The Czech Republic supports the strengthening of capacities of evacuation centers and mitigating the spread of COVID-19 across the Philippines.
With financial aid from the Czech Humanitarian Aid Program, alternative shelters and WASH facilities were provided to four Filipino cities of Navotas, Malabon, Cebu City, and Cagayan de Oro.
The project focused on strengthening the disaster preparedness capacities of high-risk urban poor communities and LGUs by furnishing safe and sufficient shelter and WASH facilities for the current and potentially displaced populations in selected urban poor communities in Malabon and Navotas in National Capital Region, Cebu in Central Visayas, and Cagayan de Oro in Northern Mindanao.
It was implemented by a local Philippine organization ACCORD Incorporated from October 2019 and became timely this 2020.
Overall, the project was able to reach some 240,000 beneficiaries from almost 50,000 families by providing alternative temporary shelters (Barrel Vault Tents and sets of Temporary Partition), latrines, bathing areas and portable handwashing stations in covered court evacuation camps for the four-targeted cities.
These units were deployed in actual emergencies and in augmented patient care capacity of city hospitals.
Post-pandemic, these units may be used in evacuation centers during other emergencies and are designed for ease of use by everyone, including children and persons with disabilities.
The project also supported the setting up of community quarantine facilities in Malabon and demonstrated low-cost but effective quarantine facilities to other LGUs and national government agencies.
Czech Ambassador Jana Šedivá said, “I trust that the intervention significantly improved evacuation center conditions and camp management services of local governments and augmented local government capacities in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.”
According to Singhy Obias, Executive Director of ACCORD Incorporated, “The LGU and community partners consider the project to be highly relevant, timely, and appropriate. The evacuation tents already provided safe and dignified emergency shelters to hundreds of internally displaced populations affected by fire in Malabon and Cagayan de Oro, and homeless families in Navotas during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Foreign humanitarian assistance is an integral part of the Czech Republic’s foreign policy. In the past years, the Czech Republic Embassy also extended humanitarian assistance to those who were greatly affected by typhoons in 2013 (Yolanda), 2016 (Nina), and 2018 (Mangkut). This year, the Czech Government pledged financial aid to the International Federation of Red Cross (IFCR) in assistance to areas hit by typhoons Goni and Ulysses. Furthermore, Czech Embassy Manila is supporting the education and vocational training of youth in the densest informal settlements in Manila’s Slum BASECO.