HI’s emergency teams regularly provide response to recurrent natural disasters in the country.
Destruction in Leyte province following typhoon Haiyan | © B. Blondel / HI
Since 1985, HI has worked in the most poverty-stricken areas of the Philippines.
The organisation’s teams regularly provide emergency response in the wake of cyclones, volcanic eruptions or floods, which regularly strike the country. Following Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, the most violent typhoon ever recorded, HI also launched an emergency response in the provinces of Leyte and Capiz. The organisation’s teams deployed a logistics platform to help ensure humanitarian aid reached the most isolated areas. They also distributed 1,390 tents to people whose homes had been destroyed, and supported the process to rebuild shelters for 900 households. HI also worked in 50 Child Friendly Spaces to ensure children with disabilities were able to play and learn in a secure environment.
HI now sets up and strengthens existing prevention, early detection, referral and response systems relating to development delay in children, the onset of disability, etc. including by training early childhood actors and medical staff and advising parents.
HI also builds the resilience of vulnerable communities to natural disasters by raising the natural disaster risk awareness of civil society organisations and other organisations. The priority for HI is to enable the most vulnerable people, including isolated people, pregnant women, and people with disabilities, to prepare for these disasters, extremely frequent in the Philippines, to be able protect themselves, and to ensure they are not forgotten by organisations providing victim assistance in the aftermath of disasters. HI also raises the awareness and prepares directly the families most vulnerable to disasters in communities of the cities of Cotabato and Marawi.
HI is also implementing the ‘Forward Together’ project that aims to give young people with disabilities access to employment in Indonesia and the Philippines.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, HI has continued to help the world’s most vulnerable people. We have adapted our interventions in more than 45 countries.
A country badly affected by natural disasters.
Located in South-East Asia, the Philippines archipelago is one of the most vulnerable regions on the planet in terms of natural disasters. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions cause substantial losses and extensive damage. Typhoons are very frequent and their secondary effects – landslides, flooding and flash floods – are devastating. Typhoon Haiyan hit the country in November 2013 and left 8,000 people dead and 15 million affected in some way by the disaster. During the two decades that preceded Typhoon Haiyan, natural disasters had already killed more than 31,000 persons and affected 98 million people in the Philippines.
Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the country in November 2013, killed 8,000 people and affected more than 15 million others.
As in many developing countries, non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease also pose a serious threat and are one of the causes of disabilities in the population.
In the Philippines, poverty is not just a rural phenomenon. There are major inequalities between different regions and socio-economic groups. The poorest provinces are those of Visayas and Mindanao, but poverty is also very acute in the southern regions of Luzon.
The Philippines has ratified the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Legislative measures have been adopted since 1982 and a major law to protect people with disabilities was promulgated in 1992. It emphasises their right to participate fully in society and to access training and employment, education, health and social services and public transport on an equal basis.
Number of HI staff members: 24
Date the programme opened: 1985, and the regional programme including the Philippines, Indonesia and East Timor was opened in January 2017.