Groups combine weather forecast, digital finance to save lives
Humanitarian actors in the Philippines together with the private sector launched an innovation that combines weather parametric forecasting and financial technologies in disaster response.
The announcement was made during the launch of the project called “Building Resilient Adaptive and Disaster Ready Communities” (B-READY), which will be piloted in the municipality of Salcedo in Eastern Samar.
The innovation, which is based on smart data early warning system developed by Global Parametrics, will allow local humanitarian actors to immediately and safely deliver cash to households prior to a disaster.
Accessing finance and building community-based cashless ecosystem will be strengthened by the project in partnership with PayMaya and Smart Padala, which will enable the target households to immediately access aid.
The project will particularly focus on households with women, children, persons with disability, elderly and other vulnerable groups living in poverty and high exposure to typhoon hazards.
People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network (PDRRN) Executive Director, Esteban Masagca said resilience and preparedness are the first lines of defense for communities in disaster-prone areas.
“Through pre-disaster cash transfer and informed preparedness planning, communities will have the necessary time and resources to protect themselves and minimize damages to livelihoods and infrastructures,” Masagca said.
Oxfam in the Philippines Country Director Lot Felizco said the lack of disaster preparedness often stems from absence of access to financial resources.
To address this, Felizco said there will be trainings on financial literacy as well as organizing of community savings groups for women.
“Vulnerable groups particularly women often bear the brunt of climate shocks. This is why we ensure that women are at the heart of what we do and have access to financial services that can support their families in times of disasters,” Felizco said.
“The capacity of local governments on disaster preparedness will also be strengthened through the development of community preparedness plans that integrates early warning triggers and safeguards the rights and welfare of most vulnerable groups,” Salcedo town Mayor Melchor Mergal.
“Disasters may occur anytime. Nowadays, disasters are getting more frequent and severe, making everybody, especially children, women, and others in the marginalized sectors, more
vulnerable. Through the B-READY Project, people can cope with the increased vulnerabilities and changing nature of hazards,” Plan International Philippines’ Deputy Country Director Patrick Kirwan said.
The B-Ready project, which is supported by the Dutch Relief Alliance, will target 2,000 vulnerable households in seven coastal communities in Salcedo town in Eastern Samar in the next two years.
It is jointly implemented by Oxfam Novib, Oxfam in the Philippines, People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network, PLAN International, PayMaya, Smart Padala, Climbs, Global Parametrics, and the Local Government of Salcedo Municipality.
The project builds on the lessons learned from previous humanitarian cash transfer programs during Super Typhoon Yolanda and the Marawi crisis, which pioneered affordable digital financial services for poor communities in the Philippines.
Karen Alcober | Communication and Advocacy Officer | Plan International Philippines
Mobile: +639089192655 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
April Abello-Bulanadi | Senior Officer for Media and Digital Influencing | Oxfam in the Philippines
Mobile: +639062822562 | Email: email@example.com