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Collaboration Efforts to Fight Hunger and Poverty

pic1 latestR5Convergence efforts of the government for a hunger-free Philippines are in progress. In Bicol, the Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (PAHP) Assessment & Technical Assistance Mission Team arrived to conduct site validation in selected pilot areas last December 10-12, 2013.

The PAHP Mission Team is composed of consultants and partners coming from different agencies including the Department. The team gathered together to promote interaction, integrate social protection measures in eliminating hunger, food insecurity, and reducing poverty in the region.

Identified as model areas are the municipality of Castilla in the province of Sorsogon, the whole province of Camarines Norte, and the 3rd district of Camarines Sur.

The Philippine-Brazilian hunger mitigation and rural development strategies will be implemented soon in these areas, and ascertain if the success of Brazil’s Zero Hunger program can also be adapted in the region to empower local farmers and nourish families.

Minister Milton Rondo Filho, the Coordinator-General of International Actions in the Fight Against Hunger emphasized the importance of forging partnerships and bringing various stakeholders together which is a key component in attaining the success of the program. He also pointed out that both Brazil and the Philippines share extreme similarities that could pave the way for the program’s success.

The PAHP framework seeks to align the different mandates of each agency – hunger mitigation (DSWD), poverty alleviation (DAR), and food self-sufficiency (DA) – in terms of programs and projects on the ground, with the assistance of United Nations’ WFP and FAO.

The DSWD through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and KALAHI CIDDS shall undertake tasks such as implement a Feeding Program that aims to mitigate hunger in the country and facilitate the downloading of funds directly to the Pantawid Parent Leaders Organization (PPLO). It shall also organize a PPLO that will be in charge for the purchase and overall preparation of food for the feeding program, and organize a Municipal Action Team (MAT) that will serve as a grievance committee to address conflicts and issues of the PPLO.pic2 latest R5

The Department, through the Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) program and the Agrarian Reform Communities Projects II (ARCP II), will carry-out the strengthening of the agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) that will engage in the production and supply of food items required by the PPLO for the day care centers. It shall also assist the ARBOs in accessing credit through the Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP) for the production of agricultural commodities needed for the food hub. Complementary support services will be provided to the ARBOs through rural infrastructure and necessary facilities, likewise, capacity development support and technical assistance in Agri-Enterprise development.

The Brazilian government has expressed interest in providing technical assistance to the national feeding program and the accompanying linked program of assistance to smallholder farmers and farm households. The required technical assistance will be focused on the provision of advisory services in understanding the situation in Brazil and in the design of the joint objectives of increasing the income of family farms and ensuring the social protection of the most vulnerable population.

The collaborative multi-stakeholder program will target the creation of a community food hub to serve as a facility that can store food items for the various feeding programs of the DSWD and other similar on the ground programs of other agencies like the education, health, and local government departments.

Mr. Dipayan Bhattacharyya of the World Food Program (WFP) said, “We can tap the local farmers to supply the food needed for the feeding program of school children.” For this, local smallholder farmers will be tasked to ensure a steady food supply for various feeding programs. Because community food hubs will be used, partner beneficiaries will be empowered to become economically sustainable.

FAO consultant Mr. Aries Portugal stated that their vision and aspiration is for every Filipino to have adequate access to food at all times and eradicate absolute poverty. To achieve this vision, he recommended that public resources must yield the greatest sustained impact on hunger-free goal by applying lessons of the past with respect to rural growth and stagnation of the Philippines; and appropriate roles of government, private sector, and civil society.pic3 latest R5

After Bicol, next pilot testing areas to follow for the PAHP implementation is Region 8 and certain areas of ARMM. The program hopes for a successful implementation that can be rolled out nationwide in the coming years. (Marie Trinise General)

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