From 27 to 31 January, the RC/HC led a high-level CERF mid-term review mission organized by OCHA to Albay and Catanduanes. He was joined by Ambassadors of Canada and Germany, representatives of UNICEF, IOM, WFP, OCHA as well as implementing partners.
In the aftermath of Super Typhoon Goni, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) approved an allocation of $3.1 million (PhP 150 million) for the Philippines to provide life-saving assistance to 55,000 most affected people in Albay and Catanduanes. The funding allocation to UNICEF, IOM and the WFP allowed the three agencies to prioritize water supplies, sanitation services, hygiene, emergency shelter and food to address timecritical needs.
The high-level field visits in several areas (Barangays or local villages) in provinces of Albay and Catanduanes and the conduct of CERF mid-term reviews were well received by local authorities, partners, and beneficiaries. The activities were recognized as timely in highlighting initial achievements and mindful of the key critical gaps as CERF implementing agencies and local partners continue to provide lifesaving assistance to the affected population, at-risk communities, and people-inneed.
Adding to the success of the high-level field CERF mid-term review is the recurring recognition of how implementing agencies and partners have valued localization of aid and the importance of re-aligning key projects that would continue to augment, complement and supplement overall local governments’ response actions.
The first allocation of CERF intervention in Bicol was highly complementary with the overall local government’s humanitarian response and recovery actions. It was appreciated for its added value in the immediate provision of support in forms of repair or reconstruction of WASH facilities, set-up of emergency shelter and distribution of repair kits, cash assistance for emergency livelihood, psychosocial support to at-risk communities, and cross-cutting protection support through community engagement as well as accountability to affected population.
The local authorities, partners, beneficiaries in Albay and Catanduanes valued the needs-driven approach in designing response and recovery interventions. The approval of the CERF and the prioritization of lifesaving activities by UN and local partners were consistent with the results of the inter-agency joint conduct of needs and vulnerability assessment days after series of typhoon landfalls.
Both the provincial disaster risk reduction and management office of the two provinces have acknowledged the systematic, reliable, and predictable use of a common tool as well as the mobilization of a well-balanced team working with the government in conducting assessment. The joint undertaking has resulted in a more targeted, contextualized, and calibrated typhoon response plan. Provincial authorities recommend building capacity of local responders to conduct rapid needs assessment in less than 72 hours after the disaster.
The CERF in Bicol once again showcased the high standard collaborative undertakings of UN agencies (IOM, UNICEF, and WFP) with local partners such as Philippine Red Cross, Catholic Relief Services-Philippines, A Single Drop for Safe Water and Coastal Core. The overall implementation of CERF has so far sustained the spirit of bringing various agencies to work together to support affected local governments.
One good practice that has emerged was the use of a common service platform to register beneficiaries for cash assistance.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.