7,107 islands make up the Phillippines. Among other issues as poverty and a vulnerable infrastructure surrounding the islands, the Phillippine’s geography is one that makes reaching remote areas a struggle, especially for its central government and for first responders in the wake of natural disasters.
Even so, as far as global issues go, natural disasters as an issue is a complicated one, because it is one that halts the path towards resolving other issues from universal education to poverty. It complicates the journey for children to go to school, while sometimes destroying the infrastructure providing the schooling, and also paving the way for further discrimination and gender inequality.
As Global Fund for Children‘s Amanda Hsiung writes, “…while the [Phillippine’s] government is regrettably experienced with responding to natural disasters, the country’s geography of 7,107 islands and the central government’s lack of reach into remote areas weaken national disaster preparation and response.”
While thousands are displaced and the immediate help and service is much needed in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, we tend to dismiss the future around the corner in order to provide such relief. As our partners at Global Fund for Children write, such relief is without a doubt critical and needed, but we must also shed light on the grassroots on the frontline that will take over once first responders’ work is done.
Such grassroots in the frontline have the capacity to provide long-lasting and effective aid. GFC’s first respond approach provides rapid grants and aid to 89 grassroots organizations across the globe, among them the Cartwheel Foundation, which provides education to a student population belonging to one of the most remote indigenous groups in the Phillippines. (To donate to GFC, click here. Click here for an overview on Global Fund for Children’s first response in conjunction with grassroots method.)
Global Fund for Women is an additional non-profit that will be supplying immediate aid to women relief programs in the Phillippines.
“The unfortunate reality is that natural disasters often exacerbate existing inequalities and discrimination against women,” states GFW. “Women and girls, who account for over half of the 200 million people affected annually by natural disasters, are typically at greater risk from natural hazards than men – particularly in low-income countries and among the poor, according to the Brookings Institution.”
To learn more about GFW and how to donate, click here.