Development and Peace has a long history of involvement in the Philippines. Its community development program is focused on land reform, agriculture and access to resources for impoverished rural and urban communities.
On November 8th, 2013, the Philippines was hit by the strongest typhoon in its history: Super Typhoon Haiyan. In response, Development and Peace is helping affected communities become more resilient and participate directly in the reconstruction process. Drawing on the expertise of its existing partners, Development and Peace is addressing the poverty, socio-economic inequality and state of powerlessness that makes poor and marginalized communities so vulnerable to natural disasters.
The program has four main components:
- Humanitarian Aid
- Recovery and Reconstruction
- Pope Francis Village
“It is such a blessing from God to have my own boat. What I give of my catch is such a small compared to what we have been given.” Rodel Doble, a fisherman who received aid from Development and Peace and Caritas Philippines – NASSA after Super Typhoon Haiyan.
This program recognizes the fundamental importance of accountability to, and the democratic participation of, affected populations. It transforms the generosity and solidarity of Canadians into a lasting contribution towards improved living conditions and a better future for those most affected.
The Philippines has a population of close to a 100 million. Decades of poor governance has denied the population access to basic amenities and corruption continues to be barrier to development that responds to the needs of all.
The country has vast mineral wealth, however, a 1995 mining bill opened the sector to foreign investment, which has caused the proliferation of open-pit mining to the detriment of the environment and with little benefit to local populations, including a large percentage of indigenous communities.
Despite the majority of the population living from subsistence farming, most land is concentrated in the hands of a few. There have been various attempts to reform this inequality, however, it has been a long process where small-scale farmers have not always received the support they need to gain access to land or make their crops profitable.
In addition to these multiple socio-economic challenges, the Philippines is prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and typhoons. The effects of these are exacerbated by poverty and environmental degradation. In recent years, the strength and frequency of these storms has augmented due to climate change.
On November 8, 2013, the Philippines was struck by the worst natural disaster in its history when Super Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) tore through the centre of the country. The storm reached wind speeds of up to 348 km per hour and made landfall six times, destroying nearly everything in its wake. According to the United Nations, 14 million people were affected by the disaster. The islands of Leyte and Samar were the hardest hit, and the whole region of the Visayas was severely damaged.