USAID GROW Coop partners respond to Typhoon Odette


Manila, Philippines—Members of the USAID-funded Generating Rural Opportunities by Working with Cooperatives (GROW Coop)  project implemented by Agriterra are responding in the aftermath of super typhoon Rai (local name Odette) which made landfall in the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands in Mindanao, five provinces of Visayas, and in Palawan island in Luzon on 16 December 2021.

Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC) launched the Tawid Saklolo sa Binagyo (aid for typhoon victims) campaign which raised funds for typhoon victims. In coordination with one of its partners, Lamac Multipurpose Cooperative (LMPC), which is also being capacitated under GROW Coop, SIDC donated 3,000 GI-sheets to 750 families in Pinamungajan and Toledo, Cebu province. Each family received four sheets and umbrella nails to help in the initial renovation of their damaged houses. LMPC together with the local government units (LGUs) also provided food packs to the affected families. 

A beneficiaries cries in joy as Lamac Multipurpose Cooperative (LMPC) distributed family food packs and construction materials in Pinamungajan and Toledo, Cebu. The materials were donated by Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC). Photo from: LMPC 

AgriCOOPh Federation was contracted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 7 to supply 26,853 family food packs to typhoon victims for three days after passing the agency’s quality standards. Under Coops4Food, an initiative launched through GROW Coop at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, AgriCOOPH produced 3,000 bags of 50-kilo of rice per bag  and other food items valued at Php18.5 million that were provided to 27,000 affected families in Southern Cebu in coordination with nine LGUs. 

AgriCOOPh Federation also provided support to other non-government organizations (NGOs) and its member Socorro Empowered Peoples Cooperative (SOEMCO). SOEMCO led the Rehab and Recovery Operation at Dapa, Siargao, Socorro in Bucas Grande Island and other municipalities in Surigao del Norte and consolidated relief from its other partners such as CLIMBS Life and General Insurance, MASS-SPECC, BUGEMCO, COOPNATCCO Party-list, Mambajao MPC, NATCCO, FARM-COOP, AgriCOOPh and KUSGAN Volunteers.

AgriCOOPH/Coops4Food on its second day of operations to supply family food packs to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region VII. Photo from: Cres Paez

Immediately after the typhoon, Negros Occidental-based Citicore Candlewick Bioenergy, Inc. (CCBI) mobilized resources to provide aid to its host communities and other communities where its employees reside. These include providing a canter truck for logistics, chain saws for cutting of many felled trees, and generator sets to some accessible areas. CCBI also gathered employee volunteers to assist in road clearing and distribution of food packs. It also provided assistance in the processing of the communities' LGU applications for the benefit of those with damaged houses.

Mission of Love, a relief drive for Southern Leyte supported by Fatima Multipurpose Cooperative (FMPC).

In Southern Leyte, Fatima Multipurpose Cooperative (FMPC) supported the relief drive and distribution to the victims of Odette in the municipality of Piintuyan. FMPC provided both financial assistance and essential items such as clothing, canned goods, bread, coffee, noodles, and fruits.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the cost of damage to agriculture caused by Odette as of January 2022 is at Php 15.9 billion while cost of damage to infrastructure is at Php17.2 billion. Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported that at least 1.2 million persons are affected. 

GROW Coop Chief of Party Jun Virola said:

“Not only do we see the big brother and small brother strategy effective in the capacity building of cooperatives through GROW Coop, but also in times of crises. Cooperatives have and will always play a key role as one of the first responders during a disaster. We are proud of our GROW Coop family for taking this role one step further to help the victims of Typhoon Odette.”

Cooperative Resiliency Mechanism (CRM)

To help build resilient agricultural cooperatives, GROW Coop is incubating the Cooperative Resiliency Mechanism (CRM). The CRM is about partnership building for resilient rural communities through resilient agricultural cooperatives. It aims to be a collaboration platform for the agricultural cooperative sector to engage with government, private sector, civil society, and other local and international partners on resilience building covering crisis response and recovery.

To know more about the Cooperative Resiliency Mechanism (CRM), watch the video here.  

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