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Mobile solutions benefit families hit by Typhoon Bopha

Source: World Vision - USA - Mon, 18 Mar 2013 18:00 GMT
Author: Aaron Aspi, World Vision
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  • World Vision partners with World Food Program to deliver aid to 78,000
  • Last Mile Mobile Solutions fast track delivery of aid in Bopha recovery areas promoting efficiency, effectiveness and accountability

Davao City, PHILIPPINES (18 March 2013) -- Now it only takes an ID scan to claim relief supplies for thousands of World Vision-assisted families in Bopha-hit areas under its Food Assistance Pilot Project (FAPP) in partnership with World Food Program.

Last Mile Mobile Solutions (LMMS) is changing aid delivery in typhoon-stricken areas in Mindanao, Southern Philippines. It is providing survivors quick access to much needed food supplies. 

No more long lines

Lolita with 2 year-old daughter Jasmine trooped to the distribution center to claim her sack of rice after joining the 10-day food-for-work program where she helped plant in the community vegetable garden. 

“I have no choice but to bring my baby here since my husband is busy tending the farm. I’m relieved that I won’t have to wait for hours in long queues just to get my share of goods because now I’m assured that my name is on the list because of this ID.” 

Initially used on food and cash programming here in the Philippines, LMMS organizes data gathering, beneficiary management, commodity distribution and reporting in an integrated and automated system that uses software application tied with a mobile device. 

Luz Mendoza, FAPP Manager said, “The LMMS ensures that the right beneficiary gets the right entitlement. It translates principles of humanitarian accountability into concrete action and application.”

World Vision field workers use a handheld device to get pictures and gather information from beneficiaries. The data is linked to a server laptop in order to produce bar-coded IDs that determine the eligibility of the recipients. 

“Vital information from the generated list can now be shared to other organizations to avoid duplication of efforts. The data can also be used in future complementary development initiatives without starting from scratch,” said Monitoring Officer Pat Ryan Gaid.

Quick delivery of relief assistance and services has been a crying need in Bopha-hit areas one hundred days since the killer typhoon devastated housing and livelihood of thousands of families in the hardest hit areas of Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental and Agusan del Sur.

During the initial distribution in Camansi, Montevista in the province of Compostela Valley, around 273 families received bags of rice in under 2 hours, cutting distribution time to almost half.

Valuing the peoples' hard work

“FAPP helps the community help themselves and in the process regain their sense of dignity and belongingness, which are keys to resilience,” added Mendoza. 

Central to the Food Assistance Pilot Project is the creation of Food Assistance Project Committee, a group composed of different stakeholders who facilitate and monitor the recovery and rehabilitation projects in the community. 

Community members work in daily shifts of at least 4 hours for 10 days to avail a month’s supply of rice for an average family size of five. Projects range from community vegetable gardening, road clearing, unclogging of canals, and construction or rehabilitation of damaged schools, marketplace, health and community centers and other facilities.

The project also has a counterpart cash-for-work component in areas where market and food supply is readily available and accessible to help support the local economy. Community Economic Ventures Inc.  (Vision Fund), the microfinance arm of World Vision, facilitates cash distribution to beneficiaries. 

Ensuring food for children

In schools, children are served delicious and healthy meals through the Emergency School Feeding component of the project. Mothers form a kitchen committee that serves hot meals for school children. 

Emilia 47, helps in the preparation of meals for 3 of her children in Canidkid Elementary School. She shares, “I’m happy to be able to assist in preparing meals for my sons, John, Jason and Paulino who are students here. We don’t have much since the typhoon destroyed our farm. Through the school feeding I can ensure that my children eat well and stay in school.”

Daily food rations that consist of rice, beans and oil help meet the daily food needs children in emergencies.  Feeding in schools help curb incidences of hunger among affected children and it encourages them to remain in school and study well. 

World Vision’s Food Assistance Pilot Project in partnership with World Food Program aims to assist around 78,000 individuals or 10,000 families and 10,000 children in 35 World Vision-assisted communities and 28 public elementary schools over the next six months.

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About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews.

 

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