Typhoon Haiyan (known as Yolanda in the Philippines) crossed the Philippines with devastating violence, leaving behind untold destruction and an initial estimate of 1,200 deaths that early evidence suggests may exceed 10,000.
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The Philippines has a troubled history of armed conflict between the government and various militant groups, uprooting millions of citizens from their homes over the last 40 years. While a climate of peace has prevailed over the past five years, huge inequities remain between the wealthy and extremely poor. Access to food and clean water remains a huge challenge to the most at risk, with more than 20% of Filipino children under age five experiencing malnutrition.
In addition, the nation is highly vulnerable to recurring natural disasters, such as typhoons and tsunamis, earthquakes and landslides, droughts and floods, and volcanic eruptions. Material and economic losses, in addition to large casualty counts, are catastrophic in the wake of such events. Most recently, in December 2012, Typhoon Bopha devastated the Surigao del Sur region of the country, destroying the livelihoods of more than six million people.
Responding to Emergencies, Creating Lasting Solutions
Action Against Hunger has worked in the Philippines since 2000, in places like north and central Mindanao and Bicol, helping communities affected by natural disasters or displaced by conflict. We run programs in nutrition and health, food security and livelihoods, and water, sanitation, and hygiene, promote public health education, and use targeted cash transfers to help vulnerable Filipinos recover after humanitarian emergencies.
We are also proud to note that in July 2013, the Philippines made a major commitment to promoting nutrition, joining the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement. The SUN Movement allows countries to collaborate with donors and partners in development to increase nutritional interventions where they are most needed. We were proud to represent the NGO sector in the Philippines at the signing, and look forward to advancing the cause of nutrition throughout the country.
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