Philippines at a glance

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The crisis and the response

  • In 2009, typhoons in Luzon affected 8.2 million people.
  • The impact of unresolved conflict in Mindanao left hundreds of thousands displaced.
  • The Luzon response was rapid: resources arrived within days as the US Army helped reach isolated communities.
  • Post-typhoon needs assessments were uncoordinated: lack of standardised formats complicated information exchange.
  • The government has been both an ally and a hindrance in crisis response: while it rapidly called for international assistance in Luzon, it has continued to downplay the Mindanao humanitarian crisis and rejected the need for robust international engagement.
  • The cluster system and national coordination systems were not well aligned.

Donor performance

  • Humanitarian agencies generally praise the Luzon donor response as timely and flexible.
  • However, initial support quickly peaked, leaving the Flash Appeal only 43 percent covered by October 2010. Coverage of shelter, education and is below ten per cent, with no response to livelihoods and early recovery needs.
  • Donors over-relied on government declarations of posttyphoon needs and there was insufficient subsequent monitoring.
  • CERF disbursement procedures were slow and bureaucratic: many would-be applicants could not meet deadlines and conditions.
  • Donors have been insufficiently engaged in Mindanao.

Key challenges and areas for improvement

  • Donors should diversify funding to support the work of local tiers of government and Philippine civil society.
  • Donors should advocate more strongly for government adherence to international humanitarian law in Mindanao.
  • Partners must be encouraged to genuinely involve beneficiaries in needs assessment and evaluations.
  • There is a need for additional funding for both emergency and reconstruction needs in Mindanao.
  • Frequency of natural disasters is likely to increase due to climate change: more substantial DDR investment, especially at community level, is imperative.

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Philippines at a glance

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