Australian Embassy
The Philippines

MR130205 - Australia, UNDP support ‘Pablo’-hit provinces to become more disaster- and climate-resilient

Australia, UNDP support ‘Pablo’-hit provinces to become more disaster- and climate-resilient

05 February 2013

As the communities hardest hit by Typhoon Pablo are starting on their road to recovery, Australia will provide Php12 million to assist the Provincial Governments of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley to become more resilient to disasters and climate change.

Australia has partnered with the Climate Change Commission and the United Nations Development Programme through the ‘Project Climate Twin Phoenix’ to assist the provincial governments of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley to build more accurate risk profiles of their areas and better understand their vulnerabilities to natural hazards.

The project will help enhance the provinces’ existing hazard maps taking into consideration climate change projections. The revised hazard maps will also support rehabilitation efforts in the areas including development and land use planning, identification of resettlement areas, contingency planning, and early warning.

Project Climate Twin Phoenix’ was first implemented in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan following the onslaught of Typhoon Sendong in 2011. 

Australia places a very high priority on responding to natural disasters and building the resilience of communities in its aid program to the Philippines. “Disasters drive people into poverty and threaten sustainable economic development. The Australian Government understands that humanitarian assistance is not enough, and this is why Australia’s aid program in the Philippines has a strong focus on reducing disaster risk and enhancing disaster preparedness across the country,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said.

Climate Change Commission Vice-Chairperson Mary Ann Lucille Sering, Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon, and Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy signed a Memorandum of Understanding to implement the project in the two provinces worst-hit by Typhoon Pablo. Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell, UNDP Resident Representative Luiza Carvalho, UNDP Country Director Toshihiro Tanaka, and Climate Change Commission Deputy Executive Director Joyceline Goco witnessed the signing held in Davao City on 4 February.

In response to the revised flash appeal launched by the Philippine Government and the United Nations, Australia announced an additional Php126 million (A$3 million) in response to critical needs for shelter and livelihood of the affected families. This additional package of assistance brings Australia’s total contribution of support for people affected by Typhoon Pablo to Php432 million (A$10.3 million). Australia will also provide Php84 million (A$2 million) to replenish pre-positioned stocks used in the Philippine Government’s initial response.

Following ‘Pablo’, Australia immediately responded by providing Php307 million (A$7.3 million) for food, safe drinking water, health and hygiene kits, cash-for-work program, temporary shelters to thousands of families including people with disabilities, and psycho-social support to help protect and counsel traumatised children.

According to UNDP, the tragedy brought on by Typhoons Sendong (Washi) and Pablo (Bopha) in 2011 and 2012 respectively, have highlighted the increasing exposure and sensitivity to climate-related natural hazards of traditionally typhoon-free regions like Mindanao. “It is clear that a national anticipatory climate change adaptation effort is in order if the sustainable development path of the Philippines is to be secured. We thank the Government of Australia for its continuing support in fast tracking scientifically-based vulnerability/disaster risk assessments, which will serve as the basis for producing risk-based land use and development plans of the affected areas.”