Balabac Diarrhea Outbreak Emergency Response

The Humanitarian Response Consortium (HRC) is working with the Palawan and Balabac local governments to mount a response to the Diarrhea outbreak in Balabac, triggered by Tropical Storm Vinta. The HRC raised the alarm with  its assessment and initial response in early January. It has now mobilized resources that are supporting government response activities to arrest this  outbreak on the island and will also provide capacity development support to the LGUs of Palawan to strengthen their ability to respond in the future. This includes distribution of water disinfectant, water storage containers and hygiene kits that will support intense behavior change activities to promote “safe water chain”, “hand washing at critical times” and the “use of proper sanitation facilities”, all 3 components critical to breaking the oral-fecal contamination route.

Initial support from the START Network allowed the initial assessment and response, post typhoon Vinta. More supporting resources are being provided by UNICEF (funding and in-kind donations), Seaoil Foundation inc. (funding) and Latter Day Saints Charities (in-kind donations). Both UNICEF and Latter
Day Saints Charities inc. are long term partners with the HRC in times of crisis. The partnership with Seaoil Foundation Inc. is a new initiative for humanitarian response and is building on its development partnership with Puerto Princesa City and Single Drop Consultancy Services, showing its long term commitment to Palawan development.

Presently, the consortium was able to reach a total of 1002 families in eight barangays namely Bgys. 3,4,5,6, Melville, Agutayan, Ramos and Salang impacting approximately 5,000 individuals. A total of six learning centers; 4 in Barangay Salang and two (2) in Barangay Ramos also received hygiene materials for children. After Holy Week the HRC will work with the Municipal Government of Balabac to strengthen the gains made during the response as well as with other municipalities through the Province to develop capacity for water and sanitation response.

The Humanitarian Response Consortium is a group of local development organizations that respond to the critical needs of vulnerable communities in the Philippines during disasters and crisis situations. Operating at the grassroots level, HRC delivers fast, cost-effective and culturally-sensitive response, collaborating with local government units and partners, and empowering communities in addressing humanitarian needs. The three Palawan based organizations include A Single Drop for Safe Water, Roots of Health and Philippine Association For Intercultural Development which are working together to implement the program. The HRC is also currently responding in Lanao Del Sur, Biliran and Marawi.

The START Network is a consortium of International NGO’s who supported the HRC in its scale up of capacity through the Financial Enablers Project led by Oxfam, Tearfund and Christian Aid in the Philippines.

For further information contact HRC Coordinator Kevin Lee, ph 0917-540- 0682.