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WFP And UN-Habitat Help Four Cities Prepare For Effects Of Climate Change

MANILA – As thousands of Filipinos in the southern region of the country struggle to recover from the destruction caused by the country’s latest extreme weather event, Typhoon Bopha, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is partnering with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) to support the Philippine government’s initiatives in building resilience to climate change.

Under the 12-month partnership “Joint WFP/UN-Habitat Initiative on Philippine Cities and Climate Change Adaptation,” the cities of Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and Iloilo – all of which have been in the path of Typhoon Bopha – will be assessed for ecological, physical, and socio-economic risks due to climate change. Local government personnel will receive training in planning and implementing activities that will help their communities adapt to the negative effects of a changing climate.

“This partnership is very valuable to us because our city is highly vulnerable to flooding. It sits at the mouth of the Agusan River, and every time the rainy season comes, floodwaters coming from as far as the Compostela Valley pour out of the river and pose a high risk to the lives of our people who live in the riverside barangays,” says Ferdinand Amante Jr., Mayor of Butuan City.

The four cities were selected based on various criteria, including exposure to natural and climate-related hazards, such as flood, drought, and rising sea levels in coastal areas. Local government commitment to building their capacities to implement adaptation measures were also considered.

“Empowering local governments and communities to adapt to climate change is key to this joint initiative. We hope that this assistance will eventually allow for the inclusion of appropriate climate change adaptation actions in each city’s local development plan,” says WFP Philippines Country Director and Representative Stephen Anderson.

WFP will oversee the implementation of the joint initiative and lead the high-impact   community adaptation projects with the local government units in each of the four cities. UN-Habitat will provide technical expertise in climate vulnerability and adaptation assessments, training for local government personnel, and climate change adaptation planning.

“UN-Habitat, together with WFP, is committed to support cities in strengthening their own capacities in participatory risk and vulnerability assessment as the basis for urban planning.  Given the increasing urbanization of poverty, cities are becoming the arena where the fight for the achievement of development goals will be won or lost,” explains UN-Habitat Philippines Country Programme Manager Christopher Rollo.
 
The WFP/UN-Habitat partnership is a component of the larger WFP Disaster Preparedness and Response Programme which is generously supported by USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.
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For more information please contact (email address: charlene.tordesillas@wfp.org):

Charlene Tordesillas, WFP/Philippines, Tel. +63 2 7502561, Mob. +63917 8809368