Philippines Population: 103 Million People
Where We Work
Ranked 115 out of 188 Countries
Rank in Human Development Index:
Ranked 3rd out of 171 Countries
World Risk Index (2015)
Ranked 4th out of 188 Countries
Global Climate Risk Index (2016)
One of the most disaster-prone areas, the Philippines is a tropical country in Southeast Asia made up of more than 7,000 volcanic islands. The Philippines is hit by an average 23 typhoons a year and is also vulnerable to tsunamis, flooding, volcanic eruptions, landslides, droughts, earthquakes and armed conflict — all of which contribute to a pervasive food deficit.
Twenty-five percent of the entire Philippine population live below the national poverty line. In marginalized rural regions where income is limited and farming is the only means of survival, most live in absolute poverty – living on less than 50 cents a day – and have very limited human, physical, or financial resources, or social networks that allow citizens to combine their resources and mobilize the community.
Poverty in the Philippines’ Rural Regions
In rural Philippines, nearly one-fourth of the population has no access to clean water. The World Health Organization estimates that diarrhea is responsible for about 8.5 percent of all deaths in the region. Life’s basics – food, clothing, shelter, and health care – are hard to come by.
- Many have a lifestyle of “one day, one eat,” or “one meal a day.”
- Most children wake up in the morning to little or no breakfast, and they live in makeshift homes that cannot properly protect them from the elements like typhoons, floods, and virus-carrying mosquitoes.
- At night, families typically sleep on a wooden bamboo floor in one small room, with flickering light from a kerosene lamp.
- Poor rural parents work very hard as farmers, fishermen, pedicab drivers and vendors, yet they earn very little.
- There are few educational opportunities for children, including hygiene and nutritional information.
Life In the Rural Region of the Philippines
Geography & Climate
- Throughout the Philippines, the weather is hot and humid year-round.
- During the dry seasons, there are few ways to make a living, and malnourishment rises during these long months.
- The rainy season brings relief but it is often short-lived, as low-lying fields flood and a year’s wages are washed away in the mud.
- The rainy season is June through November, when life-threatening typhoons can strike.
- Absolute poverty (less than 50 cents a day) is common among rural families, who typically make a meager living from agriculture.
- Children often drop out of school to work in the fields.
- Most families have little access to sanitary water, and electricity is sporadic, if available at all.
- Their homes are prone to flooding and typhoons each year. Many collapse.
Local Needs and Challenges
- Children in rural Philippines are vulnerable to illness because few medical facilities are available.
- Even when facilities are accessible, their parents are too poor to seek help.
- Many children die from easily preventable and treatable diseases, including infections, mosquito-carrying viruses, colds, and diarrhea.
- Due to extreme poverty, child labor is also an issue in rural Philippines.
- Each year, devastating typhoons destroy the homes and livelihoods of rural families.