Caritas PH boosts dioceses’ skills for disaster

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Caritas Philippines holds an orientation with some diocesan social action centers on its climate change adaptation program, June 2015. (Nassa photo)

MANILA, Oct. 11, 2016— As humanitarian crises demand better coping capacity, Caritas Philippines is working to improve the skills of the Philippine dioceses in the area of emergency and disaster risk management.

The church agency said the program is a crucial part of its response to typhoon Yolanda by training dioceses to respond to future disasters and by improving their skills in humanitarian aid.

Dubbed Partnership for Building Capacities in Humanitarian Action (PEACH), the program was launched recently with the support of the European Union (EU).

It will be implemented in at least 11 dioceses nationwide as EU helps to empower the local churches to respond to its communities when disaster strikes.

These areas include the Archdiocese of Caceres and the dioceses of Calapan, Gumaca, San Carlos, Sorsogon, Cabanatuan, Iba, Bayombong, Tagbilaran, San Jose, and Puerto Princesa.

Caritas said it will boost the dioceses’ capacity in the field of volunteer management, and integrate the Church’s lessons and best practices in responding to disasters with the EU’s humanitarian aid principles.

“This is a welcome development in the humanitarian work we are doing together with the social action network of the different dioceses all over the Philippines,” said Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of Caritas Philippines.

“Through this program, we hope that we can truly improve our church workers and volunteers’ skill in emergency response, especially as the Philippines is at the doorstep of disasters,” he said.

Gariguez said the program is in line with the Church’s national road map for sustainability and resiliency, which includes developing contingency plans and communication protocols.

The national roadmap was adopted during the 38th National Social Action General Assembly (NASAGA) held in Palo, Leyte last month.

Caritas Philippines, also known as the National Secretariat for Social Action (Nassa), will be implementing the PEACH program until March 2018.

The program is also in partnership with Caritas Austria, Caritas Romania, Caritas Czechoslovakia, and the regional office of Caritas Asia.

The church agency is also implementing a climate change adaptation program in eight provinces by helping farmers and fishermen adapt to changing environmental conditions for food security and environmental preservation. (CBCPNews) 

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