The Philippines is hit by a number of disasters every year, including typhoons, landslides and floods. In order to prepare for, respond to and adapt to climate change, the German Red Cross is implementing a disaster preparedness project aiming to strengthen existing systems and capacities in the Philippines with funding from the European Union.
Strengthening resilience for sustainable development
The Philippines is among the world'smost disaster-prone countries. To reduce disaster risks and enhance preparedness it becomes crucial to follow a long-term approach through a participatory bottom-up process that focuses on improving processes for preparedness and development and enhancing networks between local government units and community based organisations. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to a common local development agenda for building resilient communities in the Philippines, which ultimately enables them to react to and recover quickly from future disasters.
Together with the Philippine, Finnish, Spanish, and the Netherland Red Cross the German Red Cross targets100 communities selected from 17 municipalities, 5 provinces and 2 cities. It is estimated that more than 90.000 residents will directly benefit from the improved environment for wider participation to planning and decision making processes. Indirectly, the project will benefit the whole population in the targeted communities (nearly 1 million people).
Engaging communities in setting priorities
The existing systems and capacities in place are strengthened through coordination, collaboration and advocacy efforts. Advocacy is thereby used as a tool for integrating and mainstreaming community needs and priorities into disaster risk reduction and development plans. As such the project intends to mainstream climate change adaptation and aspects of social inclusion (gender/child centred approachwes and disability inclusion) to different community and local initiatives and disaster risk reduction and development plans. The project recognizes the importance to involve communities and local government units and therefore ensures that communities and local government units are mobilized through a clear engagement plan. Through the project communities will be empowered to advocate for themes important to the communities and to take more actively control of the processes. Through increased participation and involvement local knowledge and capacities are eventually used to inform decision making processes. . This bottom-up approach is an attempt to ensure that local needs and capacities are adequately reflected in disaster risk reduction and development plans to build resilient communities.
Towards the end of the project the practical experience gained is then used to draft minimum standards for a safe and resilient community. This is then intended to further have a positive influence on national planning processes for disaster preparedness.
For more information about Europe Aid please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm
Please also read the blog Blog of our GRC delegate Daniel Rudolf Becker, who has repeatedly reported on his diverse activities on the Philippines.