An Accidental TDY`er - International Organization for Migration


An Accidental TDY`er - International Organization for Migration
International Organization for Migration
An Accidental TDY’er
Philippines - Working in an international organization, and particularly when working on the ground, one has the
benefit of knowing that no two days, will ever look or be the same. This is even more so one when we go to support
other missions and are able to work closely with operations and provide humanitarian support. This is also part of
the uniqueness of working in such a dynamic organization as IOM.
This is a story of how a “short TDY” to provide support to labor migration in the Philippines, turned into an extended
24/7 stay providing operations support to IOM Typhoon’s Response Bopha.
Typhoon Bopha is the most southerly typhoon ever recorded in the Western Pacific and the second typhoon in a
year to make landfall in Mindanao. It has killed over 1,000 and with 840 still missing and affected 5.5 million people.
It is the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2012 severely affecting 26 provinces in the Philippines, pointing
to a troubling indicator of how climate change may be affecting the entire region in unpredictable ways.
In the first hours and days, as those who will be part of the emergency team, are brought in, and even brought
back from previous contracts and special leave the team builds up on some four key pillars of initial response. There
might be many more, but in the first days of a response, here are some key elements you will want to have in hand.
Four key pillars:
Operations and Liaison: The first and foremost in any disaster is to ensure the access and presence of staff on
the ground. IOM is a can do operations organization. Quick response and presence are key in responding and
demonstrating our quick ability and opportunity to move on the ground. This is of course key within the cluster
approach, if rolled out in the respective country, local, regional and national government actors, who are critical
in coordinating and working closely with throughout the response.
Traditional donors: Tapping into key donors. Trying to find the key donors who are present on the ground
and what type of response will they provide is critical. This is key not only at the mission level, but also through
donor capitals, in order to ensure due information is actively shared throughout.
Non-traditional donors: Equally, with the world on a financial cliff, and still recovering from the global
recession, this is indeed an important component to be able to explore. Ask what has been tapped in the aim
of nontraditional donors, as well as what might be. Particularly in countries, which are middle income, like the
Philippines, this can definitely be further explored as in-kind contributions can also help boost operations.
Furthermore, Corporate Social Responsibility, particularly at the end of the year, can be duly explored for timely
end-of-the-year contributions.
Media: Another key element is trying to get enough media to bring attention to the lives of the people affected
and those who are seeking to now rebuild lives. Local and international press are critical in keeping this
important attention alive, as well as ensuring the issues are addressed and can help in promoting the protection
and immediate humanitarian assistance.
As the response continues, so too, is a myriad of other activities. For many, this is just another day in the life…or it
could be another accidental TDY away…
By Kristina Mejo, Regional Project Development Officer