© UNICEF Philippines/2010/Palasi
A boy participates in recreational activities at a day-care centre in Isabela Province, one of several regions affected by typhoons this year. Filipinos are subject to ongoing cycles of natural disasters and conflict.
Children and women in crisis
In the Philippines, women and children face revolving cycles of conflicts and disasters. The country typically experiences annual displacement due to political conflict or natural disaster. Typhoon Ketsana (known in the Philippines as Ondoy), hit in 2009, and its aftermath – massive displacement, ill health, poor nutrition, dirty water – plunged millions of people into extreme distress that reached well into 2010. This was followed by Typhoon Megi in October 2010. Such natural disasters, along with protracted armed conflict and exposure to violence, hinder attempts to alleviate the effects of poverty, unsafe water and inadequate sanitation facilities, limited health-service delivery and poorly functioning governance.
Planned action for 2011: Meeting urgent needs and building resilience
In 2011, UNICEF will work with the Government of the Philippines, UN agencies and NGO partners to respond to the needs of more than 300,000 women and children in conflict- and disaster-affected areas.
- To provide appropriate treatment for children closer to their homes, the community-based management of acute malnutrition programme will be expanded to three more provinces in the Central Mindanao region – screening a total of 37,500 children and treating those with severe acute malnutrition.
- Disease outbreaks often proliferate in disaster areas, where there are limited health and sanitation services. To keep children healthy and stop such outbreaks in their tracks, the Vulnerability Assessment Committee has estimated needs for a population of 150,000 in emergency-affected areas. The essential commodities that will be procured and pre-positioned include: 75 basic health kits, 105,000 micronutrient supplements, 150,000 doses of measles vaccines and bundled devices or immunization supplies, and 95,000 doses of deworming drugs. In addition, access to safe water and sanitation facilities for children in 52 schools will be ensured.
- Carrying on with schooling during emergencies provides much-needed stability for children. Replacement of lost or damaged school supplies and learning materials (school packs, teacher packs, sets of library books, etc.) will benefit 100,000 children.
- Emergencies create new and exacerbate existing child protection issues. Child protection networks will be organized in more than 600 affected and at-risk communities, providing psychosocial support to 136,000 children through the establishment of child-friendly spaces in selected locations.
- To help young people protect themselves from HIV, a directory of services, informative games and educational materials related to HIV and AIDS will be provided
Humanitarian funding at work: Highlights from 2010
UNICEF estimated that US$17,890,000 was needed for UNICEF’s humanitarian activities in the Philippines, according the mid-2010 revised request. As of October 2010, a total of US$6,067,089 was received, or 34 per cent of the goal. Quick and efficient disaster management enabled UNICEF to achieve key results: One million people benefited from emergency health supplies, and nearly 20,000 children (6 months to 15 years old) received a dose of measles vaccine through organized mobile health teams in evacuation centres. More than 16,000 children were screened through the community-based management of acute malnutrition programme and approximately 500 of these children were treated for severe acute malnutrition. Through cooperation with partners, WASH services were rapidly delivered to at least 40,000 families. An estimated 27,000 preschool-aged children, 3–5 years old, and more than 50,000 schoolchildren benefited from safe learning environments and child-friendly spaces in the disaster- and conflict-affected areas.
Funding requirements for 2011
UNICEF is requesting US$14,022,000 for its humanitarian activities in the Philippines to cover the conflict-affected areas in Mindanao and potential natural disasters – earthquakes, floods, typhoons – that can occur anywhere in the country, as well as the after-effects of recent typhoons in the north.