Livelihood recovery

Even in the immediate wake of a disaster, people still look for livelihoods and ways to support themselves, no matter how precarious or vulnerable these activities leave them.

The Philippines is the third most disaster-prone country in the world. Around 20 typhoons hit the country per year, affecting people’s lives and livelihoods. On top of this, the country is exposed to flooding, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and even civil conflict. The impact of the disasters on people’s communities and livelihoods can be devastating, especially for those already living at or below the poverty line and engaged in vulnerable forms of employment.

In the immediate aftermath there is a need for quick recovery of affected jobs and livelihoods, covering short and long term strategies. In the short-term, emergency employment schemes and cash transfer mechanisms can stabilise livelihoods but do not address the sustainable generation of lost employment; local labour markets must be supported to generate demand for new jobs.

In the longer term, there is a need to ensure sustainability of jobs and livelihoods. This is done by giving people the opportunity to learn new skills to gain better employment and income generating opportunities.
The ILO promotes quality jobs for communities affected by disaster. Guided by the four pillars of its decent work agenda – promoting jobs, ensuring rights at work, extending social protection, and encouraging social dialogue, with gender equality as a crosscutting objective – the ILO provides Social Security System (SSS) coverage Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and accident insurance, occupational safety and health measures, along with the minimum wage rates.

The ILO promotes employment dimensions in post-crisis strategies in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and targeted interventions developed in cooperation with constituents and local stakeholders. Recovery must include investment aimed at income recovery and sustainable employment creation to strengthen the resiliency of communities.

“Through decent work and sustainable livelihood programmes, recovery efforts get people back on their feet more effectively, and communities are again moving forward,” said Lawrence Jeff Johnson, Director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines.

The ILO has produced a number of knowledge products and guides focusing on areas of livelihood recovery. These include:
Livelihood recovery projects are the foundation of ILO’s disaster response and peace-building programmes in the Philippines. These projects include:
In Tolosa, Leyte and with the support of the Government of Norway, ILO assisted in the creation of a green charcoal briquetting facility. This allowed for community members severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan to engage in new and sustainable livelihood opportunities.

Related information:

After Haiyan - The Philippines builds back...