The Philippines are exposed to major seismic, volcanic and meteorological disasters and are considered one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change. In this archipelago engaged in the fight against climate change, local authorities play a central role in risk prevention and management, but they have limited financial resources and technical capacities.
The key role of local authorities
The Disaster Risk Reduction Enhancement at the Local Level Program, financed by AFD, will support the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the process of decentralizing the mandate and services for disaster risk reduction and climate change management to the Local Government Units (LGUs). It will not only help build the capacity of the LGUs but also support ongoing reform programs throughout the country, taking into account the demands of the “new normal” that seeks to address public health emergency concerns, as demonstrated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Program seeks to support LGUs on a sustainable trajectory, as well as build the resilience of local economies and communities. At the same time, this will limit damage caused by disasters, reduce post-disaster emergency response time, and make the recovery period more effective.
"We thank the people and the French Government for this financial assistance meant to scale up the disaster risk management capabilities of our LGUs, ramp up efforts to curtail the spread of Covid-19 and boost the resiliency of our communities in the face of climate change,” said Filipino Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez. “This will complement our move to shift our focus from theorizing about global warming to executing practical climate adaptation and mitigation projects on the ground."
A long-term partnership
“This loan is the result of a long-term partnership with the DILG through the Disaster Risk Management Institutional Strengthening (DRMIS) Project financed by the European Union through the AFD. It aims to further develop our cooperation on disaster risk management and climate change adaptation capacity for a period of three years,” said AFD Country Director Laurent Klein.
“It is also in line with France's commitment to support climate action under the Paris Agreement, in order to help the Philippines Government meet the ambitious targets it set for itself when it submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC earlier this year.”
Finance Secretary Dominguez added: "This financing agreement highlights the strong partnership between France and a high-risk country like the Philippines on mitigating the adverse impact of climate change, in support of our commitments on climate action under the Paris Agreement.”