July 2016—Halima Sahim, a 22-year-old native of Lamitan City, Basilan, in Mindanao, used to live without much hope for her future. The third of five siblings, she had to stay home to look after her younger brother and sister instead of finishing her education.
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.
Last updated: July 29, 2016