The Philippines is the third most disaster-prone nation in the world according to the World Risk Index. In any given year, natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, and increasing droughts devastate this island archipelago nation of over 106 million people. Conflict is also an ever-present danger with active rebel groups throughout the nation. Poverty is rampant. When disasters hit, the poor often suffer the most.
As God works through your prayers and support, Samaritan’s Purse is able to respond effectively to disasters in the Philippines. This not only includes responding to pressing needs, but also working to strengthen churches and communities through Hazardous Area Readiness Training (HART).
HART focuses on equipping the local church to identify community risks, prepare the community for future disasters and then to take leadership through church-based disaster responses. Much of our ongoing disaster relief work is through local churches and Christian organizations we serve alongside.
Each year, 18 to 22 major storms hit the Philippines. In 2014, we responded to Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the strongest Category 5 storm in history. These storms bring flooding and landslides that take lives, destroy property, and devastate livelihoods.
In October 2019, we worked alongside local partners and churches to move quickly to care for earthquake victims in Mindanao by providing shelter material and food.
In 2017, the Marawi conflict in Mindanao displaced over 250,000 people. We responded by providing life-saving humanitarian assistance. We have set up ongoing programs in conflict-prone areas in the Philippines to continue to share the love of Jesus.
As COVID-19 causes suffering across the Philippines, God continues to open doors for our teams and church partners to meet the needs of many hurting families. With your support, we are responding to help prevent the spread of coronavirus by running handwashing campaigns, setting up handwashing stations, and supplying soap.
We are also distributing food, nutrition, and hygiene kits to people that have been hardest hit by job losses and food shortages caused by COVID-19. Our teams are also preparing people to deal with the longer-term economic downturn by equipping them to grow nutritious food and diversify how they earn a living. Finally, we are working with a growing network of churches to encourage them and give them skills to sustain their ministries in this time. Pastors and lay leaders are also being equipped to provide spiritual and psycho-social support to their communities.
The needs brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines will continue for months and years to come. Thank you for all you do in Jesus’ Name. God is at work through you, as well as local churches and our teams on the ground. He is sustaining the vulnerable and opening doors for people to hear the Good News of Jesus, “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:19).
Samaritan's Purse is responding in Jesus' Name to help victims of disaster relief in the Philippines. Your gift will help us to quickly meet emergency needs such as clean water, nutrition, and basic hygiene to help bring hope and reduce suffering.