Canada approves grants to NGOs with Yolanda programs


The Canadian government has awarded P800 to P1-million worth of funds to seven nongovernment organizations accross the Philippines to respond to the relief and rehabilitation efforts for communities affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan).

The rehabilitation project, the Canadian Embassy in Manila said, will run from three to four months wherein these seven selected NGOs must deliver the assigned tasked funded by Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI).

“For this year, projects that directly align with Canada’s response to relief and rehabilitation for communities affected by Typhoon Yolanda were strongly considered,” Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Neil Reeder said.

Akap sa Bata ng mga Guro-Kalinga Philippines will provide psycho-social counselling, intervention sessions and supplemental feeding to 1,250 children in five barangays in Roxas City, which has been affected by the typhoon.

The project will also distribute 1,250 food packs and relief goods to the families of these children.

It also targets the creation of children’s committees where children’s welfare and rights issues will be addressed in the communities.

Capiz NGO/PO Network for Enterprise Development, (CapizNED), Inc., according to the Canadian Embassy, established the proposed project “Pagbuliganay Sa Pagtindog Liwa’t (Together, We Rise),” which will give 200 fisherfolk families in the Yolanda-affected Barangay IX, Roxas City food and roofing repair materials such as galvanized iron and other construction supplies.

Actual repair of the houses will be done by the beneficiary-families with the assistance of the organization’s scholars who are former out-of-school youth.

Process Panay Inc., on the other hand, will provide construction materials to rebuild or repair at least 100 totally damaged houses of fisherfolk and farmer households in nine barangays in the municipalities of Tibiao and Culasi in Antique.

The project will also distribute 50 sets of planting materials to rehabilitate a total of 20 hectares of upland and lowland farms.

Another NGO is the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment Inc., which will reduce hunger in 400 families in Homonhon Island, Guiuan, Eastern Samar province by assisting them in livelihood and community recovery following Typhoon Yolanda.

Motorized boats will be constructed, and vegetable and rice seeds will be distributed.

Balay Rehabilitation Center will contribute in providing life-saving assistance to six communities in Ormoc City and Merida, Leyte devastated by Typhoon Yolanda, including 3,000 to 4,000 children in distress and 1,500 households.

It will provide food and shelter assistance, play and art therapy for children, stress debriefing, and educational and nutritional support.

EngendeRights will train elementary and high school public school teachers and guidance counsellors in identifying gender-based violence and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) committed against children, adolescents, young women and young LGBTs and how to properly address such incidents.

Alternative Law Groups’ project will enhance the relationship between local communities, especially the marginalized sectors, and their newly-elected local officials by improving their capacity to develop and implement innovative solutions to problems in the areas of human rights protection, resources management, gender equality, and environmental protection using available local processes and institutions.

“We are very pleased to be able to work with the successful applicants to enhance ongoing efforts in rebuilding communities in many parts of the country,” Reeder said.

When asked for the criteria in selecting legitimate NGOs, Canadian Embassy staff Carlo Figueroa said that they look on the track records and the backgrounds of those people behind the organizations.

“We make our own due diligence. Considering that these are short-term relief and rehabilitation projects, we must ensure that the organizations are capable of delivering results immediately,” he said.

In monitoring if the funds given are diligently and properly used, Figueroa said that they required each NGO to submit report with supporting documents like photos or testimonials.

“In addition, embassy personnel that may include the ambassador, make it  a point to visit the project sites at least once during the project timeline,” he added.

The Canadian Embassy said that there will be a second batch of approved projects that will be announced next week.

Canada Fund is a competitive small grants program that provides direct funding assistance to community groups, non-government organizations, people’s organizations and in exceptional cases, international NGOs, and government institutions for small development projects addressing governance, economic, and other social development issues.

These grants are in addition to the early disaster relief contribution already provided by the Canadian government including a Cad$20-million humanitarian assistance package and the deployment of more than 300 personnel of the Canadian Forces’ Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) in Panay Island. BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON







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