HomeNewsHumanitarian groups provide 'pre-disaster financial aid' to families in central Philippines

Humanitarian groups provide ‘pre-disaster financial aid’ to families in central Philippines

The cash aid distribution aims to assist households to prioritize their urgent needs before the projected impact of typhoon "Odette"

Humanitarian groups distributed, through digital cash transfer, about four million pesos to 2,650 families in 40 villages in the towns of Salcedo, Dolores, Lawaan, Quinapondan and Balangiga in Eastern Samar province.

The cash aid distribution is designed to assist households to prioritize their urgent needs three days before the projected impact of typhoon “Odette” (International name: Rai).

Maria Rosario Felizco, Oxfam Pilipinas country director, said that by shifting from giving post-disaster cash aid to providing pre-disaster cash aid, communities can recover from disasters sooner.

“To strengthen Filipinos’ disaster resilience, we need to move from a post-disaster response mechanism, and instead anticipate disasters and support vulnerable groups such as low-income families, elderly people, single women with children, and people with disabilities,” said Felizco in a statement.

The initiative also capacitates local leaders to improve disaster preparedness and response.

“With the early disaster warning technology of the B-READY project, local governments can start anticipating and planning for coming disasters that immensely helps communities to cope with disasters better,” said Salcedo town Mayor Melchor Mergal.

The B-READY project is an innovation that combines weather forecasting and pre-disaster cash transfer technology that allows communities to protect themselves and minimize damages to livelihoods and infrastructures before a disaster strikes.

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“The experience of Salcedo is one of those we are looking at for the scaling up of B-READY,” said Oxfam Financial Inclusion Manager Junver Arcayna.

“By following the B-READY protocol, an LGU is empowered to decide and make assessments for the need of an activation of the protocol.”

The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Dolores, Eastern Samar, also tried B-READY’s anticipatory action for the first time.

“We are glad to be part of the innovative shift to focus on anticipatory action instead of the default post-disaster response,” said Manuel Catuday, the town’s MDRRMO head. “With this project, we are confident that our community is ready to face the coming typhoon.”

The project is is jointly implemented by Oxfam Novib, Oxfam Pilipinas, People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network, PLAN International, PayMaya, Smart Padala, Climbs, Global Parametrics, and the local government of Salcedo in Eastern Samar, with the donation of Dutch Relief Alliance.

The project is also in partnership with PayMaya and Smart Padala, which help strengthen the cashless ecosystem that allows target groups to access financial aid immediately.

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