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Showcasing Disaster Risk Financing — British Embassy Reps Visit Start DRF Area in Taft, Eastern Samar

Community members together with barangay local government officials, Taft Municipal Mayor Gina Alzate-Ty and Vice Mayor Maria Concepcion Adalim-Hilario, Political Counsellor Iain Cox of the British Embassy Manila and representatives of LCDE, CARE Philippines, and ACCORD in a group photo with the BBS model house after conducting an FGD. (Photo: L.Fuentes/CARE Philippines)

by Leigh Ginette Fuentes

In the Philippines, it was identified that hydrometeorological hazards are the most underfunded disaster events that the country faces, based on a study by the UP Resilience Institute. Consequently, in a survey conducted by Start Network among its members, it was identified that the major hazard in the country was tropical cyclones followed thirdly by flooding. The country has seen the onslaught of several strong, destructive typhoons in recent years, including Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in 2013 and Typhoon Goni (Rolly) in 2020. Due to the effects of climate change, hazards such as these could intensify and become more frequent, posing a threat to local populations, their lives, property, and livelihoods.

Disaster Risk Financing (DRF) is a program of Start Network that allows members to create their own DRF Systems – a structured way to model and plan for risks. The Start Philippines Disaster Risk Finance system is majorly governed and implemented by Start Network members in-country, together with local NGO partners and scientific experts. The locally led consortium acknowledges the needs of local communities and comes up with data-driven actions to mitigate the impact of disasters and prevent the loss of lives and properties.

Last February 5, Political Counsellor Iain Cox and other key representatives of the British Embassy Manila visited Barangay Nato in Taft, Eastern Samar to learn more about Start DRF and the impact the programming implemented by the Eastern Samar DRF consortium, composed of CARE Philippines, the Leyte Center for Development, Inc. (LCDE), and Assistance and Cooperation for Community Resilience and Development, Inc. (ACCORD, Inc.) on community members, particularly of those vulnerable to the adverse effects of typhoons. These also included members of the barangay local government units from Can-Avid, Eastern Samar which is also a programmatic area.

An introduction to the Alternative Temporary Shelter (ATS) System was followed by an orientation on Build Back Safer (BBS) practices through visual aids and a model house, the same used in an orientation earlier that day with community members from Taft and Can-Avid. Community members and implementing organizations then engaged in a focus group discussion to learn more and delve into the experiences of community members in relation to typhoons, the recent continuous flooding, and the gaps they still see in the community’s ability to prepare for and respond to different disasters.

Among the participants was Lita Fe, 42, who is also member of the Women Collective in Barangay Nato, Taft, Eastern Samar. “Because of the skills and learnings from the capacity building sessions, we are now equipped to do pre-emptive evacuations during emergencies,” shared Lita Fe during a focus group discussion with Barangay representatives, members of the Shelter Roving Team, and other members of the Women’s Collective.

“Women have an important role during emergencies,” she adds, “and the skills we gained allow us to act even before a calamity hits the community.”

To learn more about the Start Network Disaster Risk Financing, please visit https://startnetwork.org/funds/disaster-risk-financing-support .

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