICEF) having signed an agreement on June 14 under the United Nations (UN) Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for Anticipatory Action (AA) for foreseeable risks.
This partnership is the product of the development by the United Nations Humanitarian Country Team in the Philippines of a fit-for-purpose framework, framed by existing operational coordination mechanisms and response plans, and based on lessons learned and good practices from past typhoon preparedness and responses.
Under the CERF AA pilot project, an unconditional cash supplement will be provided to approximately 22,000 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino (4Ps) program in the provinces of Catanduanes (municipalities of Baras, Bato, San Andres and Virac) and northern Samar (municipalities of Catarman, Catubig, Gamay, Mondragon, San Roque), three days before the expected arrival of a category 4 typhoon, in accordance with the principles of the AA. The benefit level is Php 1,000 per family, calculated as 30% of the estimated minimum expenditure basket (MEB) of children for nutrition, education, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and child protection services. Cash assistance will be provided to 4P beneficiaries through the Land Bank of the Philippines, the government’s depository bank.
In addition to complementary cash assistance, UNICEF will also pilot the provision of anticipatory multi-purpose cash transfers using existing national social protection systems to mitigate the impact of disasters and generate evidence to help shape the DSWD policies that strengthen national social protection. systems for future humanitarian and disaster response.
UNICEF Deputy Representative in the Philippines, Behzad Noubary, stressed the importance and urgency of this partnership. By providing support before a disaster strikes, CERF AA seeks to mitigate and, to some extent, prevent the impacts of typhoons on people’s homes and livelihoods, while building on the Mandatory government preventive evacuation procedures that save lives.
“This is the first time that we will test the concept of anticipatory action through a shock-responsive social protection model. Thanks to this intervention, the communities most at risk will have better financial resources to bounce back from a typhoon. Traditional disaster response, when complemented with anticipatory actions, can significantly reduce the impact of disasters and enable faster recovery,” he said.
For his part, DSWD Undersecretary Felicisimo Budiongan said reading Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista’s message: “This anticipatory action pilot project is a good start to test the delivery of anticipatory multipurpose cash transfers in using existing national government social protection systems, in particular through the provision of a top-up to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino programme.
“In addition, this pilot project can generate evidence to improve policies for strengthening social protection systems within the department. Once again, congratulations to all of you who participated in the benchmarking of anticipatory action in government systems,” he concluded.