Disaster response centers to be built
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has linked up with the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) to boost the country’s disaster preparedness and response capabilities.
In particular, the agency will improve its National Resource Operation Center in Pasay City and its regional warehouses by prepositioning more relief items and operational support equipment.
The DSWD and the WFP will also develop and carry out government training programs focused on disaster response, logistics and supply chain management.
Praveen Agrawal, WFP Philippines representative and country director, pointed out that the country was facing more than 20 typhoons a year, with Typhoon “Ruby” (international name: Hagupit) as the most recent to hit the Philippines.
“These natural calamities threaten food security in the country, which is why the WFP remains strongly committed to work with the government in its disaster-preparedness and response initiatives,” he said.
The WFP also plans to build disaster response centers in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao with the DSWD and the Office of the Civil Defense. It will fund two buildings for each disaster response center, which will be used for packing and storing family food packs, and for housing search and rescue equipment.
Agrawal said the WFP would initially manage the disaster response centers, after which it will be turned over to the government after two years.
“Strengthening the DSWD’s response hubs is a step toward preparedness so we can better reach affected people with food assistance. We look forward to this strategic partnership,” he said.
Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman welcomed the partnership with WFP, saying they have been longtime partners in assisting survivors of disasters.
“This partnership strengthens our existing logistic and relief delivery capacities, and will surely improve our immediate response to any disaster,” she said.
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