This archipelago of 7,000 islands covers 300,000 km, and is populated by 88.5 million people - but 43 per cent survive on less than $2 per day.
CAFOD started working in the Philippines in 1969, when a typhoon struck the country. Afterwards we began defending human rights at the height of martial law in the 1970s. Much of our work today is on the southern island of Mindanao, where fighting between Islamic separatists and Philippine forces is common. Conflicts over land are underscored by religious tensions between Catholics and Muslims.
Around 12 million people belong to indigenous groups, with the indigenous population highest on the southern island of Mindanao.
Located on what geologists call the Pacific “rim of fire”, the Philippines has the third largest global gold deposits and the fourth largest of copper, plus substantial deposits of nickel, chromite, iron, lead and zinc.
Our work in the Philippines includes:
- defending human rights
- disaster relief
- training for farmers
- peace building amongst divided communities.
Rock Rock Antequisa, who works alongside our partners, has seen first hand how religious tensions can divide communities, and how important it is that people understand their neighbour's culture in order to build peace.