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UNICEF supports unconditional cash grants to vulnerable families and children hard hit by Yolanda

MANILA, 4 February 2014 – The United Nations Children's Fund and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today that will give cash grants amounting to USD6 million to vulnerable households affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

An emergency measure to provide quick relief to affected children and their families, the cash grant is part of UNICEF's long-term strategy to help the government's social protection programme. UNICEF's analysis of the situation of children in the Philippines reveals that children suffer multiple deprivations arising from three major causes: urbanization, armed conflict and natural disasters. By providing this emergency intervention after a disaster, vulnerable households are able to rebuild their lives quicker, while the government develops capacities and adjusts its current cash transfer programme to include newly affected households.

"By making this cash grant available to the most disadvantaged, we intend the families to feel empowered and take charge of their own healing and recovery. Mothers with young children will be able to provide for their nutritional needs, and families who are hosting separated children are provided with an added means to support them," said Angela Kearney, Representative a.i., UNICEF Philippines.

Emergency cash transfers have proven effective in helping families recover immediately after a disaster, as evidenced by the experience during in Zambia and Somalia. Experience has shown that in any emergency, households spontaneously use the money received to cover their basic needs.

Around 10,000 families from Tacloban City and municipalities along the upland areas will be selected. Eligibility criteria will include the most vulnerable sectors including Pregnant and Lactating Women (PLWs), children suffering from moderate/severe acute malnutrition (MAM/SAM) or at risk of malnutrition, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), persons with chronic illness, elderly persons, single female-headed households, child-headed households and households hosting separated children. Each target beneficiary-household will receive USD100 or around PHP4,300 every month for a period of six months.

"Many families were affected by the recent calamities and while we are still on our long way to recovery, we make sure that the most disadvantaged are not left out. Social protection includes everyone and this partnership with UNICEF will ensure that this recovery covers them," said DSWD Secretary Corazon "Dinky" Soliman.

The cash transfer will be implemented by international NGO Action Contre la Faim (ACF) which has demonstrated expertise on cash distribution, and will involve community consultations, coordination with humanitarian organizations, monitoring and post-survey. Those enrolled in this program will be included in the Family Development Sessions (FDS) and will be evaluated for possible inclusion in the list of regular recipients of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Programme (4Ps) of DSWD.



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