In 2006, following a request of the Government of the Philippines, WFP returned to the country to complement the government’s efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Mindanao by addressing the food security needs of vulnerable people in conflict-affected areas.
After more than four decades of armed conflict between the government and the main separatist groups, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the region’s poverty indicators fall far below the national average with a poverty incidence of 47 percent among the population and with six out of the ten poorest provinces of the country located in Mindanao. Other basic indicators such as the rate of primary school completion and stunting among children under five are significantly worse compared to the rest of the country.
In 1996, the MNLF signed a final peace agreement with the government. However, its breakaway group, the MILF, found some terms in the accord unacceptable, which led to continuing conflicts that had upsurges in the years 2000, 2003, and 2008/2009. Peace talks resumed in December 2009, with both sides committed to achieving peace. On 15 October 2012, the MILF and the Philippine Government signed a Framework Agreement to support ongoing efforts to bring peace to conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.
Beyond Mindanao, the Philippines is a disaster-prone country with an estimated 20 typhoons annually, of which approximately five are expected to cause major damage, along with the potential for floods and landslides.
WFP Philippines supports national and local government efforts to effectively and efficiently prepare for and respond to natural disasters -- as well as the impacts of climate change -- by implementing various projects in selected highly disaster-prone provinces.
If requested, WFP also stands ready to support the government where emergency responses are needed, such as in the aftermath of Tropical Storms Nesat, Nalgae, Washi, and Bopha (locally named Pedring, Quiel, Sendong, and Pablo, respectively) in 2012; and most recently, in the aftermath of the Zamboanga Conflict, Bohol Earthquake, and Super Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda) in 2013.