Media CenterUSAID and CRS Philippines Launch Innovations for Resilience Challenge

Photo courtesy of PDRF

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Ashley Venerable
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
+63 917 153 5454

Reina D. Manongsong
Philippine Disaster Relief Foundation
[email protected]
+63 917 530 7534

MAKATI, PHILIPPINES, Sept. 20, 2023 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Philippines’ Climate Resilient Cities Project, in partnership with the Philippine Disaster Relief Foundation (PDRF) held a back-to-back event with “Resilience Reimagined: Beyond the Boundaries of Tradition,” a symposium on climate resilience launch of the “Innovations for Resilience Challenge” at the Makati Diamond Residences.

The symposium brought together climate and industry leaders who shared their valuable insights on the role of private sector in climate resilience, various climate strategies from the city government of Makati, OML Center, and Climate Resilient Cities’ consortium partner, Conservation International (CI) and accessing the People Survival Fund.

The Innovations for Resilience Challenge aims to empower cities and strengthen their capacity for developing and implementing nature-based solutions. The challenge will enable participating cities to identify and support scalable or replicable community-led innovation projects that contribute to climate and disaster resilience; and conduct knowledge-sharing sessions and mentorship opportunities for the local innovators working in the resilience space. This is also an opportunity for them to engage with different stakeholders and promote collaboration within the nexus of climate, disaster and development.

“This is our third year of implementation and we have now shifted our focus to ensuring that the increased capacities of our partner cities are translated into robust climate risk planning, and aim to support them in implementing nature-based solutions and adaptation solutions,” said CRC Project Chief of Party Alan Silayan, underscoring that now is the time for the partner cities to demonstrate the capacities they built in the last two years with the CRC Project.

The pilot run of the challenge will only be open to the six CRC-supported cities: Batangas, Borongan, Cotabato, Iloilo, Legazpi and Zamboanga.

PDRF Executive Director Veronica Gabaldon emphasized the significant role that the private sector plays in achieving a sustainable future for the country, “Innovation should be people centered and the climate resilience for cities is a shared responsibility – this is everybody’s business.”

The event closed with the climate leaders, city representatives, and partners from various sectors signing the Innovations for Resilience Challenge commitment pledge.


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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Public Relations Strategist

Brittany Wichtendahl
September 20, 2023

Brittany Wichtendahl is a public relations strategist for Catholic Relief Services, out of Baltimore. Drafting press releases for secular and Catholic news media, Brittany also crafts pitches to help publicize CRS's work. She writes op-eds for placement in national print publications, and monitors news outlets for stories related to CRS and CRS programming.

Brittany is a graduate...More