2-day livelihood summit kicks off PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 November 2014 13:10

Representatives from the different stakeholders yesterday gathered for a two-day summit intended to craft an economic resettlement and development framework plan for families displaced by the 2013 siege.

Organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-Engage in cooperation with the City Government of Zamboanga, the Livelihood Summit is a result of various studies and community planning activities in evacuation centers and transitory sites as well as round-table discussions on economic capacities and livelihood opportunities.

Mayor Beng Climaco acknowledged the efforts of all partner agencies in putting together the plan that resulted to the livelihood summit which will run from Nov. 26-27 at the Rigodon in Patio Palmeras, Pasonanca.

She specifically cited the contributions of the UNDP represented by Maurice Dewulf, USAID-Engage represented by Barry Reed and International Labor Organization represented by Simon Hills as well as other organizations under the humanitarian team including Civil Society Organizations, private groups and national and local government agencies.

The livelihood summit, she stressed is so timely, as internally displaced persons are no longer asking for food but livelihood opportunities for them to earn money. “Out of their resources and out of their strength,  together we can build back a better Zamboanga.”

In their individual messages, UNDP’s Dewulf and ILO’s Hills reaffirmed their commitment to help Zamboanga rise from the devastations wrought by the man-made calamity of 2013.

Rehabilitating Zamboanga is not just providing infrastructure, shelter and health services but also providing opportunities to earn income, Dewulf said adding that this is giving the affected families their right to employment and their right to decent living. “We will rebuild their capacities to be full members of the society”.

Among the objectives of the two-day summit are to generate inputs towards crafting the IDP economic resettlement and development framework or plan; come up with programs to improve capacity, employability and opportunity-matching for the IDPs and arrive at a mechanism for a more effective coordination of all livelihood interventions which have been achieved before, agree on the roles and contributions by various stakeholders and generate policy and strategy program recommendation for IDP livelihood enterprises.

Among the bases used in the summit were the livelihood study done by the Ateneo Research Center that provides the economic capacities and preferred livelihood activities of the IDPs done from August to October this year; the community planning activity in all evacuation centers and transitory sites conducted by USAID-Engage done in coordination with the local government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from Nov. 18-18 and Round table discussion on livelihood with the LGU, CSOs and members of the business sector and some government agencies.

The activity was spearheaded by the Livelihood Cluster under the Zamboanga Recovery and Rehabilitation Coordination Structure.

Highlight during the opening program yesterday was the turnover of IDP Livelihood Study by the USAID-Engage to the City Government through Mayor Climaco. — Sheila Covarrubias