Increasing resilience in Manila’s slums
As the poor tend to suffer most during and immediately after natural disasters, addressing their disaster risk preparedness and recovery needs is a critical humanitarian concern.
Many of Manila’s urban poor live in large slums where government intervention is minimal – and face substantial physical and psychological challenges. This program focuses on developing the resilience of such families living at the margins of Filipino society – and specifically, around 500 ‘ultra-poor’ slum dwellers living in Tondo and Baseco districts of Manila.
Of particular importance to this program's success was an innovative Family Budget and Savings Program (FBSP) specifically designed to improve families’ capacity to manage their household budgets – both for ongoing needs such as health and children’s education – and to improve recovery times in the event of future disasters.
A pilot initiative suggested that financial savings strengthen families’ resilience to typhoons and other emergencies – with families withdrawing money to rebuild their houses after such events and then immediately starting to save again.
In addition to the finance-based components, other project deliverables included delivering information sessions on the prevention of common diseases and health risks that arise during rainy seasons and typhoons. The program also provided psychological support for families vulnerable to disasters through many thousands of home-based counseling sessions.
This program was implemented by ATIA, an affiliate of Versailles-based NGO Inter Aide. Inter Aide was established in 1980 to provide holistic and non-ideological development assistance to the world’s poorest families, an objective shared by ATIA.