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CRS in Philippines

The Philippines is one of the world’s most disaster prone countries in the world, with risk to typhoons, earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic eruptions. Although the country is rapidly urbanizing, there are still many people living in severe poverty mainly in the rural areas. Twenty-five percent of the population lives on $1.25 a day or less and 40% lives on $2 a day or less. Meanwhile, in the southern Philippines, long-standing conflicts that exist between religious and ethnic groups make it more difficult to have lasting peace and development, particularly in affected areas. 

To date, the largest example of CRS’ emergency response and recovery efforts was after Typhoon Haiyan. Considered one of the most powerful storms to ever make landfall, Haiyan slammed in the center of the Philippines leaving more than 6,000 dead, 14 million people affected, and more than 1 million homes damaged or destroyed.  

CRS has committed to help 500,000 people get back on their feet from Typhoon Haiyan with living supplies, clean water, sanitation, debris clearing, innovative permanent housing and sustainable jobs. Learn more in our financial report.

In the immediate response to the typhoon, CRS was able to deploy teams across the Philippines’ most heavily affected areas to identify and address most pressing needs. Within three months after the typhoon, CRS, in collaboration with Caritas, was able to provide 40,000 families or 200,000 people with emergency shelter, clean water and sanitation. 

In our typhoon recovery programs, CRS rebuilt and repaired more than 20,000 houses by December 2015 as part of one of the largest rebuilding projects in the country. Read more about the program.


People Served: 738,229 (FY 2014: 364,714 direct; 373,515 indirect)   

Population: 107,668,231 (July 2014 est.)

Size: 300,000 sq km with over 7,000 islands; slightly less than twice the size of Georgia; slightly larger than Arizona

CRS' History in Philippines

Since 1945, CRS has been supporting the Philippines and providing Filipino communities long-term development aid through its various programs ranging from emergency response and recovery to disaster preparedness, agro-enterprise and peacebuilding.  

In emergency response and recovery efforts, CRS takes a comprehensive approach that addresses urgent life-saving assistance with an eye toward a full recovery. The agency also aims to help people survive with dignity, get back on their feet, rebuild their homes and lives, and strengthen their long-term stability and resilience. 

CRS agriculture programs link farmers to profitable markets to help lift them out of poverty, while the peacebuilding programs help individuals recover from trauma, assist conflicting groups to reconcile, and lessen violence in the southern part of the Philippines. 

Now in its 70th year, the Country Program of CRS Philippines has 450 staff in six offices in Manila, Davao, Tagum, Tacloban, Eastern Samar, and Cebu City.