ABUYOG St. Francis Xavier Credit Cooperative (AFCCO) recognized the need for communities to be more resilient in the midst of a changing climate. After the “Learning Exchange: Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction” activity conducted by the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), AFCCO has taken steps to raise awareness on disaster emergency response and rehabilitation.

Established in 1998, AFCCO is a financial service institution based in Abuyog town, Leyte Province.

To date, AFCCO has over 30,000 members, mostly farmers, spread all over the province of Leyte.

Continuous education and information on disaster management are given to its coop members and Yolanda village communities. Tree-planting activities are also being done regularly, as well as adoption and implementation of value-chain approach to production.

AFCCO facilities were also converted and prepared as evacuation centers. The coop has a ready-fund for food and medicine packs from the Community Development Fund, which is earmarked annually.

With the key processes of assessment, deployment, accountability, partnership, transition and SE Recovery, PEF’s Adapt framework on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) served as AFCCO’s guide on their DRRM efforts.

AFCCO, a PEF partner since 2014, is its first partner-beneficiary to have undergone such training.

“We learned how to manage disasters and build resiliency as well as examine also our policies. We also were able to come up with a disaster team now, which we just took for granted before,” said Luz Yringco, prime mover of AFCCO.

In the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013, PEF provided AFCCO a 7.5 million agri-refinancing for Yolanda-affected areas and other common facility repairs fund to help coop members recover, rebuild homes and restore livelihoods by providing its members access to micro-financing loans.

AFCCO, in partnership with PEF, also provided “cash-for-work” activity that engaged 300 farmer beneficiaries, particularly small-scale coconut farmers in efforts to clear farmland debris.