Humanitarian Action

Being the Philippines one of the most vulnerable countries in the world facing natural catastrophes,it is therefore one of the main recipients of Spanish emergency aid and other humanitarian action interventions. Spain has always been one of the partner countries most committed to helping victims of natural disasters, as was the case after Tropical Storm Sendong in 2011, Typhoon Bopha in 2012 or the super typhoon Haiyan that hit the Visayas Islands in November of 2013.

For the support to the victims and those affected by Typhoon Haiyan (locally called Yolanda),the AECID deployed direct emergency assistance through a medical and logistical operation to the city of Tacloban, zero zone of the disaster, providing equipment and supplies of first necessity. Most of the active Spanish keyholders in the Philippines were also mobilized to help the affected population, in addition to the entire Spanish society, with a total amount of more than 18 million euros. The Spanish intervention by Typhoon Haiyan is best summarized in the attached fact sheet.

In addition to direct intervention through expert missions or emergency assistance shipments, the AECID also indirectly supports crises through grants from the Office of Humanitarian Action (OAH)directed to NGOs specialized in emergencies and to international organizations. Thus, after the internally displaced persons crisis in the city of Zamboanga by the armed conflict between the MNLF and the Philippine army, in September 2013, the OAH subsidized the NGO Acción contra el Hambre an intervention to restore the integrity and resilience of the internally displaced within the Zamboanga evacuation and transition centers through interventions in water, sanitation and hygiene and nutrition (RISE-Zamboanga). This intervention was financed again in 2016 due to the persistence of the crisis.

Another mechanism of humanitarian intervention of the AECID is the Emergency Agreements with specialized Spanish NGOs, as these organizations have a greater reach to those affected on the ground by their local counterparts. Three NGDO signatories of these agreements are active in the Philippines: Acción contra el Hambre, Spanish Red Cross and Save the Children. Recently, the Action Against Hunger agreement has been activated twice, to help those affected by Typhoon Haima (Lawin) in 2016 and typhoon Nina (Nock) in January 2017.

Humanitarian assistance is also channeled through multilateral organisations, especially through UNICEF, UNHCR and WFP, in joint proposals coordinated with OCHA. These actions have contributed to improving the living conditions of communities internally displaced by conflicts and other vulnerable populations affected by natural disasters throughout the country. The AECID has recently financed the International Committee of the Red Cross for emergency assistance to displaced populations in Mindanao.

Decentralized Cooperation also finances humanitarian action interventions. Some Spanish autonomous communities and local entities have approved projects of Spanish NGOs for help in the field after the effects of several typhoons, especially on the occasion of Typhoon Haiyan.

But the Spanish NGOs not only offer humanitarian aid to the Philippines with official financing. Some with a broad social base allocate their own funds and manage to mobilize ample private resources, either from donations from the private business sector or private contributions. In this regard, the Spanish Red Cross stands out, with a broad history of support for the Philippines in this concept. Manos Unidas and Educo have also earmarked private funds for emergency assistance.