THE PHILIPPINE Social Welfare department and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have launched a program that will provide financial assistance to vulnerable households on the path of an incoming typhoon to help them prepare better for the disaster’s impact.
Around 22,000 households have been identified as beneficiaries of the unconditional cash transfer, which will be distributed three days before a predicted landfall of a Category 4 typhoon, UNICEF said in a statement on Monday.
Tropical cyclones under this category have winds of 118 to 184 kilometers per hour (km/h) within 12 hours.
“This is the first time that we will test the concept of anticipatory action through a shock responsive social protection model,” UNICEF Philippines Deputy Representative Behzad Noubary said in a statement.
The support for typhoon-vulnerable areas was finalized after the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and UNICEF sealed the agreement on June 14 under the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund for Anticipatory Action for predictable hazards.
“Through this intervention, the most at-risk communities will have better financial resources to bounce back after a typhoon,” Mr. Noubary said.
“Traditional disaster response, when complemented with anticipatory actions, can significantly reduce the impact of disasters and allow for a faster recovery.”
Every family will receive P1,000, which was calculated based on a child’s minimum expenditure needs for nutrition, education, water, sanitation, hygiene and protection services.
The cash assistance will be provided through the LANDBANK of the Philippines, the government’s depository bank.
UNICEF will test the provision of the anticipatory multi-purpose cash transfers using existing national government social protection systems. It aims to contribute to DSWD policy development for improved humanitarian and disaster response.
Beneficiaries are those listed under the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Catanduanes, including the municipalities of Baras, Bato, San Andres and Virac; and Northern Samar, specifically the municipalities of Catarman, Catubig, Gamay, Mondragon, and San Roque.
The provinces of Catanduanes and Northern Samar, both located on the eastern side of the country facing the Pacific Ocean, are often on the path of typhoons.
The Philippines, situated within the typhoon belt, is struck by an average of 20 typhoons per year. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan