DSWD-ARMM: Focus on food sufficiency, livelihood crucial for poverty alleviation

COTABATO CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has launched the pilot run of its Apat Dapat program, an anti-poverty initiative that will focus on 600 of ARMM’s poorest families.

The program will focus on key interventions concerning four basic needs of every family, namely food, lighting, water and sanitation, and shelter. The beneficiaries of the Apat Dapat program’s pilot run are among the poorest of the poor in the region. “We hope that the Apat Dapat program’s focused approach will prove to be a good fit alongside the broader approaches taken by our existing anti-poverty initiatives, all of which are community-driven development projects,” DSWD-ARMM Secretary Rahima Alba said.

Accoording to Alba, ensuring food sufficiency and livelihood, the first of the four components of the Apat Dapat program, involves four modalities. These are (1) satisfying every families’ recommended dietary allowance for protein and energy, (2) identifying what livelihood is best for the families and providing the necessary livelihood training, (3) encouraging families to put up small livelihood activities such as backyard gardening and poultry raising that can support food sufficiency, and (4) gradually transitioning the livelihood activities from being food security measure to also being a source of income for the families.

“Along with continued support in construction of solar dryers and warehouse, as well as the provision of equipment and machineries, we are making sure that every family in a community can live a life where their needs are met through the Apat Dapat program,” Alba said.

Technical assistance have been provided by the World Food Program to ensure the sustainability of the food security program, with input from the World Bank which has been consistent in being ARMM’s partner in poverty alleviation. The DSWD-ARMM is looking into a partnership with the Department of Health’s rural health units and local nutritionists to make sure that food sufficiency and security goals are met. (Bureau of Public Information/Mindanao Examiner)

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