Humanitarian needs and the vulnerability of the population are high in the areas where Cordaid operates in Eastern Samar, Palawan, Cebu and Mindanao. The Philippines are prone to natural disasters (cyclones, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and droughts). While the national government’s initial response is usually rapid and effective in terms of search-and-rescue, measures to build resilience and mitigate the impact of disasters frequently remain unaddressed. The most vulnerable households are often the most affected. This is particularly the case in poor and remote regions. Here, high frequency of natural disasters combines with the consequences of conflicts and violence, resulting in very low coping capacities among the most fragile and marginalized communities. Poverty and lack of access to government services have a multiplier effect. Under climate change scenarios it is projected that the Philippines will be affected by an increase in extreme climate-related events, such as storms, flooding, and drought.
The population of the Philippines is predominately Roman Catholic, with Muslims constituting a 5% minority. Most Muslims live on the southern group of islands of Mindanao, which, apart from being the poorest region of the country, is also a conflict area. Muslim and indigenous communities are the victims of armed conflicts. Various Islamic groups have been fighting to establish an independent Islamic state for quite some time.