Mindanao, located in the southernmost region of the Philippines, is rich in natural resources, but decades of internal conflict have left local governments unable to provide adequate services to the people, resulting in poor health, high illiteracy, and widespread poverty.
Under the afternoon sun in the Philippines, harvested grain lays on a solar dryer before processing in a rice mill. Three feet away from the mounds of grain, Anna Grace Cabillo, secretary of the Kasaganahan Irrigators Association Inc., keeps watch.
When a tropical storm hit a small village in the Philippines last year, a simple yet effective flood early warning system proved its worth, saving lives and better preparing residents for the inevitable natural disasters that affect the region.
In 2012, USAID launched the five year, $22.5 million Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) Program to help the Philippines conserve biodiversity, manage forests, support low emissions, and contribute to disaster risk reduction in seven protected areas in the country.
Joy*, 49, lived a basic, comfortable life in the remote, rolling hills of Ormoc City in the central Philippine islands. She and her husband made coconut wine and sold two barrels a week to support their family.
Last updated: April 13, 2016