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EU sends planeload of relief supplies for ‘Yolanda’ victims

/ 02:52 PM November 11, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – Acting on its pledge to extend 3 million euros worth of assistance to areas smashed by monster typhoon “Yolanda,” the European Union (EU) on Monday said it has already released the first tranche of humanitarian assistance and sent “plane loads of relief supplies and rescue teams” to the Philippines.

EU earlier allotted 3 million euros in emergency funds for areas badly-hit by the typhoon.

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Of the 3 million euros, P600-million in humanitarian assistance have already been mobilized, including the P170 million released on Sunday.

EU member states also announced that “cargo planes from their countries carrying tons of relief supplies, rescue teams and a field hospital have either landed or are on the way to the Philippines.”

EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, whose visit to the country coincided with the rescue and relief efforts in provinces ravaged by super typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan), said they are prioritizing emergency support and will later help in the rebuilding of communities.

“The first thing I did today was to meet the EU Ambassador (Guy Ledoux) and we discussed how we can better help the people,” he said during a press conference in Pasig City for the Mindanao Trust Fund

Piebalgs personally convened an emergency meeting of EU Ambassadors on Monday for a briefing on the extent of devastation in the Visayas.

“We still don’t have a full picture of the scale of destruction and loss of life but we are determined to put into effect our own procedures to ensure that EU assistance reaches the most needy as quickly as possible,” he said.

Piebalgs visited the country for the first time to discuss long-term development assistance with the Philippine government and partner organizations.

During the press conference, he signed a contribution agreement with the World Bank, allotting an additional eight million euros for the recovery of conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

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