As the post-disaster humanitarian response in The Philippines transitions into the early recovery phase, there is a need for forward-looking and sustainable livelihood support projects. In response to this need, IEDA Relief Philippines works with OxFam Great Britain (GB) to help address the issue of livelihoods for relocated Internally Dispaced Persons (IDPs) in North Tacloban.
After Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on November 8th, 2013, people in coastal areas identified within the “no dwelling” danger zones were resettled in various transitional and permanent shelters. According to the Tacloban Recovery and Redevelopment Plan, of the 28,734 damaged households in Tacloban 90% were along the coast, and within the declared danger zones.
While the issue of shelter was addressed by relocating residents, several other issues cropped up as a result of resettlement. It has been almost two years since Typhoon Haiyan and the internally displaced, still face challenges such as a lack of potable water, electricity lines and sustainable livelihoods opportunities within resettlement sites.
The northern barangays (administrative divisions) of Tacloban are extremely dependent on agriculture and fishing, due to the area’s vast agricultural lands and long shoreline, and the area is often referred to as the “food basket” of Tacloban City. To take advantage of these resources and to help address livelihood concerns, IEDA Relief and Oxfam GB forged an alliance to implement the Community-Led Economic Recovery Project (Project CORE). The project aims to provide a participatory, fully integrated and self-sustaining approach through community-based livelihoods associations which will not only provide a source of income to IDPs that used to live in coastal areas, but also create strong local economic structures.
Project CORE will target 120 IDPs currently transitioning from temporary to permanent shelters as direct beneficiaries, meaning that they will receive start-up packages and training which will allow them to eventually be employed by the newly established businesses. The project will also help 240 indirect beneficiaries that act as members and managers of the associations. Indirect beneficiaries may be awarded a share in business dividends but do not carry out business activities themselves. In addition, the project will benefit each community as a whole by encouraging the formation of new businesses to meet local consumer needs and providing new jobs that can stimulate the local economy. One association will be composed of at least 45 persons, 50% of whom are women.
Barangays located within the danger zones have been identified and prioritized by the City Government of Tacloban for relocation as a disaster risk reduction measure. Project CORE will also cover priority barangays identified by OXFAM GB and provide them with stable livelihoods support as they transition towards their permanent relocation in the Tacloban resettlement sites. IEDA Relief is responsible for forming livelihoods associations in five barangay sites in the north, as well as in the three coastal barangays where would-be IDPs have been identified. The idea is for each association to establish a business that will help to address gaps in basic commodities in their communities. Moreover, each barangay livelihoods activity should complement others in the Tacloban North.
By the end of Project CORE, IEDA Relief expects that these local enterprises will thrive, offering diverse livelihoods opportunities and making key goods and services available to households in the target communities. As a result, IDPs will be more empowered and in a few years, Northern Tacloban will become economically resilient.
Since July of 2015, IEDA Relief has worked in close coordination with Oxfam GB and other stakeholders such as the Tacloban City Government, City Housing, and City Livelihood Offices as well as other partner-NGOs such as Habitat for Humanity, Operation Compassion, and Urban Poor Associates to implement Project CORE. Following a general orientation and the registration of target IDP beneficiaries from different Transitional Resettlement Sites (TRS) and Permanent Resettlement Sites (PRS), IEDA Relief began implementing the training components of Project CORE.
From September 14th to 17th, 2015, the IEDA Relief team conducted Social Preparation (Soc. Prep) trainings, which focus on the development of entrepreneurial and social skills useful in business and organizational management. Integrated into the trainings are the fundamentals of bookkeeping, financial literacy, values formation and gender sensitivity training. IEDA Relief also provided support in the barangay site associations by overseeing association officer elections, helping with the formation of association constitutions and bylaws, and facilitating the associations’ completion of requirements for registration at the Department of Labor and Employment.
Project beneficiaries are scheduled to receive additional training and support through November 2015.
To read more about IEDA Relief and Oxfam GB’s efforts to provide livelihoods support in The Philippines you can download the full report in English.