The indigenous people are one of the most vulnerable groups in this crisis. As indigenous communities already experienced poor access to essential and social services, and healthcare - this public health emergency and quarantine measures pose a threat to the food security of indigenous communities as a result of the loss of their daily source of income.
Bantay Kita, through the TELUS International Philippines, was able to assist and extend support to indigenous women in Agusan del Sur, Palawan, and South Cotabato amidst COVID-19. To respond to the needs of our community partners, Bantay Kita provided social assistance which consists of two components: basic commodity package – rice, canned goods, medicines, vitamins, hygiene kit, alcohol and face masks, etc. and food security and livelihood assistance – vegetable seeds and fruit seedlings.
The project was able to respond to the needs of the indigenous communities affected by COVID-19 which resulted to loss of jobs and income. The social assistance provided was timely and relevant that it helped indigenous communities to cope with the current situation through having an alternative source of fresh produce and food, and a low-cost and healthy diet for their family.