1. Intervention Program in Guiuan, Eastern Samar
A few days after distributing 4, 730 food packs in Tacloban City, a city badly devastated by the supertyphoon, Good Neighbors (GN) moved to Guiuan, conducted a rapid needs assessment in the municipality, and planned out the form of intervention to bring in. The immediate need of the survivors for food and drinking water was addressed first. GN allotted 3,025 food packs for the families in six barangays of Guiuan, which were distributed on November 24–26, 2013. Each food pack contains 5 kilograms of rice, 6 liters of drinking water, 1 pack of biscuits, 2 canned goods, and 1 liter of fresh milk. These barangays were identified by the Municipal Social Welfare and Development office as highly affected areas.
“Good Neighbors’ main focus is the municipality of Guiuan, and its intervention falls under three of the eleven clusters mentioned—education cluster, WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) cluster, and emergency shelter cluster”
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) has conducted regular cluster coordination meetings in Eastern Samar, its base situated in Guiuan. The coordination meetings involved different international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) that are doing relief operations in the area, some national government agencies, and the local government. The purpose of such meetings was to ensure that there is no duplication of assistance provided by INGOs in the affected areas. The meetings also tried to achieve proper coordination among those organizations involved.
Through the cluster system approach of the United Nations, the initiatives of UN and non-UN organizations were efficiently distributed in the different clusters—food security; nutrition; health; education; early recovery; water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); logistics; emergency shelter; camp coordination and management (CCM); emergency telecommunication (ETC); and protection. UN OCHA is targeting the whole province of Eastern Samar, which is composed of 22 municipalities and 1 city, but is giving priority to nine badly hit municipalities. These municipalities are Balangiga, Giporlos, Guiuan, Hernani, Lawaan, Mercedes, Quinapondan, Salcedo, and General MacArthur. GN’s main focus is the municipality of Guiuan, and its intervention falls under three of the eleven clusters mentioned—education cluster, WASH cluster, and emergency shelter cluster.
On December 9–10, 2013, GN, in coordination with the Department of Health, determined which barangays in Guiuan have the biggest need for hygiene kits. The hygiene kits were distributed to 1,998 families in six identified barangays. Each kit includes 2 tubes of toothpaste (150 mL), 6 toothbrushes, 4 bars of laundry soap (380 g), 1 pair of nail clippers, 3 packs of sanitary pads (8 pads/pack), 12 bars of bath soap (135 g), 2 blankets, a pail with cover (16 L), and a dipper. From December 16 to 18, mosquito nets were distributed to 2,814 households in five barangays of Guiuan as part of the organization’s intervention in the health cluster.
As communities undergo the process of rehabilitation, UNICEF, GN, and the Department of Education–Eastern Samar Division took the initiative of bringing both the teachers and the students back to learning mode. The School-Based Child-Friendly Space project of GN aims to give priority to children’s well-being and the fulfilment of their rights even in disasters—that is, the rights to education and protection. In consultation with the Department of Education–Eastern Samar Division office, seventeen schools were identified as beneficiaries of the school tents, teacher’s tables and chairs, armchairs, movable whiteboards, and school supplies. The school project also includes the construction of six classrooms, interagency psychosocial activities, a 100-day feeding program, and WASH promotion. The implementation of these subprojects will be in the first quarter of 2014. (end)