By APD writer Melo M. Acuna
MANILA, Oct. 11 (APD) – In time for the International Day for Disaster Reduction on Saturday, October 13, United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will enable partnerships on emergency response, preparedness, mitigation and building livelihood resilience.
This came about as threats from climate change as seen by 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 a statement released by FAO, it said the partnership will promote and strengthen joint efforts to restore livelihood and improve the levels of food security and nutrition in areas vulnerable to natural and human-induced hazards by supporting vulnerable communities and assisting residents to increase resilience.
Founded in 2009, the PDRF, composed of the country’s largest private corporations and leading non-government organizations, is an implementing non-government organization in the realm of disaster preparedness, relief and recovery.
The Foundation 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 in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga.
The Food and Agriculture Organization’s disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation work in the country, 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 safe country,” PDRF President Rene Meily said.
The partnership will focus on surveillance of geographical areas vulnerable to disasters, information sharing on damage and needs assessments for joint response and recovery efforts, capacity building for disaster recovery and collaborative emergency response efforts to disaster-affected communities.
The agreement hopes to support resilient livelihood and environmental sustainability in disaster recovery and rehabilitation.
“Disaster and climate change impacts, including shifts in weather patterns and extreme weather-related events disrupt economic activities and livelihoods, and ultimately threaten food security,” said José Luis Fernandez, FAO Representative in the Philippines.
He added increasing the resilience of agricultural communities to these threats and crises is the main focus of FAO’s work in the Philippines.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)