Denmark joins int’l appeal for post-Sendong assistance in Phl

December 24, 2011 12:45 pm 

By Gloria Jane Baylon

MANILA, Dec. 24 — The government of Denmark will donate DKK 300,000 (about P2.68 million) intended to immediately alleviate the plight of 1,500 target-families who were among the hundreds of thousands of victims of tropical storm “Sendong” in the northeast part of Mindanao region in the Philippines.

The families in the poorer barangays of the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan need food, water, sanitation materials, bed mattresses and blankets, according to Denmark’s Ambassador to Manila Svend Wæver.

Official conservative estimates placed the death toll of the devastating typhoon that hit a weekend ago at 1,000 and an equivalent number is believed still missing. Some 28,000 fragile houses made of light building materials were destroyed and livestock washed away.

“The number of deaths is increasing and the situation is still critical for many in the Philippines. Children and women are especially very vulnerable at this stage,” Svend said, emphasizing that "relief aid will thus be followed up by awareness building on disaster reduction."

Denmark’s assistance is among the hundreds of bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental assistance in cash and in kind that have poured into the Philippines, even as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) itself issued a so-called “flash appeal” to the international community through its diplomatic missions overseas. The appeals campaign was launched on Friday.

The humanitarian community in the Philippines is composed of United Nations specialized agencies, international organizations and development partners, together with the Philippine government.

DFA Secretary Albert F. del Rosario said the appeal targets raising US$ 576,819 for about 471,000 persons for the next three months of rehabilitation.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Manila leads the multilateral effort.

DFA’s appeal on Sendong is part of what is known as the Emergency Revision of the 2012 Humanitarian Action Plan (HAP) for Mindanao which was launched last December 12. The HAP estimate of US$ 912,468 is primarily focused on Central Mindanao and the humanitarian needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Such IDPs, however, are generally those affected by the war in Mindanao.

Officials are also determining the cause of the flash floods that inundated the Cagayan river, with some government officials blaming “deforestation in watersheds and illegal mining.” They said the activities “exacerbated the effects of the heavy rain.” (PNA)



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