Canadian international assistance in the Philippines
Despite the fact that the country has strong potential for development, the Philippines still ranks 116 out of 188 countries on the United Nations Development Programme's 2016 Human Development Index.
The Philippines made good progress in meeting several of the Millennium Development Goals between 2000 and 2015. It achieved gender equality in education, reduced the mortality rate among children aged five and younger, reduced the number of tuberculosis cases, and increased access to water and sanitation services.
Challenges for the Philippines
Progress is threatened by economic and social inequality, as well as by regional disparities, especially in the conflict-affected provinces on the island of Mindanao. This means that making sure social services reach the poor and most marginalized remains a major challenge.
In 2015, almost one in five Filipinos lived on less than US$1.90/day. In addition, frequent natural disasters such as typhoons, storm surges, earthquakes and flooding have resulted in severe loss of life and property and have hampered efforts to reduce poverty.
Women in the labour force are confined largely to low-wage, low-productivity jobs and have limited access to land ownership, credit and training.
Although annual economic growth over the 2010-2014 period averaged 6.24% according to the Asian Development Bank, the economy is vulnerable to shifts in international conditions. This is in part, because it relies heavily on remittances from millions of overseas Filipino workers. The investment climate suffers from low competitiveness, the high cost of doing business, and a lack of adequate and reliable infrastructure.
Weak local governance is recognized as a key constraint to the country’s sustained economic growth and poverty reduction, although a number of key governance reforms were undertaken in recent years. The Philippines has a vibrant private sector and an active civil society, both important partners in development.
Our international development assistance
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The goal of Canada's international development assistance program in the Philippines is to improve the climate for investment and advancing the economic opportunities of poor women and men. This includes helping those affected by natural disasters to become more economically resilient.
Canada works closely with the Government of the Philippines and other parties to ensure that the program’s goals respond to the development needs of the country.
We help the Philippines strengthen its investment climate and advance economic opportunities for poor women and men by working with national and local governments as well as non-governmental organizations (civil society, academe and private sector) to:
- improve the competitiveness of key economic sectors
- improve investments in quality and disaster-resilient infrastructure
- simplify business regulations and processes
- improve sector-specific value chains, which include the full range of activities required to bring a product from an idea to production, to delivery, to consumers, to disposal after use
- rebuild livelihoods in regions affected by Typhoon Haiyan
- deliver programs and services that help poor women and men entrepreneurs and low-skilled workers develop business skills and skills for employment, increase productivity and improve their access to financing and markets
Key anticipated results
- Improved legal, policy, and regulatory framework for gender-responsive private sector-led growth, enhanced competitiveness of key economic sectors, and increased investments in resilient infrastructure
- More micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, especially those headed by women, and smallholder farmers have access to business development support services, technology, and finance to enhance their productivity and access to domestic and regional markets.
- Increased participation of targeted women and men affected by Typhoon Haiyan in sustained and resilient economic activities
- Increased access of low-skilled workers, targeting youth and women, to high-quality and demand-driven skills development and on-the-job training opportunities
Progress on aid effectiveness
The Philippines adheres to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and has taken steps to improve donor alignment and harmonization, strengthen local ownership and integrate results-based management systems.
In May 2015, Canada and the Philippines signed a mutual accountability framework (MAF) reaffirming the aid effectiveness principles of transparent and effective development cooperation between Canada and the Philippines for the period 2014-2019 (see link to the framework below).
- Mutual Accountability Framework for Development Cooperation between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Philippines, 2015-2020
- The Southeast Asia Regional Program
- Canada's Response to Typhoon Haiyan
- The Embassy of Canada in the Philippines
- United Nations Development Programme's 2015 Human Development Index
- Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness
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