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Responding to Disaster Situations, Reducing Community Vulnerabilities

PRRM recognizes that disaster management encompasses the cycle of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction and development. Along the disaster management cycle, PRRM’s experience has been mainly in the relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction aspects.

PRRM’s involvement in disaster relief and rehabilitation began in the late 1980s, when plummeting world sugar prices caused widespread famine among the sugar-dependent poor of Negros Occidental. Intervention at the time was in the form of providing relief and food aid, followed by post-disaster rehabilitation (production support, e.g., livelihood assistance and health services delivery). The following were projects in response to the sugar crisis in Negros Occidental supported by the German Agro Action (GAA), now Welthungerhilfe (WHH):

  • Negros Food Aid Project (NFAP): relief/food aid, 1986-1987.
  • Negros Livelihood Assistance Program (NLAP): post-disaster rehabilitation, 1987-1996.
  • Food and Nutrition Development Program (FNDP): post-disaster rehabilitation, 1988-1996.

Major relief interventions were also launched after the 1990 earthquake, focusing on Nueva Vizcaya:

  • Providing for the Reconstruction of Vital Livelihood Infrastructure in Calamity-Stricken Barrios of Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya and Bocot, Benguet: reconstruction/rehabilitation of suspension bridges and irrigation systems; supported by the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), 1991-1992.
  • Comprehensive Community Rehabilitation Program for Calamity-Stricken Barrios of Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya: integrated rehabilitation; supported by Oxfam-Hong Kong, 1991-1993.
  • Sustainable Livelihood Development Program (SLDP): rehabilitation of livelihood systems in Nueva Vizcaya; supported by GAA, 1991-1992.
  • Sustainable Economic Development Support Program (SEDSP): livelihood systems development in Nueva Vizcaya; supported by GAA, 1992-1997.

After the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption, PRRM undertook relief projects in Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales:

  • Mount Pinatubo Relief for Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales: relief/food aid and evacuation center management; supported by GAA, NOVIB and other donors, 1991.
  • Sustainable Livelihood Development Program (SLDP): post-disaster rehabilitation in Tarlac; supported by NOVIB, 1992.

Relief and rehabilitation have also been the focus of projects responding to super typhoons and the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) occurrence:

  • Typhoon Rosing Relief and Rehabilitation Assistance: relief/food aid, housing, and livelihood rehabilitation for Bataan and Camarines Sur; food aid and livelihood rehabilitation supported by NOVIB; food aid and housing reconstruction assistance supported by DanChurchAid, 1996.
  • El Nino Emergency Response in Cotabato: a consortium project with other NOVIB partner NGOs in Mindanao, 1998, 2001-2002.
  • Emergency Assistance for Families Affected by Typhoon Nanang in Camiguin: rehabilitation assistance in the form of clearing and farm rehabilitation tools for seven (7) barangays; supported by the Embassy of Japan, 2001-2002.

    Each of the relief interventions was followed by a short period of rehabilitation assistance, mainly for livelihood support/agriculture rehabilitation, and in some cases, rebuilding of houses (Camarines Sur), and rebuilding/improvement of small-scale infrastructure (Nueva Vizcaya). In Nueva Vizcaya and Negros Occidental, the initial relief and rehabilitation efforts were followed by several projects, leading to reconstruction and area development, over a long-term period (i.e., around ten years).

    PRRM conducted a relief mission for internally displaced persons affected by the ongoing armed conflict in Mindanao. The mission distributed food, clothing, medicines/medical supplies and other household items/relief goods, particularly to women and children/infants temporarily residing in evacuation centers. Despite assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations (NGOs) and other government agencies, relief remains a timely response for as long as unmet needs continue to outpace the availability and adequacy of both public and private resources.

Typhoon Relief Work in Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija (2005)

Upon receipt of the funds from the Christian Blind Mission (CBM), the Task Force-Bagyo purchased the required amounts of food items to be included in the 500-peso and 1,000-peso food packages allocated for the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija and Quezon.

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Community and Habitat No. 13: Community resilience needs a change in mindset Community and Habitat No. 13: Community resilience needs a change in mindset
Community resilience needs a change in mindset
THIS ISSUE OF PRRM’S COMMUNITY & HABITAT JOURNAL IS focused on the intertwined issues of climate change, energy and food.

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