Philippines: Church to boost emergency, disaster capabilities
In response to the threats of climate change, the Catholic Church through the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will be strengthening the capacities of its employees and volunteers in responding to emergencies and disasters.
According to National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez, at least 10 disaster-prone dioceses in the country will be part of the program called PEACH (European-Asian Partnership for Building Capacities in Humanitarian Action).
“This is very timely as we all know that the Philippines remains at the doorstep of climate-change induced disasters. Through this program, we hope to strengthen our people’s skills and competencies so we won’t be caught by surprise when disaster strikes,” Gariguez said.
The European Union – funded program was recently launched in Bangkok, Thailand with Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle as one of the guest speakers.
It was implemented in the Philippines in April this year until March of 2018.
Based on the 2014 World Risk Report, the Philippines ranked second with the greatest risk to disaster worldwide in terms of climate change vulnerability.
Aside from the Philippines, the PEACH program will also be implemented in six other countries namely Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Czechoslovakia and Romania, with Caritas Austria managing the entire program.
Among the expected results by the end of the two-year program are: strengthened disaster risk management, preparedness and response linking relief, rehabilitation and development, and volunteer management according to the European Union Aid Volunteers standards.
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