Despite being one of the fastest growing economies in southeast Asia, in recent years declines in poverty have been modest, leaving marginalized groups such as women, children and the elderly, vulnerable to hunger and poverty. Although recent government data for the first quarter of 2016 showed that the country’s GDP expanded by 6.9 percent, up from the 5.8 percent in 2015 annual GDP, poverty incidence remains high at 25.8 percent from the end of 2015.
According to the 2015 Global Hunger Index, the food and nutrition situation in the Philippines is “serious” despite steady improvements since the 1990s, positioning the country at 53 out of 104 countries. Prevalence of undernutrition remains an issue of public concern. Based on the 2015 National Nutrition Survey, wasting and stunting among children in WFP’s operational areas in Mindanao remained problematic at 7.1 percent and 33.4 percent respectively in 2015, higher than the national prevalence and above the acceptable range as defined by the World Health Organization.