UNDP officially inks SHIELD partnership with Northern Samar

December 9, 2022

(From L-R) Vice Governor Clarence Dato, Province of Northern Samar, Mr. Harry Pasimio Jr., Senior Program Officer for Humanitarian Action & Disaster Resilience, Australian Embassy in the Philippines, Governor Edwin C. Ongchuan, Province of Northern Samar, Edwine Carrie, UNDP Philippines Deputy Resident Representative, Ms. Maria Victoria de Guzman, SHIELD Project Manager


CATARMAN, Northern Samar – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Philippines, through the support of the Australian government, officially inked a strategic partnership with the Provincial Government of Northern Samar for the Strengthening Institutions and Empowering Localities Against Disasters and Climate Change (SHIELD) Programme. This is designed to accelerate resilience-building efforts at the local level by collaborating with multiple stakeholders to unlock financing and implement risk-informed and inclusive resilience actions.

UNDP Philippines, represented by its Deputy Resident Representative Edwine Carrié, and the Provincial Government of Samar, led by Governor Edwin Ongchuan, officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the SHIELD Programme in Catarman City, Northern Samar.

The geographic location of the province places it along the routes of typhoons, making it susceptible to flooding, landslides, and storm surges. Through this strategic collaboration, SHIELD aims to assist Northern Samar in the development of its provincial land use planning with risk-based and data-driven strategies to be implemented in its municipalities through inter-organizational cooperation.

In addition, part of SHIELD’s support to the resilience-building and sustainability efforts of Northern Samar is to help with its Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment and create a Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), which will also prioritize the economic, social and physical clusters of the province.

Governor Ongchuan expressed strong support of the province for the SHIELD Programme as it will supplement their current disaster risk reduction and management efforts to help strengthen provincial resilience in Northern Samar.

Northern Samar Vice Governor Clarence Dato echoed this and thanked the SHIELD Programme team for being one of Northern Samar’s allies in addressing impacts of climate change. “We are currently crafting the CLUPs of our municipalities to help identify areas to prioritize. We are looking forward to the technical assistance from SHIELD to help us move on to the next stage,” said Northern Samar Vice Governor Clarence Dato.

The SHIELD Programme acknowledges the reality that transformative resilience actions require careful and proactive planning which involve primary stakeholders, particularly the government, in making informed decisions. SHIELD supports Northern Samar on the development of the province’s progressive agenda towards resilience,” said Mr. Carrié of UNDP Philippines during the MOU signing.

As an initiative to strengthen the disaster and climate resilience of targeted local governments in the Philippines, the Australian Government has invested PHP 630 million (AUD18 million) for the implementation of the SHIELD Programme. This will be implemented through a multistakeholder approach by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, UNDP Philippines, and its consortium partners UN-Habitat, Philippine Business for Social Progress, National Resilience Council, and the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society.

Apart from finding science-based and technology-driven solutions, the SHIELD Programme also aims to prioritize gender equality, disability, and social inclusion in the context of climate resilience-building, to ensure no one will get left behind.