What are the needs?
The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. The country has well-developed crisis management capacities but with the incessant occurrence of strong cyclones and storms, often back-to-back, the European Commission has recurrently stepped in to deliver urgently needed humanitarian assistance. Around 20 typhoons hit the country every year, many of them destructive. The deadliest one so far has been Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda), which crossed the archipelago in early November 2013 causing massive devastation.
Floods, landslides and the destruction of homes and livelihoods caused by frequent storms often leave people in need of temporary shelter, food and non-food items, clean water and sanitation facilities and primary health care, among others. Likewise, displacements because of socio-political turmoil in different zones trigger similar humanitarian needs among vulnerable populations.
Despite ongoing efforts to bring an end to decades of conflict in Mindanao, sporadic outbursts of violence also cause short-term displacements of communities in the Southern part of the archipelago.
How are we helping?
Since 1997, the EU has released €72.7 million in emergency relief interventions for survivors of natural disasters and €21.9 million to help victims of armed conflicts. Further €8 million have been allocated for local communities to better withstand future disasters in the framework of the DIPECHO programme.
Most recently, in April 2015, the Commission allocated €300 000 in humanitarian aid for people who have just been displaced by the armed conflict in Central Mindanao, in the South of the country. Over the last two years, close to €850 000 worth of humanitarian assistance have also been channeled to families (almost 30 000 people) displaced in the nearby region of Zamboanga.
In response to Typhoon Haiyan, the Commission provided a total of €30 million in humanitarian assistance, early recovery and rehabilitation, while an additional €10 million provided with development funds were released for infrastructure reconstruction.
In October 2013, the EU allocated €2.5 million to help with relief efforts needed for the communities who lost their homes and livelihoods because of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that killed over 200 people, injured hundreds and affected around 3.1 million in the island of Bohol and surrounding provinces.