AECID Humanitarian Action
The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to natural disasters and one of those that suffers the most (3rd in the World Risk Index 2016), which is why it has become one of the main destinations for Humanitarian Aid of the Spanish cooperation. In this area, emergency response actions have been developed, mainly by typhoons and tropical storms, throughout the country.
The AECID has supported the Philippines in all the crises in which its presence has been demanded, as happened with the tropical storm Washi (locally Sendong) in 2011, the typhoon Bopha (Pablo) in 2012, the Bohol earthquake in 2013 (from 7.1 scale on the Richter scale), the Super Typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda) in November 2013) or the most recent produced by the concatenated typhoons Sarika and Haima in October 2016. Spain has been one of the main bilateral actors in the response to these crises, with a contribution amounting to more than 28 million euros from 2007 to the present.
The AECID and its Office of Humanitarian Action have different mechanisms to channel humanitarian aid in case of crisis:
Bilateral: Channeling funds directly through the Technical Cooperation Office (OTC) in the country, who directly manages the project or purchases necessary equipment and humanitarian supplies, which are donated to the Philippine agencies competent in emergency management.
Emergency Agreements with specialized NGOs: AECID has valid Emergency Agreements with three Spanish NGOs present in the Philippines (Action Against Hunger, Spanish Red Cross and Save the Children Spain). Agreements that are activated if necessary (during the crisis of the Haiyan three more NGOs joined: Intermón-Oxfam, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Médecins du Monde), this mechanism allows the rapid channeling of funds to attend an emergency, as in the operation with Action Against Hunger for the emergency caused by Typhoon Haima in 2016 and typhoon Nina in 2017.
Multilateral: Another very important part of humanitarian aid is channeled through the United Nations agencies (OCHA, WFP, UNICEF …) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), serving both those affected by natural phenomena as to vulnerable populations in conflict areas in Mindanao.Read the next fact sheet
The emergency caused by Typhoon Haiyán (Yolanda) caused great
destruction in the Central Visayas Islands along with a very high
number of victims. It also motivated an unprecedented international
response of solidarity.
This response also included Spanish Cooperation, which for years
has been developing actions of prevention, preparation and response
to recurrent natural disasters.
In the case of the intervention to the Philippines due to the disaster caused by Typhoon Haiyan, the assistance provided by the Spanish Cooperation included:
1. Bilateral: focused on medical care in Tacloban and the arrival of several airplanes from Spain with medical supplies.
2. Through NGOs, activation the emergency agreements with the Red Cross, Save the Children, Intermón-Oxfam, Acción Contra el Hambre and Médicos sin Fronteras
3. Through Multilateral, particularly with the World Food Program (WFP)and UNICEF.
A Spanish medical team of 35 people with surgical capacity (type 2 according to WHO classification) directly supported the work of the Regional Hospital Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (regional reference hospital located in Tacloban, which covers the entire area of Samar and Leyte) .
Additionally, the basic services of the hospital (water and electricity) and the functioning of several rooms that had suffered minor damages (delivery rooms, neonatal ICU, operating rooms) were restored. This assistance was accompanied by the donation of several tons of medicines and medical equipment (cardiac monitors, respirators, defibrillators, etc.) that allowed from the beginning to guarantee quality medical assistance once the Spanish team left the country.