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The Protection Cluster in the Philippines

In the Philippines, the Protection Cluster has been established by the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) Circular No 5 series of 10 May 2007 (Institutionalizing Cluster Approach in Philippine Disaster System). The cluster approach is part of a global response aimed at providing more timely and consistent help to the internally displaced and other affected people in complex emergencies and disasters. DSWD is designated as the government lead and UNHCR is the counterpart of the Protection Cluster. The cluster is required to, inter alia, establish and maintain effective co-ordinating mechanisms, undertake needs assessment and analysis, ensure emergency preparedness, ensure planning and strategy development, ensure the application of standards, establish monitoring and reporting standards, initiate advocacy and resource mobilization and undertake training and capacity building. Two sub-clusters on children and gender-based violence are also led by Department of Social Welfare and Development DSWD with UNFPA and UNICEF respectively as the UN counterparts. They report to the Protection Cluster. The Protection Cluster has also been established at the Mindanao level where there are currently over 100 members including national NGOs, international NGOs and agencies, government agencies, UN agencies, and the Commission on Human Rights.