World Food Programme, DSWD launch Visayas disaster response center
This is a press release from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
CEBU, Philippines – The Philippine government, through the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), inaugurated the Visayas Disaster Response Center in Mandaue City, Cebu Province, on April 21, 2016.
This undertaking is done in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
The Visayas disaster response center is a continuation of the strategic partnership between DSWD and WFP to enhance emergency response capacity in the Philippines. It is funded by the governments of Australia and the United Kingdom.
Inside the 5,000-square meter center is a custom-built mechanized system designed to rapidly produce 50,000 family food packs in a day, which is enough to feed 250,000 people for three days.
Combined with the mechanized production system at the National Resource Operations Center in Pasay City, this will double family food pack production capacity to feed 500,000 people for three days. (READ: Australia gives P104-million to DSWD for disaster preparedness)
The Visayas center features a pallet racking system for improved storage of food packs and warehousing of food and non-food commodities, guaranteeing quality stockpiles of family food packs and other humanitarian assistance ready for distribution.
Spaces for training sessions and offices for the DSWD and the WFP, as well as other government officials, are also available.
Yolanda badly hit the Visayas region and challenged the government in responding to large-scale humanitarian relief requirements.
“Typhoon Haiyan showed that disasters can strike anywhere in the Philippines,” said Praveen Agrawal, WFP Philippines’ Representative and Country Director.
“The inauguration of the Visayas disaster response center is a significant step towards decentralizing the Philippine government’s emergency response. With help from our donors, WFP will continue to support the Philippines by establishing respective DRCs in Luzon and Mindanao," he added.
WFP will also build a similar center in Clark to cater to the Luzon region, as well as another center in General Santos City for Mindanao.
“These DRCs bring the humanitarian response of government closest to the people needing support. As in the case of El Nino, these DRCs can make food packages more accessible to disaster-affected areas in all parts of the country,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said.
These centers are all accessible by land, sea, and air to ensure the immediate response of the government wherever a disaster strikes in the country. WFP is also providing technical training to key government representatives on disaster response logistics and supply chain management.
The Philippines is considered as one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world exacerbated by climate change, with various natural disasters affecting the country such as typhoons, droughts, earthquakes, and volcanic activities. - Rappler.com