Displaced families in Zambo journey towards recovery PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 July 2015 11:51

A global humanitarian agency in the Philippines has stepped up its program by providing cash-based interventions to over 1,000 families displaced by urban conflict in 2013.

Victor Haliddan, who was among the thousands of people affected when armed men stormed the city on September 2013, shared that his family was thankful they were included in the life-saving scheme.

Haliddan is currently staying in the Buggoc transitory site along with his wife and children.

“The conflict was harsh, but surviving it inspired us to dream again. I’m really thankful help came. With ACF’s assistance we promise to improve our living conditions in any way we can. It’s very important to build back better,” he said.

Suresh Murugesu, technical coordinator for ACF International | Action Against Hunger, said to better respond to the needs of vulnerable people affected by conflict, ACF launched a customized cash transfer program in Zamboanga, with the generous support from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), Foreign Affairs Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) and European Commission Humanitarian Aid (ECHO). The cash-based intervention currently provide support to over 1035 families staying at different transitory sites for displaced families affected by the conflict.

With funds from DFATD the project covers 550 beneficiaries, ECHO with 375, and AECID with 110 beneficiaries from among households who have pregnant and lactating mother, single parent, with malnourished children, or with disabled and older persons and chronic illnesses were consciously prioritized. The program has facilitated responses covering basic needs through conditional vouchers or grants. ACF has also been conscious the program’s impacts on men and women by assessing the effect of cash transfer intervention on gender power relations.

“Cash transfer programming forms a significant part of ACF’s work in fighting under nutrition, and is an emerging response mechanism in food security and livelihoods, nutrition and health, water, sanitation and hygiene sectors,” Murugesu said. “Capacity building support was provided to ensure appropriate skills needed to sustain their livelihoods. Partner beneficiaries were encouraged to lead income generating activities to meet their basic needs,” he added.

Since the 1990’s, cash transfer programs have become an essential core element of ACF’s integrated approach in fighting hunger and malnutrition, mostly facilitating food security and livelihoods, and water and sanitation activities for and with the community and participating households, with increased coverage and scale since 2003 globally.

In its range of support to Zamboanga, ACF is closely working with the City Government of Zamboanga, the Philippines Health Insurance (PhilHealth), JABU-JABU, Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Social Welfare and Development for its educational social and economic services designed for displaced families who benefited from the cash transfer program.

The organization received the Judges Choice at the 2013 Paybefore Awards, an annual awards program which honors excellence in the worldwide prepaid and emerging payments industry. In aftermath of Typhoon Sendong, ACF and Citi came up “Citi ACF International: Action Against Hunger Prepaid Card” which followed ACF’s high standards of accountability and transparency.