Australia offers P210M in aid for ‘Pablo’ victimsBy Fat Reyes
MANILA, Philippines — Australia on Friday announced that it offered P210 million (A$5 million) in assistance to the Philippines for the conduct of relief operations for flood victims heavily affected by Typhoon Pablo (international name Bopha), the worst storm to hit the country this year.
A statement from the Australian embassy in Manila noted that the announcement was made by Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr.
“On behalf of the Australian Government and people, I extend heartfelt sympathies for the loss of lives and destruction resulting from this devastating typhoon,” said Australian Embassy Chargé d’affaires Andrew Byrne.
“We commend the Philippine Government for its preparedness and response. We will continue to work with the government and other partners so they can draw on Australian assistance as needed,” Byrne added.
It said that of the P210 million (A$5million), P38.5 million (A$900,000) would be given to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) for emergency family kits which include sleeping mats, mosquito nets and water containers, and another P43 million (A$1 million) would be given to the World Food Programme (WFP) for 1000 tons of rice.
“Australia will also make available P4 million (A$100,000) through the United Nations Population Fund for hygiene and health kits for people in evacuation centers. It added that the remaining P126 million (A$3 million) will be made available for additional recovery and relief needs.
The statement noted that the Philippines and Australia had been in development cooperation partnerships for over 50 years. It said that Australia had provided more than P760 million in humanitarian and emergency aid to the Philippines since 2005.
Australia also stood as one of the top grant donors to the Philippines, with total annual aid estimated at P5.5 billion.
Typhoon Pablo, which slammed which slammed Visayas and Mindanao early this week, had claimed the lives of more than 400 people, and left hundreds were missing and injured.
The Philippine government also noted that damages from the typhoon could amount to P4 billion, and affected at least 5 million people.