The Philippines is highly exposed to various natural hazards. This is due to the high frequency of tropical cyclones, active volcanoes and other climate-related risks.
In addition, the ongoing conflict between the government and armed groups in the southernmost island of Mindanao impacts the lives of many.
The precarious situation in the country often results in significant loss of life, livelihoods and homes. The EU provides food, water and sanitation, health care, and other types of aid that help the most vulnerable earn a living in an emergency.
What are the needs?
The Philippines has well-developed crisis management capacities. However, recurrent natural hazards – including typhoons, flooding, landslides, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions – often cause large-scale damage. They also put a heavy strain on local resources.
In December 2021, typhoon Rai (Odette) made 9 times landfall over the Philippines. It caused widespread destruction and affected over 2.4 million vulnerable people – making it one of 2021 worst disasters globally.
The Taal Volcano, located 70 kilometres south of the capital, Manila, is the country’s second most active volcano.
In January 2020, the volcano started spewing lava and sending massive ash clouds and debris as high as 800 metres into the air. The intense seismic activity forced more than 300,000 people to evacuate their homes while causing severe infrastructural damage.
Like many other countries in the Asia Pacific region, the COVID-19 outbreak remains a concern in the Philippines. In March and August 2021, the country experienced surges in new COVID-19 cases nationwide; posing a serious threat to the stretched healthcare system.
Since 2012, the Mindanao conflict has caused the ongoing large-scale displacement of close to 1 million people, creating large humanitarian needs. The EU has classified it as a ‘forgotten crisis’.
How are we helping?
In 2022, the EU is providing €13 million to the Philippines in support of the most vulnerable. This allocation includes €10 million of humanitarian emergency funding to families affected by the typhoon Rai in late December 2021.
Some €1.5 million will go for humanitarian assistance to those affected by the protracted conflict in the Philippines. The funding will also strengthen the support against COVID-19 and other humanitarian operations in the country.
EU humanitarian aid will prioritise the most vulnerable, conflict-affected communities in Mindanao in need of assistance. We will help provide (i) food and nutritional assistance, (ii) health care, (iii) clean water and sanitation measures, and (iv) access to safe, equitable and quality education.
In addition, the EU contributes with €1.5 million to disaster risk reduction and resilience-building initiatives in the country.
Following tropical cyclone Rai in December 2021, the EU allocated an initial €1.7 million for immediate emergency assistance. This humanitarian funding covered urgent needs through the provision of food, drinking water, shelter, and other household items and healthcare services.
Earlier in October 2021, the EU allocated €800,000 in response to the COVID-19 surge in the Philippines.
The aid assisted in the rollout of vaccination in Mindanao’s far-flung areas. This included facilitating access to COVID-19 vaccines and supporting local governments and healthcare authorities in implementing their vaccination campaign.
In November 2020, we allocated over €2.3 million as an immediate response to typhoons Goni and Vamco that struck the Philippines in quick successions. The funding provided shelter, food, health care and access to clean water, safe sanitation and good hygiene to those most affected.
In response to the Taal volcanic eruption in January 2020, the EU allocated €750,000. The funding helped provide shelter, access to clean water, good hygiene practices and sanitation facilities, child protection and psychological support.
To reduce the impact of natural hazards and strengthen the capacities of communities to prepare for future events, the EU’s disaster preparedness programme was set up in 1996.
Current activities focus on enhancing disaster resilience of local government units and impoverished families living in high-risk urban areas in Metro Manila. We fund activities covering local capacity building, early warning systems, education, public awareness campaigns and resilience livelihood planning.
Last updated: 27/01/2022
Picture: European Union (photographer: Peter Biro)
Facts & figures
EU humanitarian aid:
€13 million in 2022
€153.5 million since 1996, including:
- €98 million in response to natural hazards
- €37 million in response to conflict
- €18.5 million on disaster preparedness