Almost 95 million people were affected by natural hazards and extreme weather events in 2019. Together with partners, we provide disaster risk reduction through integrated risk management to reduce the consequences in the long term.

Disaster preparedness: preventing suffering before it happens

Knowledge about the causes and effects of natural disasters has never been more comprehensive than today. The results can help to make disaster risk reduction more effective and thus save many lives in the future. The need is urgent: in 2019, almost 95 million people worldwide were affected by increasing natural hazards and extreme weather events. 

Between 2013 and 2016, the Philippines was hit by numerous storms and typhoons as well as a prolonged dry period caused by the El Niño climate phenomenon. In 2018, a severe earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Central Sulawesi. Further quakes, a severe volcanic eruption and tsunamis followed. In both countries, Johanniter, together with our local partners, are committed to foresighted prevention work to improve the protection of people against future disasters.

People's vulnerability determines the degree of impact: if individuals, families or entire communities have not put in place strong structures or preventive measures, they have little means to counteract external negative influences. The rehabilitation of nature, the sustainable use of resources and the decisive involvement of affected communities with their local knowledge are crucial to strengthen resilience. The following selection of our projects in the Philippines and Indonesia shows just how diverse this can be.

Indonesia: Reconstruction with effective disaster preparedness

In Central Sulawesi, our partner organisation INANTA (Inovasi Ketahanan Komunitas) is strengthening local structures for disaster control. In five communities of the Sigi district, risk maps were prepared, teams of volunteers were trained in disaster preparedness and exercises were conducted. Special attention is paid to particularly vulnerable groups such as the elderly, children, pregnant women or people with disabilities.

During the flash flood on 14 September 2020, I assessed the data on victims and damage to public facilities. We contacted those affected to evacuate them to a safe place.
Wawancandra, 38 – Volunteers of the Civil Protection Committee of Rogo Village

Dinagat Islands: Protecting nature means reduction of risks from natural disasters

Mining and years of illegal fishing have caused severe damage to the coasts and waters around the Dinagat archipelago. Six affected districts organised themselves and developed plans to protect nature and improve their living and income conditions. Community patrols now protect the waters, and people know more about their rights and the risks of natural disasters.

The project restored vital natural systems and linked them to income generation initiatives. Integrated risk management has a much improved impact on communities vulnerable to climatic induced disasters.
Ronald Langford, Director of the Johanniter office in the Philippines

Lanao del Norte: Overcoming emergencies with self-organised communities

In addition to natural disasters, military conflicts between religiously motivated rebel groups and state security forces have caused poverty among the Filipino population in the past. Tens of thousands of people had to leave the city of Marawi in 2017, which was almost completely destroyed. With the Survivor and Community-led Response Approach, our partner organisation ECOWEB organised the dispersed displaced persons, who supported each other in restarting their lives. Today, the establishment of self-help groups and close cooperation are the basis for overcoming future crises and disasters faster and more unharmed.

I have seen measures implemented in a few weeks that would otherwise take a year. The communities and self-help groups made maximum use of their capacities by applying their own solutions and recovery strategies
Rasmia Mutia, ECOWEB coordinator, on the impact of the SCLR approach

Disaster response exercise in Indonesia

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  • Indonesia

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  • Philippines

    More about the country and our activities