PAWS Disaster Relief and Prepareness Program
The Philippines, situated at the typhoon belt of the Pacific is battered by an average of 20 typhoons every year leaving hundreds of people dead and hundreds of families homeless because of the devastating effects like landslides and flash floods. Most people with farm or companion animals find it hard to leave their animals behind.
Because animals are important for people's lives and livelihoods, they must be considered in disaster preparedness and response. Sadly, there is still no clear-cut government policy that includes animals in the disaster-relief agenda.
PAWS volunteers' efforts in distributing relief to people and their animals, and extracting animals trapped in flooded areas with no access to food and dry ground since Typhoon Ondoy (September 2009) and every major typhoon thereafter, has caught the attention of media and government.
Through our work on the ground and through our lobbying efforts, the animals are slowly finding their way into the government's disaster-relief and evacuation programs.
Last November 29 2012, PAWS has been included in round-table discussions of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on creating spaces for animals - both livestock and companion animals - in evacuation centers.
Working together, the humanitarian and animal welfare communities have the combined capacities to reduce hunger, disease and poverty for humans caught in disaster situations, in part by ensuring the welfare of their animals.
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