The Philippines is a collection of over 7,000 islands, 11 of which host the vast majority of the population. Although the country is one of the most dynamic economies in East Asia, with sound economic fundamentals and a young highly-skilled workforce, 16.6% of the population live below the poverty line. On top of social inequalities and poverty, natural disasters and conflict continue as destabilizing factors.
Located along the typhoon belt in the Pacific, the country is frequently hit by earthquakes and an average of 20 typhoons every year; hence it ranking 2nd in the 2020 Global Climate Risk Index. Beyond natural disasters, the country is faces a five-decade-long conflict in the Mindanao Region. The conflict has included both jihadist and communist movements and continues to trigger regular population displacements, exacerbating poverty and curbing local development.
In the Philippines, ACTED supports the transition from early recovery and rehabilitation towards long-term development. ACTED possesses a strong expertise in the response to natural disasters, i.e. distribution of emergency kits including water, food, shelter and hygiene, and with the reconstruction and rehabilitation of shelter and wash infrastructures, including in IDP camps.
ACTED also engages in the support to social cohesion and sustainable peace, and intervenes with capacity building of local organizations, promotion of inter-religious and inter-community dialogue, training of media practitioners, and organization of Quick Impact Projects to prevent conflict and mainstream tolerance and non-discrimination. Finally, ACTED supports rural development, income enhancement and market channel creation, benefitting farmer communities in Luzon Island.
In order for the local CSOs to efficiently play the role of actors of change in their communities, ACTED developed a specific capacity building tool called the GOCA – Grassroot Organization Capacity Assessment. The GOCA is used to identify capacity building needs, plan technical support interventions, and monitor and evaluate the impact of capacity building support of local organizations. After the capacity-building, ACTED administers sub-grants to the CSOs, enabling them to engage in first person for the development of their communities.
Quick Impact Projects or QIPs, aim to have an immediate impact on the basic needd of beneficiaries. They include: the rehabilitation of water sources, reconstruction of damaged infrastructures and construction of WASH facilities, especially in IDP camps.
ACTED’s project “Strengthening societal respect for religious freedom in Mindanao, the Philippines” aims to enhance interfaith dialogue by promoting a culture of peace, tolerance and religious harmony, supporting the inclusion and cohesion of local civil society, religious faiths, local leaders, media outlets and local authorities.