ILOILO — A tripartite memorandum of agreement that will help rebuild people’s lives almost two years after Super Typhoon Haiyan will be signed at 10:45 am in Casa Real here today, August 18.
The agreement is a convergence between Balay Mindanaw Foundation Inc., ActionAid International Philippines, represented by its Country Programme Manager Joyce Laker, and the Iloilo Provincial Government, headed by Governor Arthur Defensor Sr.
The signing paves the way for the implementation of a project that aims to restore people’s income and ensure food security in areas most vulnerable to natural disasters.
“The project will directly benefit 1,500 beneficiaries and over 19,000 indirect beneficiaries, 65% of whom are women. Priority will be given to small scale women and men farmers and fishers from the most vulnerable communities in the five municipalities,” Laker said in a statement.
These five are Concepcion, San Dionisio, Batad, Estancia and Carles, all in fifth district.
“Our aspiration for this partnership with the provincial and municipal governments, and the farmers is to promote strong cooperation and strategic friendships while building resilient communities and promoting women’s rights,” added Laker.
This project is made possible through the P23.5 million aid from Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation that Italian Ambassador to the Philippines Massimo Roscigno lobbied for.
According to a statement from Balay Mindanaw Program Director Ariel Hernandez, the project will provide agricultural equipment —130 hand tractors and 65 rice threshers — to increase the production of poor farmers.
“We will also be conducting training courses in the sectors of agriculture and fishery on the topics of food security, production and storage of products with reference to export as income-generating activity; training courses on maintenance and repair agricultural equipment; and training courses on prevention and disaster risk reduction,” he said.
On his part, Defensor believed that the project will contribute to the improvement of income and food security among small scale farmers and fishers here.
He added that this support would mean a lot them and to the government’s effort to liberate them from the ravages of poverty.
The agriculture and fishing industries in this part of the Philippines was paralyzed when Haiyan destroyed farm lands and fishing boats on November 8, 2013.
In Northern Iloilo alone, more than 10,000 marginalized fisher folk in coastal municipalities lost their homes and livelihood to the super typhoon.
Eight per cent of the livestock, crops and rice farmers in 31 municipalities also suffered from yield loss.