Where We Work

Introduction to Philippines 

With a population of over 103 million people, the Philippines is one of the most highly populated nations in the world. Cultural practices and traditions are enriched with people’s passion for singing, playing basketball, food, and celebrating the Holy Week and Night Mass. 

The Philippines has a growing economy and 47% of the population lives in urban areas. However, a large number of these people live in poverty and lack regular access to WASH services and electricity. 

Filipinos that reside in rural areas rely on agriculture and fishery as forms of livelihood. As the country is disaster prone to recurring typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, subsistence farming is impacted and millions of livelihoods ruined. 

Climate change increasingly threatens the stability of local communities, with climate induced events displacing over 4 million people in the country. In 2020, Typhoon Goni hit the Philippines and was shortly followed by Typhoon Vamco, further devastating displaced communities and the impoverished. 

As a result, long-term response plans are needed as 4 million people were affected across the regions and over 905,000 remain in need of support. The displacement of people, lack of shelter, and stagnant and contaminated water are contributing factors to poverty and the spread of disease. 

Life is challenging for families across The Philippines:

  • Around a quarter of the population do not have access to basic sanitation facilities (World Bank, 2018)
  • Over a quarter of the population are living in poverty (UNDP, 2019)
  • The Philippines is affected by around 20 typhoons a year (WFP, 2019)
  • Over a third of children (aged 6 months – 5 years) suffer from chronic malnutrition (WFP, 2019)

Islamic Relief in Philippines

To date, Islamic Relief Canada has reached 22,916 individuals in the Philippines through our emergency response, livelihood, and education programs. We have responded to typhoons, floods, and cyclone events throughout the country within the past decade to provide affected communities with cash assistance, WASH support and climate-resilient mobilization. 

As part of the Humanitarian Coalition’s Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund, Islamic Relief Canada is providing emergency relief in response to tropical storm Megi, which devastated communities in Baybay city in the central Leyte province. Our efforts include community-based technical assistance on shelter construction through kits, hygiene essentials, unconditional cash grants, as well as psychosocial support. 

We have also implemented a 3-year development project which provides 6 communities impacted by the 2020 typhoons with shelter repair kits, non-food items, and protection gear. Beyond immediate relief, we also microfinance self-help groups, provide stipends to 600 children, rehabilitate WASH facilities, and train community groups in risk reduction, management and environmental protection. 

As the world becomes more vulnerable to climate change and climate induced weather events, it is important that our work with local communities reflects this new reality. That’s why our work in the Philippines addresses immediate and long term needs, so we can help disaster prone and vulnerable Filipinos to build transformative and resilient lives.

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