Foreign donations, aid from Filipinos abroad continue to pour in for Sendong victims
MANILA, Philippines—Donations and pledges, including aid from Filipino communities, continue to pour in from all over the world for the victims of Tropical Storm “Sendong.”
The government of New Zealand has contributed $500,000 to the relief efforts of the Philippine Red Cross to provide food, blankets, water and sanitation, shelter and livelihood assistance to 25,000 people in the worst affected areas in northern Mindanao and Visayas, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs. The humanitarian effort was joined by officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy in Wellington by donating $1,000.
In Hawaii, the Filipino community there raised $44,000 in cash and pledges for the victims in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities, which were ravaged by killer floods a week before Christmas. About 100 volunteers gathered at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu on December 26 to man phone lines as they appealed to compatriots and friends from across the state for donations.
In a report to the DFA, the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu said the one-day drive netted about $30,000 in actual donations and $14,000 in pledges.
As of December 28, the Philippine government has already received over US$12.6 million worth of foreign donations and pledges for the storm victims, according to the DFA.
In a statement, the DFA said it has received US$12,613,473.87 worth of aid from Filipino communities, Philippine Embassies and Consulates General around the world and private individuals and groups.
However, the amount does not include donations/pledges without equivalent monetary value.
Top donors were the United States (US$100,000 in cash and US$5.4 million in pledges), Australia (US$1,015,246.92 in cash and US$304,600.82 in kind), China (US$1.01 million in cash), Czech Republic (US$894,000 in cash), Republic of Korea (US$500,000 in kind and US$110,000 in pledges), Indonesia (US$310,000 in cash and US$200,000 in kind) and New Zealand (US$500,000 in cash).
Other foreign donors include Japan (US$320,163.09 in kind), Spain (US$261,470.66 in cash), Ireland (US$130,807.66 in kind), Malaysia (US$100,000 in cash), Singapore (US$38,714.37 in cash and US$21,533.57 in kind), Chile (US$25,000 in cash), Thailand (US$100,000 in cash), Denmark (US$52,783.82 in cash), Belgium (US$130,562.58 worth of pledges), Italy (US$645,150 in kind), Switzerland (US$320,714.98 in cash) and Oman (US$2,909.65 in cash).
Filipino communities abroad have also sent in their assistance.
The Filipino community in the US Northeast has sent in US$11,170 in cash coursed through the Philippine Consulate General in New York, while other members of the Filipino community in the US collected US$8,287.80 in cash.
The Filipino community in Guam donated US$3,956 in cash, while the Laguna Association of Guam gave US$500 in cash.
Other donations from kababayans overseas include US$1,000 in cash from the Filipino community in Malaysia, US$3,921.45 in cash from the Filipino community in France, US$1,094.25 in cash from the Filipino community in Myanmar, US$2,275.30 in cash from the Filipino community in Xiamen and US$195.95 in cash from the Philippine Consulate General in Barcelona.
Private individuals and businesses have also donated to the cause.
Russian businessmen and the Dalai Lama Trust gave US$20,000 and US$50,000 in pledges, respectively. The Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Guam provided US$14,420 in cash and the Philippine Consulate General in Guam collected money from various individuals which totaled US$2,895.
International organizations, likewise, stepped in to help.
Last December 22, the United Nations launched a consolidated flash appeal for humanitarian assistance with the humanitarian community and the Philippine government and raised US$28,576,819.
The International Organization for Migration has an initial appeal of US$50,000 and its Philippine office has dispatched a team, which conducted needs assessment in Mindanao and is providing relief support.
Currently, a four-member delegation from the Organization of Islamic Conference is now in the flood-stricken areas to assess the devastation, and also to look into how the member-states of the OIC could extend assistance to the affected communities.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Sendong’s death toll rose to 1,257 with hundreds still missing, while damage to property so far reached a staggering P1.382 billion.
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