UN to mobilize international help for ‘Pablo’ victimsBy Fat Reyes
MANILA, Philippines — The United Nations (UN) has offered assistance and sent condolences to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon “Pablo” (international name Bopha), the strongest storm to hit the country this year.
A statement forwarded by the United Nations Information Center here carried the message of condolences from the spokesperson of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
“The Secretary-General is saddened by the loss of life and the serious damage to homes and infrastructure in the Philippines as a result of Typhoon Bopha,” the statement read.
“The United Nations stands ready to provide humanitarian assistance and to mobilize international support for the response,” it said.
Latest reports have noted that the death toll from the typhoon, which slammed Visayas and Mindanao early this week, had climbed to more than 400, while hundreds were missing and injured.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) also noted that damages from the typhoon could amount to P4 billion, and that it had affected at least 5 million people.
The United States (US), meanwhile, offered $100,000 for disaster relief efforts in the Philippines to be coursed through the non-profit organization Catholic Relief Services.
The statement from the US embassy in Manila quoted Chargé d’ Affaires Brian Goldbeck as saying that teams from the USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and USAID Philippines would conduct humanitarian assessments in typhoon-affected areas, including Davao and Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao, Negros Oriental Province in the Visayas, and Palawan Province in Luzon in the coming days to determine where the assistance was most needed.
Japanese government officials, in separate letters to President Benigno Aquino III and Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, also vowed to extend necessary assistance to the Philippine victims of the floods.
Canada and the European Union had also sent the Philippines their messages of support and pledges of aid.