In January UAF received a request from the Rural Women’s Apostolate group of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines to ensure that women’s voices would be heard in the post-typhoon rehabilitation program in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City. This region of the Philippines is reeling from typhoon Washi which hit in December 2011 and killed more than 1,000 people, displacing hundreds of thousands more. RMP is a previous grantee that works in various parts of the Philippines, and this request comes from the Northern Mindanao chapter, which organizes rural poor women for agrarian reform, provides psycho-social therapy, and documents human rights violations against women peasants. In the aftermath of the typhoon, while the UN and NGOs began to conduct relief efforts, RMP identified women’s needs that were not being met and conducted a campaign to raise money to distribute nutrition for pregnant women, hygiene kits, and underwear.
For this request, funds are to be used to organize consultations with relief agencies to identify and address the specific needs of women in each evacuation center, as well as to establish a grassroots Women Survivors Collective to empower women recovering from the typhoon. RMP also plans to broadcast a radio show and poster campaign to raise awareness about the issue of trafficking which tends to intensify during disaster situations. Two regional advisors recommend supporting this grant and contributing to “upholding women human rights in disaster management.