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Map of the Philippines
UNICEF photo: a group of children © UNICEF/Philippines/2015/Jeoffrey Maitem Children at the Mampang transitory site in Zamboanga City in August 2015. Nearly two years after the urban armed conflict in the city, 17,200 people remain displaced in transition sites.


In 2016, UNICEF and partners plan for:

mothers/caregivers accessed infant and young child counselling for appropriate feeding


people accessed safe water and appropriate/adequate sanitation facilities


conflict-affected and displaced children provided with psychosocial support

2016 Requirements: US$10,070,000

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Total affected population: 3,284,640
Total affected children: 1,970,784

Total people to be reached in 2016: 66,000
Total children to be reached in 2016: 53,700

Large parts of the Mindanao area remained unstable in 2015, with more than 360,000 people displaced between January and October.1 The causes of displacement have included chronic insecurity in the Sulu Archipelago, clan feuding, and the aftermath of the 2013 Zamboanga siege. As of late October, more than 4,000 people are displaced2 and 55 per cent of the displaced are children.3 The number of displaced persons has increased by 68 per cent since September 2014.4 The national elections, which are planned for May 2016, may increase the likelihood of insecurity, particularly in regards to the peace process in Mindanao. In addition to conflict and insecurity, the Philippines is prone to natural hazards, including typhoons, earthquake and volcanoes. The response to Typhoon Hagupit, which hit the country in December 2014, continued into 2015. Due to the El Niño weather phenomenon, more typhoons of greater size are predicted for 2016.5 Although the Government continues to increase its capacity to respond to emergencies, more extreme weather events will likely necessitate UNICEF assistance to complement government efforts.

Humanitarian strategy

2016 Programme Targets


  • 45,000 mothers/caregivers accessed infant and young child counselling for appropriate feeding
  • 1,450 children aged 6 to 59 months admitted to SAM programmes
  • More than 75 per cent recovery rate for children treated for SAM


  • 12,000 children fully covered with the Expanded Programme on Immunization
  • 28,000 children under 5 years received vitamin A and de-worming medication


  • 40,000 people accessed safe water and appropriate/adequate sanitation facilities
  • 66,000 people informed of sanitation and safe hygiene practices

Child protection

  • 75 per cent of reported cases of grave child rights violations verified and responded to
  • 3,000 communities, partners and stakeholders educated and informed on child rights and child protection
  • 12,000 conflict-affected and displaced children provided with psychosocial support


  • 21,492 children accessed safe learning environments
  • 53,700 children provided with learning materials and supplies
  • 4,000 adolescents accessed life skills and psychosocial support


  • 3,500 young people demonstrated correct knowledge in sexual health and HIV

UNICEF works in partnership with the Government of the Philippines in both humanitarian preparedness and response. UNICEF is an active participant in the 12 government-led response clusters under the Department of Social Welfare and Development; supports government leadership of the education cluster with the Department of Education; and supports the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health, nutrition and psychosocial services ‘quad-cluster’ with the Department of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO). UNICEF will employ two broad approaches in its 2016 country humanitarian strategy. The first relates to the ongoing humanitarian situation tied to the chronic conflict in Mindanao, where UNICEF is working at all levels of government, with humanitarian and development partners, and with affected communities to directly respond to the effects of this emergency. The second approach focuses on preparing for and responding to natural hazards and includes the prepositioning of stocks and supplies, as well as working with national and local governments on child-focused hazard mapping, preparedness activities and contingency planning. Wherever possible, UNICEF integrates disaster risk reduction, resilience building and system strengthening into its humanitarian programmes.

Results from 2015

As of 31 October 2015, UNICEF had received 144 per cent (US$15.8 million) of the US$11 million appeal, in addition to the US$17.7 million programmable balance carried forward from 2014. This generous funding has allowed UNICEF to surpass many of its original 2015 targets and pre-position additional emergency supplies to respond to sudden deteriorations in the security situation due to conflict or natural hazards. In 2015, the UNICEF WASH programme was able to respond to a number of localized emergencies, such as the displacement of conflict-affected families in Mindanao; a water shortage in Basilan; and the displacement of indigenous families due to conflict in Tanda City and Davao City and in response to Typhoon Koppu. Efforts to reach children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Zamboanga in 2015 resulted in the malnutrition screening of 52,719 children aged 6 to 59 months. Of these, 960 children with SAM were admitted to the programme and 420 children were discharged as recovered. Working with local government and civil society organizations, UNICEF provided learning materials and supplies in transitory sites for displaced persons with low school attendance rates in conflict-affected Zamboanga City. An ongoing challenge has been the use of schools as evacuation centres for displaced populations. UNICEF has worked to advocate for the priority reconstruction of damaged classrooms to allow schooling to continue and to provide a safe learning environment for children.

Funding requirements

UNICEF is requesting US$10.07 million to meet the humanitarian needs of children in 2016. This includes responding to the needs of children in conflict-affected areas in the ‘forgotten’ chronic emergency of Mindanao, as well as continued support to the displaced populations in Zamboanga City where there HIV prevalence is increasing. The appeal also includes funds for contingency stocks to enable UNICEF to continue to respond quickly to sudden onset emergencies, to provide direct services to affected populations, especially children, and to support the Government’s provision of basic services in emergencies. Funding will also support the monitoring and reporting of grave violations against children in conflict-affected areas, and the United Nations-Moro Islamic Liberation Front Action Plan.

1 Protection Cluster, ‘Monthly Mindanao Displacement Dashboard’, October 2015, Issue no. 21, www.protectionclusterphilippines.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/October-Mindanao-Displacement-Dashboard.pdf, accessed 11 December 2015.
2 Ibid.
3 Percentage calculated based on the child population for all regions of Mindanao, as set out in the Philippines Statistics Authority 2010 Census on Population and Housing.
4 Per cent increase calculated based on the change in numbers of displaced persons documented in the Monthly Mindanao Displacement Dashboards for October 2015 and October 2014. See Protection Cluster, ‘Monthly Mindanao Displacement Dashboard’, October 2015, Issue no. 21, www.protectionclusterphilippines.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/October-Mindanao-Displacement-Dashboard.pdf, accessed 11 December 2015; and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Protection Cluster, ‘Monthly Mindanao Displacement Dashboard’, October 2014, Issue no. 9, unhcr.ph/_cms/wp-content/uploads/UNHCR-October-2014-Mindanao-Displacement-Dashboard.pdf, accessed 11 December 2015.
5 Republic of the Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, ‘SitRep No. 24 re Preparedness Measures and Effects of Typhoon “LANDO” (I.N. KOPPU)’, 31 October 2015, www.ndrrmc.gov.ph/attachments/article/2607/SitRep_No_24_re_Preparedness_Measures_and_Effects_of_Typhoon_LANDO_31OCT2015_6AM.pdf, accessed 11 December 2015.
6 UNICEF nutrition targets for 2015 include a planned response to Typhoon Ruby. However the Government of the Philippines did not make a request for support.
7 Immunization targets were surpassed largely due to Zamboanga City immediately adopting the Reaching Every Purok (Zone) strategy to increase coverage.
8 Training of health workers scheduled for the last two quarters of 2015 was delayed due to scheduling conflicts of both trainers and trainees. The UNICEF role has been the provision of technical assistance and co-funding, together with the Government of the Philippines.
9 Targets exceeded. Prepositioned supplies were used to respond to a number of small-scale displacements in Mindanao and the additional funds received were allocated to Typhoon Hagupit and the ongoing Zamboanga armed conflict response.
10 The unexpected Mamasapano encounter in Maguindanao, in which 180 people were killed in March 2015, caused massive displacement of children and their families. Delivery of psychosocial support to children in evacuation centres by partners through child-friendly space activities led to increased results against planned targets.
11 The number of service providers equipped to meet child protection-in-emergencies needs exceeded planned targets as stakeholders were equipped to respond to the conflict.
12 As results are compiled and reported quarterly, results reported are through 30 September 2015. The result has decreased slightly since mid-year reporting because a comparatively higher number of grave child rights violations were reported in the last few months.
13 The result is lower than planned because the overall number of affected children that required access to safe learning environments in Zamboanga and Mindanao was lower than anticipated.