Elyx arrives today in the Philippines, a country in South-East Asia made up of no less than 7,107 wondrous islands, located in the western Pacific Ocean.
The UN has a remarkable presence in the Philippines with more than 20 agencies, funds and programs.
WFP colleagues are waiting for Elyx in a warehouse in Southern Philippines, to show the ambassador their work in the field. They tell Elyx that unfortunately the country, which is one of the organisation’s founding members, is frequently affected by natural disasters: about 20 typhoons a year, not to mention earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and climate-related hazards, such as droughts. Indeed, it ranked second out of 171 countries on the 2014 World Risk Index. Hence, WFP’s work in the field is crucial!
These days, Super Typhoon Koppu, known as Lando in the Philippines, is smashing into the country with heavy rains and strong winds. In Elyx’s mind, memories of Super Typhoon Haiyan, in November 2013, are still vivid. One of the most powerful storms on record, it killed more than 6,000 people and injured more than 27,000 others.
WFP staff explains to Elyx how it addressed that challenge: through the distribution of food, especially rice and high-energy biscuits, crucial sources of energy for children in the immediate aftermath. Moreover, cash transfers were made to promote recovery and efforts were deployed to provide logistics and telecommunications. Apart from the emergency response, WFP has been steadily helping the poor in the country, particularly those who have been affected by the over four decade-long conflict in the Southern Mindanao island group. School feeding programmes as well as nutrition support to infants, pregnant and nursing women to prevent stunting are paramount in this sense. Finally, WFP empowers local communities and strengthens their resilience to natural and climate-related disasters through, among others, food assistance for assets’ programmes. Indeed, beneficiaries of food aid get involved in the creation of productive community assets!
To conclude visit, Elyx meets cadets undergoing training at a maritime academy in Manila, the capital city. Maritime professionals enjoy the support of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). As Elyx already knows, IMO, which has been in the Philippines since 2003, is the UN agency responsible for the safety and security of shipping as well as the protection of the marine environment. Elyx learns that IMO designated June 25th as the Day of the Seafarer, to recognise the priceless contribution of maritime professionals to world trade and to thank them for the numerous risks that they take while at work.
More Photos of Elyx in Philippines (Full Flickr Gallery)
Learn more about the Philippines at the United Nations
UNDP in the Philippines
UNICEF in the Philippines
WFP in the Philippines
FAO in the Philippines
UNHCR in the Philippines
IFAD in the Philippines
ILO in the Philippines
UNIDO in the Philippines
UNFPA in the Philippines
UN-HABITAT in the Philippines
IMO in the Philippines
OCHA in the Philippines
UNAIDS in the Philippines
WHO in the Philippines
IOM in the Philippines
Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the United Nations