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Philippines – Filipino slums expand as population explodes

The United Nations predicts that 2 billion people worldwide will live in slums by 2030 — largely in Asia and Africa. Exacerbated by population growth and declining resources, Asia is currently home to over half of the global slum population (581 million people). phillipinesslums1

Chris Pablo is an operations officer in the World Bank infrastructure team in Manila — where the population has soared — and writes in the “East Asia & Pacific on the Rise” blog about helping to deal with slums. In the Philippines, about 20 million people live in slums.

Empowering the poor: Helping urban slums to help themselves

In a country where half of the population lives in urban areas, one would expect colonies of slums (arguably called “informal settlements”) strewn across almost every town with high population densities. The picture is not a far cry from reality, at least in the context of the Philippines, perhaps the fastest urbanizing country in Asia. But even if the country has seen incredible growth over the years, there is hope things can turn around — and the feeling is not baseless.

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