The Philippines (Mindanao) Humanitarian Action Plan (HAP) has been the main tool for humanitarian strategic planning and programming in the Philippines since 2010. As a planning mechanism, the HAP has fostered closer cooperation between the government and humanitarian partners through the cluster system and improved the strategic approach to the provision of humanitarian assistance to vulnerable conflict and natural disaster affected communities in Mindanao.
In July 2012, the acting United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator (RC)/ Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) and the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) endorsed the development of a multi-year strategy that is based on strong situation analysis and multi-sectoral needs assessment. The RC/HC a.i. recommended building on this analysis to inform the development of HAP 2013. Towards this, the Assessment Working Group (AWG) was formed to study existing assessment data and recommend a framework of needs analysis for Mindanao. The AWG selected target areas throughout Mindanao for needs assessment to inform the HAP and the Mindanao Humanitarian Team (MHT) together with government line ministries subsequently conducted the assessments in August and September. The results of the assessment informed the HAP 2013 workshop discussions.
The HAP 2013 workshop was held on 18 September 2012 in Cotabato City under the leadership of Stephen Anderson, acting HC, supported by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The objective of the workshop was to develop the overall strategy for the humanitarian operation in Mindanao in 2013, to reinforce the efforts of the government as the primary responder in situations of conflict and natural disasters which have significant consequences on civilians. Over 110 representatives from government line agencies, local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), UN agencies, and other humanitarian partners from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), regions X, XI, XII, and Manila took part at an important stage of the 2013 humanitarian programme cycle (see Annex 1 for a list of participants).
The HC a.i. welcomed government and humanitarian partners for the third year of jointly planning and agreeing on a common strategy and priority for humanitarian action. He emphasized the collective ownership of the HAP process and the participation of all sectors of the humanitarian community will ensure that programmes will be complementary and their impacts will be more felt by the assisted communities. The HC a.i expressed confidence that planned responses are evidence-based and thanked members of the MHT who participated in the needs assessments leading to the workshop. He also noted that, recognizing the complexity of the operating environment in Mindanao, a multi-year strategy for durable solutions is being developed in conjunction with the one-year HAP process in order to address the underlying causes and vulnerabilities of affected communities.
BGen. Loreto Rirao, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) ARMM, on behalf of Undersecretary Benito Ramos, OCD Administrator and Executive Director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), ARMM Executive Secretary Anwar Malang, on behalf of Acting Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman, and Nariman Ambolodto, Assistant Secretary for Muslim Affairs and Special Concerns, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) expressed their support for the HAP 2013 process. Executive Secretary Malang thanked the humanitarian community for their support in disaster preparedness in ARMM and for the immediate assistance provided to those affected by recent outbreaks of armed clashes between the military and non-state armed groups. The workshop began with a presentation of the humanitarian programme cycle, a review of achievements and challenges of the HAP 2012, and an overview of the current situational context. This was followed by a scenario building exercise on the most likely scenario for 2013 and the preliminary results of the Mindanao-wide joint needs assessment were presented. The Government briefed on the Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan. The HAP 2012 overall strategic objectives were presented to the participants for discussion and revision for 2013. Clusters then drafted their preliminary objectives (see Annex 2 for the workshop programme).
In the closing remarks, David Carden, OCHA Philippines Head of Office, thanked the participants for their active participation and input in the workshop. He emphasized that ultimately the goal is to ensure that those who are in need receive what they require and deserve; agency mandates set aside, the efforts of all humanitarian partners are dedicated towards this common aim.
This report summarizes the key outputs and main discussion points of the workshop. Follow-up actions are suggested for the HC and the HCT for issues that remained inconclusive at the workshop.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.