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Canada, Japan come to PH aid anew after ‘Ruby’

/ 04:47 AM December 22, 2014

MANILA, Philippines–Canada is providing C$5 million (around P200 million) in humanitarian assistance for the victims of recent Tropical Storm “Ruby” (international name: Hagupit).

The funds will be channeled through Canadian and international humanitarian NGOs with ongoing projects in the storm-affected areas.

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“Canada’s support will help respond to needs identified by the Philippine government, such as for water, sanitation, emergency shelter and other essential items for those affected by the typhoon,” said Canada’s Ambassador to the Philippines Neil Reeder.

“It is heartbreaking that the people of the Philippines have been hit once again by such a destructive typhoon while still dealing with the devastation caused by typhoon ‘Yolanda’ just over a year ago,” Reeder said.

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Ruby struck Eastern Samar province last Dec. 6, just north of Leyte province which was nearly totally destroyed by Supertyphoon Yolanda on Nov. 8, 2013.

To this end, the government of Canada announced that the deadline for the Typhoon Haiyan Reconstruction Assistance Call for Proposals will be extended to Feb. 13, 2015, to give Canadian organizations on the ground more time to mobilize their responses to Ruby and to consider the storm’s implications in the Yolanda-affected areas.

At the same time, the Japanese government has given the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) over P8-million worth of aid for victims of Ruby.

The donation was coursed through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which turned the goods over to the DSWD on Monday last week.

The items included blankets, sleeping pads, plastic sheets, water purifiers and water containers with a total cost of ¥22 million or P8.2 million.

Japanese Ambassador Kazuhide Ishinakawa and JICA chief representative Noriaki Niwa led the turnover to Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman.

“In times of need, we express our gratitude to friends like Japan for donating goods to help us as we begin the recovery phase of our operations in Ruby-hit areas,” Soliman said in a statement.

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She said the donation will help affected families in Eastern Samar, the province hardest hit by the typhoon.

Ambassador Ishinakawa commended the Philippine government for the proactive measures it took, particularly the early evacuation of families from critical areas.

He assured the Philippines of the continued support of his government in the recovery efforts, being neighbors and development partners.–Reports from Christine O. Avedaño and Julie M. Aurelio

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TAGS: Canada, Japan, Philippines, Ruby, Ruby aid, Tropical Storms
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