The British Embassy Manila is paying tribute to organizations that have partnered with the UK in supporting the Philippines’ development.
“It is almost December—the season of giving, and through Service to the Community reception, we celebrate the significant contributions of our partners who tirelessly support the country’s vision for inclusive prosperity. We also honor organizations and individuals who came to aid the Philippines in their time of need,” said Ambassador Asif Ahmad.
Attendees to the reception include representatives from the Asia Foundation, Asian Development Bank (ADB), British Red Cross, British Women’s Association Manila, Child Protection Network Foundation, Handicap International, International Committee of the Red Cross, International SOS, Medecin du Mondes Philippines, Philippine Development Foundation, Red Cross, Save the Children, UNICEF, World Bank, World Food Programme, and Young Focus.
Representatives from GlaxoSmithKline, Human Heart Nature, Inter-Asia Marine Transport Inc, the MVP Group of Companies, and Pandiman Philippines, Inc. are also expected to attend.
In citing UK development assistance to the Philippines, Ahmad, said, “British taxpayer’s funds are channeled through several organizations like the European Union, and around 12-percent of what the EU spends on development assistance is the UK’s contribution.”
He also cited UK’s strong and longstanding partnerships with the United Nations, the ADB, and other partners directly engaged with the Government of the Philippines to assist in the country’s aspiration for inclusive growth.
Through the Chevening Scholarships and the Newton Agham Programme, the UK also helps the Philippines by training future leaders, who want to help in the country’s development, the opportunity to study in British universities that have topped world rankings.
The UK is also involved in Prosperity Fund projects worth over P32 million that seek to help the Philippines improve its business climate and competitiveness, develop a roadmap for energy reforms, and fight corruption. Together with the Asia Foundation, the UK has embarked on a project that supports the improvement of the judicial process in second-level courts in the Philippines.
In 2013, the British people responded to the urgent needs of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) survivors and the UK government mobilized the largest ever humanitarian assistance.
“Following the devastation brought about by Typhoon Haiyan, the British people raised P7 billion, which was matched by taxpayer’s funds from the Government. A 1,400-strong military and civilian team worked with international partners to deliver help directly to those in need,” recounted the Ambassador.
“Our objective was, quite simply, to provide immediate food, shelter and logistical support to people facing hardship. Some of our projects will have a longer term impact on livelihoods as better preparation for future natural disasters. Our self-sustaining approach to delivery was mindful of the need to avoid additional pressure on Filipino institutions that faced daunting challenges brought about by Haiyan.”
Last year, members of the British Army 77 Brigade, whose members bring specialist knowledge of earthquakes, humanitarian relief, and disaster recovery, worked with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council regarding earthquake mitigation measures in Manila.
British citizens who are based in the Philippines are also doing their part in uplifting marginalized communities.
For one, the British Women’s Association support orphanages, shelters, and scholarships. They are also involved in a feeding program and a health clinic.
Ambassador Ahmad himself is a trustee of the Child Protection Network, which has a mission to provide access to help for any child who is a victim of abuse in the Philippines.
“Helping does not end when cash or items are donated. British people based here look at the Philippines as their second home, and so they also give their time and effort for their advocacies and to help the communities they greatly care about,” Ambassador Ahmad emphasized.