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Poverty underpins vulnerability in the Philippines

© IRRI CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Philippines

Those hit hardest were those who had been self-employed before the typhoon, including fisherman, farmers, small-business owners and informal-sector workers. Their households suffered long-term impacts from the disruption in their livelihoods, as they shifted to less capital intensive (and less profitable) occupations.

Even though social protection programmes were initiated (with support targeting the worst-affected areas) poorer households still suffered disproportionately. Self-employed workers who depend on their own capital to make a living were the most negatively impacted by the typhoon and struggled even with access to government and international assistance.

Lack of capital was the biggest impediment to recovery. In general, the poor in both rural and urban areas lacked access to formal sources of credit and were, therefore, forced to borrow from informal money lenders who charge exorbitant interest rates.

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