The Philippines (Mindanao) Humanitarian Action Plan for 2012 was launched just days before the most devastating natural disaster of Mindanao in 2011. In the six months that followed (December 2011 to May 2012), the Humanitarian Country Team has focused on supporting the Government in responding to the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Washi (locally known as Sendong). Despite funding constraints, the clusters have managed to deliver life-saving aid in sectors of greatest humanitarian concern, such as emergency shelter, camp coordination and camp management, food, water, sanitation and hygiene, protection and health.
At midyear, local authorities are addressing remaining humanitarian needs while progressively moving to recovery and rehabilitation. The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment report to be published in early July marks this transition by outlining the Government’s planned activities for achieving resilient and sustainable recovery from Washi. In this context, the support from the humanitarian community presented in the Second Emergency Revision of the Humanitarian Action Plan for the Washi response, launched in early February, has been re-prioritized at midyear to target the most critical gaps that remain for 279,500 people who remain internally displaced and 106,300 people who have returned to their places of origin. This priority support includes camp coordination and camp management, access to essential healthcare, psychosocial support, protection of vulnerable and under-served communities in remote areas, and coordination support.
Meanwhile, the situation in central Mindanao remains one of a protracted humanitarian crisis, with many civilians exposed to repeated cycles of displacement from conflict and natural disasters. Communities experience high vulnerability and have no buffer to withstand even small disruptions. In 2012, there have been sporadic incidents of flooding and landslides causing short-term displacement of 17,000 people. The ceasefire between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has held, and there have been signs of progress in formal peace talks. Nevertheless, the GPH-MILF ceasefire is continuously tested by rido (violent clan feuding), motivated by political or land disputes. Rido incidents have direct humanitarian consequences, with over 8,800 people displaced from January to May.
Conflict between the New People’s Army and the GPH continues, causing intermittent and short-term displacements particularly in eastern Mindanao. Access and movement remains limited in western Mindanao, where authorities report humanitarian needs but the Abu Sayyaf Group engages in kidnap for ransom and poses security risks to humanitarian actors.
While needs have not decreased in the first half of 2012 for communities in central, eastern and western Mindanao, the clusters have re-prioritized their activities to what is realistically achievable during the next five to six months in light of the low level of funding received to implement programmes in the first half of the year. As a result, the Humanitarian Country Team now targets an estimated 55,300 displaced people and 158,600 people who have returned to their places of origin in these areas.They need support to re-establish livelihoods and access essential basic services. The greatest funding shortfalls are evident in Nutrition, Health, Education and Camp Coordination and Camp Management sectors.
Considering that the overall situation in Mindanao has not significantly improved, the Humanitarian Country Team will maintain the strategic objectives of: (1) protecting the people affected by conflict and natural disasters; (2) supporting the Government in responding to emergencies to reduce vulnerability of the people affected; and (3) supporting the people to return to normality, and strengthening the capacity of the local government and communities to do so. With the residual humanitarian needs in Washi-affected areas integrated with the rest of the combined target beneficiaries, there are approximately 600,000 people, including 385,800 Washi survivors, who will benefit from humanitarian action. The convergence areas for humanitarian action are the provinces of central Mindanao.
As of mid-year, the revised Humanitarian Action Plan for the Philippines seeks US$51.2 million to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs in Mindanao. This is a 23% reduction from $66 million ($29 million for Washi response, $37 million for the original Humanitarian Action Plan) based on a rigorous review of projects according to current needs, government response, level of funding, and the remaining implementation period. As of June, $28.95 million of funding had been recorded against revised requirements (57% coverage), leaving unmet requirements of $22.3 million.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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