Metro Manila – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Philippines marked an important milestone in their partnership for an initiative to strengthen the disaster and climate resilience of targeted local governments in the Philippines over the next six years.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año and UNDP Philippines Officer-in-Charge Edwine Carrié signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Strengthening Institutions and Empowering Localities Against Disasters and Climate Change (SHIELD) Programme, designed to accelerate resilience-building efforts at the local level by collaborating with multiple stakeholders to unlock financing and implement risk-informed and inclusive resilience actions.
The programme is being implemented in partnership with DILG, and with UNDP Philippines and the consortium partners comprised of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society, National Resilience Council, Philippine Business for Social Progress, and UN-Habitat.
Through SHIELD, the Australian Government has invested AUD18 million to support the Government of the Philippines to build institutional and community resilience to natural hazards and climate change by enabling local governments to pursue and invest in resilient development.
Secretary Año, in his message, lauded the initiative and noted that “There are LGUs experiencing difficulties in accessing funds due to program viability and project management readiness. SHIELD seeks to address these by providing other disaster financing options for our LGUs, enabling them to implement more risk-informed measures.”
As lead government partner, DILG will provide oversight and strategic direction to facilitate achievement of the SHIELD Programme outcomes.
The initiative will also work with Philippine scientific agencies to produce tailored and accessible information to aid disaster risk reduction and resilience building.
While the Philippines has made significant progress in the areas of disaster risk reduction and climate action, more work remains to strengthen resilience. The cost of disasters to the country is significantly high, with local governments and communities bearing the brunt.
“The SHIELD Programme recognizes the vital role of local governments not just in responding to crisis, but also in driving transformative resilience actions that would ultimately benefit the communities. SHIELD aims to strengthen capacities at the LGU and community-level, as they are usually the first responders in times of crises,” said Mr. Carrié of UNDP Philippines during the MOU signing.
Located along the typhoon belt, the Philippines experience an average of 20 typhoons every year. Last December, Typhoon Odette struck the country, making 9 landfalls in 7 provinces and affecting more than 8 million people. According to national records, the agriculture sector incurred an estimated damage worth almost PhP 16 billion, while the damage to infrastructure reached over PhP 17 billion.
The six-year programme will be implemented in 11 of the country’s most vulnerable provinces to disaster and climate change impacts. Among the target areas are Albay, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Cagayan, Cebu, Davao Oriental, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Pampanga, Pangasinan, and Quezon. The programme will also cover Metro Manila, given its vulnerability to earthquakes and its economic significance, along with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), with the increasing disaster and climate vulnerability of conflict-affected areas.
In addition to DILG, the Office of Civil Defense and the Department of Science and Technology will also be co-leading SHIELD Programme components, while the Ministry of Interior and Local Government of BARMM will serve as the lead focal for the Bangsamoro region. [E]
For media queries, please contact:
Charlene Erica Balaan, Communications Analyst
United Nations Development Programme in the Philippines