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Located 500 miles off the coast of mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines is an independent island nation in the western Pacific Ocean. More than 7,100 volcanic islands make up this tropical country. The country experiences an average of 19 typhoons a year.

  • Population: 96,706,800
  • Life Expectancy: 69 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 92%
  • School Enrollment: 89%
  • Land Mass: 115,830 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 95%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 30/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 2,470

Facts about Philippines

The Philippines is ranked as one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines in November 2013, is the strongest storm ever known to have made landfall.

Out of 100 children who enter first grade in the Philippines, only 65 ultimately complete the six-year elementary education. Of those 65, only 42 graduate from high school.

Violence against children in the Philippines has increased over the past
several years. One out five women experiences physical or sexual violence at an age as young as 15.

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Progress in Philippines

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2013.

  • Helped communities develop savings and credit associations to teach families about money management and provide low interest rates.

  • Trained families in income-generating activities, such as mushroom cultivation and fish farming, in order to increase household income.

  • Improved the nutritional status of children under age 5 by conducting an awareness campaign for pregnant women on the benefits of breastfeeding during the first six months.

  • Educated new mothers about children’s nutrition and healthcare in order to reduce disease and malnutrition.

  • Provided spiritual nurture for children through Bible classes and vacation Bible schools, and trained local youth to help lead these activities.

  • Formed community savings and credit associations to help families start small businesses, pay medical expenses, and improve household living conditions.

  • Launched an emergency relief and recovery response in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, providing life-saving assistance for survivors and helping with the reconstruction of houses, schools, and health centers.

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    World Vision in Philippines Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of the Philippines to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 15,700 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in the Philippines. Highlights include:

    • Increasing resilience of children who are most vulnerable because of malnutrition, violence, exploitation, and emergencies.
    • Enabling families to provide for the basic needs of their children.

    World Vision History in Philippines

    World Vision began working with the people of the Philippines in Manila in 1954, providing childcare projects for orphanages and daycare centers. Since then, some major accomplishments include:

    • Offering medical care to people in remote, sea-locked villages during the 1960s.
    • Promoting self-sufficiency for people on islands through agricultural production, improved fishing techniques, and improved water supplies in the 1970s.
    • Providing food, seeds, housing materials, tools, and medicine to people suffering from a drought and typhoon during the 1980s.
    • Helping people affected by natural disasters and promoting nutrition, education, and community development since the 1990s and into the 21st century.

    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    Located 500 miles off the coast of mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines is an independent island nation in the western Pacific Ocean. More than 7,100 volcanic islands make up this tropical country. The country experiences an average of 19 typhoons a year.

    Nearly half of all industrial production is agricultural products, with rice and corn being the staple food crops. Fishing, forestry, and tourism are also important. Natural resources include timber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, and copper.

    Filipinos have extremely close family ties, with grandparents, aunts, and uncles all living together. It is common for a child to continue living with his or her parents even after getting married.

    Many cultures have contributed to the Filipino population. Most Filipinos are an ethnic mix of Malay and some Chinese, Indian, Spanish, and American ancestry. While people speak eight major dialects, Filipino and English are the official languages.


    The Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth in 1935 after years under U.S. control. In 1941, the Japanese invaded the Philippines, and U.S. forces recaptured the islands in 1944. The country attained full independence two years later.

    Ferdinand Marcos ruled for 21 years until a rebellion forced him into exile in 1986. Corazon Aquino, widow of the rebellion leader, was installed as president, but she never established political stability. In 1987, Filipinos held free elections and have continued these elections, despite rebel factions.

    A small group of guerrillas, known as Abu Sayyaf, has been fighting for an independent Islamic state in the country since the 1970s. Nearly 120,000 people have lost their lives in the conflicts with rebel groups, and more than 3 million have been displaced. The Philippines still faces threats from several terrorist groups today.

    Prayer Requests for Philippines

    • For continued recovery in communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
    • For healthcare workers to locate and treat children who are underweight due to malnutrition.
    • For families struggling to rebuild their lives after a long typhoon season.
    • For the protection and care of vulnerable children.