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Poverty & Malnutrition
The Philippines, home of Ruel Foundation’s Pediatric Center, is made up of over 7000 islands, making it incredibly diverse. The islands encompass many remote locations, and as such it difficult for federal and local government to reach all children included in the nation.
The Philippines has a checkered past that has seen armed conflict between the Government and various militant groups, leading to the uprooting of millions of citizens from their homes over the past 40 years. Whilst peace has been restored to many parts of the Philippines over the past few years, there are still huge inequities between the wealthy and extremely poor. For those at risk, access to food and clean water is extremely difficult, directly resulting in 20% of Filipino children under the age of five suffering from malnutrition.
Almost 50 % of the population lives on less than $2 a day and malnutrition rates are listed at close to 20%. Joint Council for International Children’s Services.
There is an over-reliance on rice and low levels of breastfeeding, meaning that children just aren't getting enough to eat. As a result, the growth of approximately 32% of children in the Philippines is stunted.
Starving children and their families living in rural areas of Philippines are also exposed to typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, complicating and endangering life even further.
UNICEF estimates that there are 1.8 million orphans in the Philippines and other children live without permanent parental care as a result of abandonment or relinquishment. The primary cause of this is persistent and extreme poverty making it difficult for parents to care for their children. The need is great!