DSWD sets up spaces safe for women, children in evacuation centers
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has established child- and women-friendly spaces in evacuation centers in regions affected by Typhoon “Ompong.”
“In any disaster, whether natural or man-made, women and children are most vulnerable and prone to risks; hence, women- and child-friendly spaces are established to promote their resiliency against the negative effects of emergency situations,” DSWD Secretary Virginia Orogo said in a statement on Wednesday.
The DSWD said this is to ensure the “safety and welfare of women and children in the aftermath of typhoon Ompong.”
The child-friendly spaces provide psychosocial counseling, games, educational activities, art therapy sessions, and supplementary feeding while the women-friendly spaces offer privacy for breastfeeding mothers.
According to the DSWD, the establishment of child- and women-friendly spaces is in accordance with Republic Act. No. 10821, or the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act, which seeks to “protect children, nursing mothers, and pregnant women before, during, and after disasters, calamities or any emergency situation.”
The government said the DSWD Field Office (FO) in Region II has “conducted play and art therapy for children in all evacuation centers.”
Women Welfare Desks and Senior Citizen spaces were also established to accommodate issues and concerns of the said sectors.
Meanwhile, in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), a team of psychologists that conducted immediate psychological first aid to the survivors of the landslide in Itogon, Benguet teamed-up with the Sunflower Children’s Center, one of the NGOs (non government organizations) that volunteered to provide psychosocial intervention for children.
Furthermore, the DSWD said they have coordinated with protection cluster members such as United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), World Vision and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for possible augmentation and provision of support by way of child-friendly kits, family tracing reunification kits, and women-friendly kits.
The DSWD likewise gave assurances that “children with special needs are attended to.”
Earlier, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) said that almost 600,000 individuals were affected by the typhoon.
Ompong hit the country on Saturday and is the strongest typhoon this year, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
Inquirer calls for support for the victims of typhoon Ompong
Responding to appeals for help, the Philippine Daily Inquirer is extending its relief to victims of the recent typhoon Ompong.
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