The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is creating hardships, especially for the most vulnerable in the Philippines. With longer-term programs likely to take some time to kick-start, immediate bridging assistance is needed for the most vulnerable households suffering from a lack of access to food supplies from quarantine or risk-exposure issues exacerbated by a sudden loss of income, especially among daily wage earners.
To address this, ADB has built a unique partnership that will deliver critical food supplies to up to 140,000 of the most vulnerable households in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces -- areas hardest hit by the pandemic. ADB has defined the composition of an essential food package per household to cover a period of around 7 days, based on Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) specifications. In addition, ADB has developed procurement chains and distribution logistics, in coordination with government agencies and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, for a rapid and effective delivery mechanism. A targeting methodology was developed in coordination with DSWD, which has identified the poorest barangays to be supplied, taking into account on-ground logistical issues.
ADB is also exploring partnerships with private and philanthropic entities to participate in this program to expand its depth and reach more vulnerable households for a longer time period.
The Rapid Emergency Supplies Provision Project, dubbed "Bayan Bayanihan," is based on the Filipino Bayanihan approach, or the spirit of sharing what one has with one’s community.
It will establish a template that might be replicable in other Asian countries confronting similar issues.