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Severe flooding and powerful earthquakes hit the Philippines

27 November 2023 Philippines Responding

Over 1.1 million people have been affected by severe ongoing flooding in the Philippines, which was also struck by two powerful earthquakes.

With a population of over 103 million people, The Philippines is one of the most highly populated nations in the world. Sadly more than 8.5 million people are living on less than $1.90 (£1.40) a day and the frequent threat of natural disasters and food insecurity are an ongoing problem. We assist local communities by providing much-needed disaster and food relief.

At present, around seven million people across The Philippines are living on less than $1.90 (£1.40 a day), with many people not receiving adequate nutrition. Armed conflict and frequent natural hazards, including natural and climate-related disasters such as drought, flooding, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, continue to have a hugely devastating impact on the local population.

Climate change is exacerbating the risk of disaster as communities are having to adapt to their changing environment, which is increasingly threatening the stability of local communities reliant upon agriculture and with fragile infrastructure.

Each year The Philippines is hit on average by 20 typhoons. For the 25-30% of the population reliant on agriculture, this has an especially detrimental effect.

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The situation in The Philippines

Armed conflict and frequent natural hazards continue to have a hugely devastating impact on the local population.


of the population do not have access to basic sanitation facilities (World Bank, 2018)


are living in poverty (UNDP, 2019)


typhoons on average hit the Philippines each year (WFP, 2019)


of children (aged 6 months – 5 years) suffer from chronic malnutrition (WFP, 2019)

Islamic Relief in Philippines

The Philippines is a country particularly prone to disasters, and as sea levels continue to rise, it is increasingly vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

Islamic Relief has responded to several natural disasters across the Philippines. When Typhoon Haiyan struck in 2013, as part of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) – we raised a total of £90 million, reaching over 4 million people. Our work included providing tents and tarpaulins to 4,500 families who had lost their homes in the tropical storm; and helping distribute food and water to around 160,000 people.

Islamic Relief continues to take immediate action to address the needs of those most affected, prioritising disaster preparedness, disaster risk reduction, shelter, and various WASH projects.

Islamic Relief in action

In 2021, Super Typhoon Rai, known locally as Odette, destroyed homes, uprooted trees, and toppled power lines in the Philippines. It also dumped torrential rain, triggering floods and landslides, triggering forced evacuations and left devastation across Visayas and Mindanao Island groups. Many were left with damaged homes or destroyed homes in a community already in critical need for food and nutritional support due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Islamic Relief Philippines responded by providing clean water supplies, emergency shelter assistance, food items, hygiene and items to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Afterwards, we helped local families rebuild their lives through food and livelihoods interventions, including vocational training programmes.

Islamic Relief staff distributing aid
Image: Islamic Relief aid workers distribute Qurbani meat to vulnerable families.

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