The ever-increasing threats from climate change, evidenced by the increasing severity and frequency of disasters, require concerted efforts to build and strengthen resilience of communities in countries most vulnerable and at-risk from disasters, like the Philippines.
In response to this challenge, and to mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction on 13 October, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) have signed today a Memorandum of Understanding that will enable collaborations on emergency response, preparedness, mitigation and building livelihood resilience.
The partnership will promote and strengthen joint actions to restore livelihoods and improve the levels of food security and nutrition in areas vulnerable to natural and human-induced hazards, in particular by supporting vulnerable communities and providing assistance to increase resilience.
PDRF, founded in 2009 by some of the country’s largest private corporations and leading non-government organisations (NGOs), is an implementing NGO in the disaster risk management sector promoting disaster preparedness, relief, and recovery. PDRF works with field experts and reputable humanitarian institutions to organize and coordinate private sector solutions to disaster management. It has also established the world’s first private sector-led national emergency operations center in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga.
FAO’s disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation work in the country, on the other hand, focuses on building the resilience of vulnerable farming and fishing communities to both natural and human-induced disasters, and enhancing the Government’s capacity to address threats and respond to crises.
“FAO has led the way globally toward food self-sufficiency, nutrition and resilience and PDRF is proud to partner with it in making the Philippines a healthier and safer country,” said Rene Meily, PDRF President.
The partnership will allow joint activities on: a) surveillance of geographical areas vulnerable to disasters, b) information sharing on damage and needs assessments for joint response and recovery efforts, c) capacity building for disaster recovery, d) collaborative emergency response efforts to disaster-affected communities, and e) supporting resilient livelihoods and environmental sustainability in disaster recovery and rehabilitation.
“Disasters and climate change impacts, including shifts in weather patterns and extreme weather-related events disrupt economic activities and livelihoods, and ultimately threaten food security. Increasing the resilience of agricultural communities to these threats and crises is at the heart of FAO’s work in the Philippines. FAO therefore welcomes the opportunity to expand our partnership in this area with the private sector through the PDRF,” said José Luis Fernandez, FAO Representative in the Philippines.