Results around the world – Philippines
The Philippines is a lower-middle-income country, although some areas are lagging in social and economic indicators relative to the national average, due to conflict and natural disasters. For example, much of the southern island of Mindanao experiences a high degree of fragility, security challenges and significant poverty.
Despite almost a decade of strong economic growth, income inequality remains a significant issue. Data from 2015 indicates that nearly 22 million Filipinos were living below the national poverty line (22% of the population). Of these, 8.2 million do not earn enough to meet even their basic food requirements.
Canada’s international assistance program in the Philippines is focused on improving opportunities for sustainable and inclusive economic growth for poor women and men. There is a specific focus on supporting women entrepreneurs running micro, small and medium-sized businesses with financial services and links to markets. The Philippines Bilateral Program is also working to help youth improve their chances of landing their first jobs by providing them with life skills training and job placement services.
Since 2015, following initial relief efforts undertaken in response to the passage of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, the program has helped those affected by the typhoon to rebuild their livelihoods. This has included the introduction of climate-smart agriculture, value chain development and other climate adaptation efforts.
The Philippines has a well-developed women’s rights and gender equality network that will play a key role in future programming to fight poverty and inequality in the country, including by increasing access to sexual and reproductive health services.
More than 26,000 beneficiaries (17,905 women) have been reached by Canadian-funded post-Typhoon Haiyan projects that support women’s economic empowerment, including 14,904 entrepreneurs, farmers and smallholders (8,019 women) that were provided with financial and/or business development services. Services received included skills training toward community-based enterprise development, financial literacy training, sustainable and resilient farming and fishing technologies, and technical assistance in managing savings and loan programs.
Through Canada’s support to the Philippine Commission on Women, its Women’s Economic Empowerment Project’s market development activities (trade fairs, market matching and selling missions) have generated combined sales of over 43 million Philippine pesos for 1,472 women micro-entrepreneurs.
In addition, through Canada’s Agribusiness Development project, 2,856 loans have been disbursed to farmers and small businesses and over 43,060 smallholder farmers (16,360 women) were trained in sustainable farming practices and technologies.
In collaboration with the Government of the Philippines, the JobStart project has provided school-to-work transition skills to at-risk youth, including life skills and on-the-job training to 13,500 beneficiaries (7,830 women).
Through the Innovations in Reducing Maternal Mortality project, 21,364 mothers and children have been provided with essential health services through clinics or outreach services.
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