PCDR Urges Halt to Attacks Against Humanitarian Workers on National Disaster Resilience Month

Statement on National Disaster Resilience Month 2024

“In line with this year’s National Disaster Resilience Month, we urge the government to unfreeze the bank accounts of CDRC and LCDe immediately and to cease the attacks against humanitarian and development workers, enabling them to continue serving and alleviating poverty in vulnerable communities.”

 

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Iloilo City, July 1, 2024 – In observance of National Disaster Resilience Month 2024 in the Philippines this July, the Panay Center for Disaster Response, Inc. (PCDR) emphasizes the indispensable role of humanitarian and development workers in fostering resilient communities by preparing communities for both human-induced disasters and disasters caused by natural hazards, responding promptly during crises, and facilitating long-term recovery and development efforts.

However, sadly, humanitarian and development workers in the Philippines face numerous challenges from having limited resources, which hinders their ability to respond effectively to emergencies and support communities, to navigating security risks in delivering vital aid in unstable environments.

Moreover, it is troubling that these individuals and organizations face attacks from the very institution supposed to support them in their programs and services. Recently, PCDR’s networks, including the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC) and Leyte Center for Development (LCDe), encountered unwarranted challenges as the government, through the Anti-Money Laundering Council, ordered the freezing of their bank accounts based on groundless accusations. Such actions do not only hinder their humanitarian missions but also undermine their essential role in supporting vulnerable populations. This is despite the numerous recognitions both CDRC and LCDe have received from various institutions for their dedication to “Helping People Help Themselves” over the past three decades.

PCDR believes that to build resilient communities, various stakeholders from the government, private sector, and community members must collaborate. Since 1984, PCDR has been at the forefront of disaster response and preparedness in Western Visayas, reaching almost half a million people through its DRRM-CCAM programs and services.

In line with this year’s National Disaster Resilience Month, we urge the government to unfreeze the bank accounts of CDRC and LCDe immediately and to cease the attacks against humanitarian and development workers, enabling them to continue serving and alleviating poverty in vulnerable communities. CDRC, LCDe, and other humanitarian and development organizations should not be seen by the government as competitors but rather as agencies that fill gaps. Therefore, instead of targeting them, the government should foster collaboration with the humanitarian and development sector to build more resilient communities./PCDR

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