February 02, 2017 11:50

Philippines: Recovering Livelihoods after Typhoon Haiyan

Farmers promote their organic production at a market fair in General Mac Arthur municipality in August 2016. Photo by ACTED team.

Alliance2015 members promote alternative livelihoods among Typhoon Haiyan affected communities of the Philippines to build their resilience through sustainable income

Typhoon Haiyan caused extensive damage to livelihoods, leaving local economies vulnerable and many people jobless. An estimated 5.9 million people across the Philippines lost their sources of income and livelihoods. The economic impact on Eastern Samar, one of the country’s poorest provinces heavily reliant on agriculture, was devastating. Many farmers lost their only source of income.

A consortium of three Alliance2015 members, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, People in Need (PIN) and ACTED, implemented a two-year market development project* in 12 municipalities of Eastern Samar to support 12,000 farmers and vulnerable households. The project was mainly supported by Swiss Solidarity and co-funded by the partners and the French Development Agency.

The main objective of the project was to increase the income of poor men and women by addressing the underlying constraints that prevented them from benefiting from market systems. Empowering farmers to restore and improve their livelihoods through increased production, productivity and marketability of agricultural products will improve their access to better income-generating opportunities as well as increase their resilience to future shocks and vulnerabilities.

The project relied on a market-based approach called Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P), designed to strengthen farmers’ linkages to markets and thereby support sustainable income generation.

Local Service Providers (experienced and enthusiastic farmers/producers/sellers from local communities) supported by the project acted as the bridge between the private sector and farmers. They supported farmers to increase their knowledge and capacity in improved agricultural techniques and business skills as well as facilitated access to quality inputs and services so that farmers had the capacity to re-start and improve their agricultural livelihoods. Improved and more inclusive market systems contributed to farmers being more competitive and having higher and more sustainable incomes.

With the support of the project:

  • 12,000 households will have improved access and capacity to effectively use quality and affordable agricultural inputs, services and technologies to increase their productivity and production;
  • 6,000 households will have access to suitable financial products and services and will be able to effectively use them through enhanced financial literacy;
  • 4,000 farmers will have the capacity to establish linkages with other market actors thus increasing their bargaining power and competitiveness.

For more information, see a documentary about the project in English or French.

* The first phase of the project was implemented over two years (2015-2016) by Alliance2015 members HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, ACTED and PIN. Phase II started in January 2017 and will be implemented by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation and PIN.