Ambassador Evan P. Garcia, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva, explained that these measures include the mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction (DRR) in development planning across all Departments and levels of government.

“These enhancements are important for the government’s preparedness programs and its ability to mobilize resources efficiently and effectively for such purposes,” Ambassador Garcia said, addressing humanitarian actors coming from the government, non-governmental organization (NGOs), civil society organizations (CSOs), international humanitarian organizations and the private sector, who were attending the Humanitarian Networks and Partnership Week (HNPW) in Geneva, Switzerland last week.

Ambassador Garcia was one of the panelists of the side event “Breaking the Begging Bowl”, which aimed to generate, brainstorm and share ideas on how financing can be secured for preparedness for response and recovery.

He shared that the Philippines has started the implementation of a three-tiered national Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance (DRFI) strategy which address unique challenges at the national, sub-national and household levels.  The Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Loan with Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO) at the national level provide immediate liquidity in the aftermath of a natural disaster and which can be triggered by the declaration of a national emergency. At the sub-national level, the catastrophe risk insurance provide emergency funding to the country’s most exposed provinces, while the Residential Catastrophe Insurance Pool, at the household level, developed by the Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (PIRA), Insurance Commission (IC) and International Finance Corporation (IFC), intends to increase resilience of Filipino households against extreme natural calamities.

Ambassador Garcia likewise mentioned tapping the potential of the private sector in strengthening resilience, giving the example of the initiative of Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions (CLIS), the insurance arm of a pawnshop in the Philippines that offers a wide-range of micro-insurance solutions, advocating the importance of financial preparedness during times of calamities.

Ambassador Garcia was joined in the panel by Ms. Marcy Vigoda, Chief, Resource Mobilization Branch of OCHA and Mr. Dylan Winder, Senior Adviser Humanitarian and Protracted Crises / Counsellor of the UK Mission to the UN.

The HNPW is an annual global dialogue among governments and humanitarian actors to find ways and means to improve humanitarian action and address humanitarian challenges. The HNPW this year was held from 05 to 09 February 2018 at the CICG in Geneva, Switzerland.