Food security and livelihood

Supporting the Food Security and Livelihood Cluster and Implementation of the Durable Solutions Strategy for Zamboanga City

On 9 September 2013, conflict between the Philippine Government troops both from the military and police and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) broke out within Zamboanga City.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has been involved in responding to the situation in Zamboanga City since September 2013, where it co-led the livelihood cluster and looked to set up emergency livelihood opportunities for some of those who have been displaced. The role of the ILO has not only been to support coordination, but to also ensure that livelihood programmes in Zamboanga City take decent work and sustainability concerns into account and ensure such schemes offer and promote the minimum wage, social security, health insurance and occupational safety and health.

ILO played a key role in the development of Zamboanga livelihood summit in November 2014 and in ensuring the importance of livelihoods within the durable solutions strategy for Zamboanga City.

Since January 2015, ILO has partnered with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to create a joint position supporting the durable solutions strategy for Zamboanga. This collaboration is assisting the food security and livelihood cluster, led by the Office of the City Agriculturist (OCA) and shows both ILO’s and FAO’s willingness and support to the UN’s Delivering as One message. This role has now been phased out, with the OCA taking full responsibility, but both ILO and FAO are still continuing to engage in Zamboanga City.

The latest updates an estimated 3,043 families are still living in the evacuation center and seven transitory sites. In general, these families are displaced and have been struggling to live in poor conditions in the evacuation center and transitory sites for almost two years. Many of those worst affected by the siege are cultural minorities and Indigenous Peoples (IPs) mainly Tausug, Badjao or Yakan, who rely on traditional livelihoods and often lack access or knowledge of government resources and support.

There is a strong need to improve the decent work opportunities available to these groups and to develop their business capacity and financial awareness, improve their employability or ability to become self-employed through skills training, as well as assisting in linking them to available government programmes and services that can further support their enterprise activities. Through ILO and FAO’s support, some 200 beneficiaries in Zamboanga have been trained on enterprise skills using ILO’s community-based enterprise development (C-BED) tools. Not only that but these beneficiaries have presented business plans developed during this training to the local government and national government agencies for further support. ILO and FAO also facilitated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the civil society organizations, national government agencies and internally displaced peoples (IDPs) to enforce and encourage commitment for convergence of projects and interventions as part of the Livelihoods and Food Security Component of the Z3R. This further complements the Durable solutions for Zamboanga IDPs strategy.

ILO and FAO are providing further support to improve this situation through the implementation of the joint-UN Increasing Public Confidence and Participation in Support of Implementation of the Bangsamoro Peace Agreement project. ILO and FAO’s component of this project, funded by the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) looks to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for vulnerable groups, particularly young women and men, through skills and entrepreneurship training in identified market linkages. This work will focus on IDPs and host communities within Zamboanga City.

For further information please contact:

ILO Country Office for the Philippines (CO-Manila)
19th Floor, Yuchengco Tower
RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Avenue
1200 Makati City, Philippines
Tel. +632 8580 9900
Fax +632 8856 7597