Due to its geographic location, the Philippines is one of the world’s most disaster prone countries, particularly vulnerable to tropical cyclones and floods, earthquakes, landslides and volcanic eruptions. These disasters can easily wipe-out years of hard-won development gains in the country. The U.S. Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is a committed supporter and partner of the Government of the Philippines in alleviating the suffering of people that have been affected by disasters; and in promoting approaches that reduce people’s vulnerability to hazardous events. The USAID humanitarian assistance approach focuses on providing rapid and appropriate emergency response to requests for assistance, as well as fostering self-sufficiency through disaster risk reduction (DRR).
USAID has been providing humanitarian assistance to the Philippines in response to natural and man-made disasters. The U.S. Government, through USAID has provided a total of PhP 2,117,350,000 (US$51.6 million) over the past five years to aid with the disaster response in the Philippines. The U.S. Government is helping the Philippines cope with the effects of calamities by improving mechanisms to effectively adapt and respond to natural disasters. This includes responses to Tropical Storm Ketsana (Ondoy) in 2009, Typhoon Megi (Juan) in 2010, Tropical Storm Washi (Sendong) in 2011, and Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) in 2012.
On December 4, 2012, Typhoon Bopha made landfall in the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, bringing heavy rains and sustained winds of up to 175 kilometers per hour, as well as flooding and landslides, to areas along its path. The storm moved west-northwestward across the Philippines, primarily affecting Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, and Negros Oriental provinces. The U.S. Government has provided a total of PhP 508,400,000 (US$12.4 million) to support the emergency assistance to individuals affected by Typhoon Pablo in the Philippines. This funding is helping address the humanitarian needs of typhoon-affected populations in Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, and Negros Oriental provinces, and includes support for emergency shelter, logistics, and water, sanitation, and hygiene activities, as well as the provision of emergency relief commodities and rice.
USAID also implements a DRR program aimed at enhancing the capacity of the national and local government units in reducing disaster risks by managing the causal factors of disasters, as well as reducing exposures to hazards, lessening the vulnerability of people and property, and improving the level of preparedness for future adverse events. In partnership with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), USAID is providing assistance to increase the capacity of regional and provincial level DRR councils to adopt the Incident Command System as the structured disaster response approach. USAID provides local government units technical assistance to enable them to increase their capacity to prepare for and reduce the adverse impacts of disasters. USAID also works with the Department of Education and various schools in mainstreaming DRR into secondary education curriculum through teacher training and adoption of DRR teaching activities. In Fiscal Year 2012, USAID provided over PhP 168 million (US$4.9 million) for disaster risk reduction activities in the Philippines.
Last updated: May 10, 2013