Overseas private-sector assistance expands as PHL officialdom receives more pledges for 'Sendong' rehab

January 1, 2012 2:56 am 

By Gloria Jane Baylon

MANILA, Dec. 31 — Caritas Switzerland, a Catholic social service agency, has contributed the equivalent of Swiss Francs 166,050 (P 7.7 million) from its various associates in Europe for the victims of tropical storm “Sendong” that struck Northern Mindanao and Central Visayas regions two weeks ago.

This was reported by the Citizens' Disaster Response Center Inc. (CDRC), which is based in Quezon City. Among the institutions pitching in funds are Swiss Solidarity, City of Geneva, Caritas Luxembourg, Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Caritas Austria.

The funds went to food bags containing 10 kilos of rice, a kilo each of mung beans, dried fish, and sugar, six cans of sardines, 500 ml cooking oil, a bar of laundry soap, water container, mattress and blanket for 4,605 families in 17 communities.

CDRC also reported that “Civic Force,” a Japan-based non-profit organization, donated US$ 10,000 in cash. Civic Force immediately mounted a campaign for donations after the December 16 flash floods, according to CDRC.

More than 1,000 persons were reported dead and an equivalent number is considered missing. Survivors have been left homeless and are presently staying in evacuation centers, where they are also fed and their health situation monitored.

CDRC and its regional centers, “Panday Bulig” (PB) and Center for People's Resources and Services (CPRS), are implementing the delivery of the relief goods.

Aside from these, mainly Filipino communities and individuals abroad also pledged their contributions through Philippine diplomatic missions. The Filipino community in the U.S. Northeast sent in US$ 11,170 in cash while other Filipinos in the U.S. mainland collected US$ 8,287.80 in cash. The Filipino community in Guam donated US$ 3,956 in cash, while the Laguna Association of Guam gave US$ 500 in cash.

Other donations of more than US$ 10,000 in total cash came in from Filipino communities in Malaysia, France, Myanmar, Xiamen (China) and Barcelona (Spain).

Russian businessmen and the Dalai Lama Trust pledged US$ 20,000 and US$ 50,000, respectively. The Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Guam gave US$ 14,420 in cash.

A flash appeal on December 22 for donations by Manila-based U.N. agencies also upped the humanitarian assistance with more than US$ 28,576,819 collection.

A U.N. associate, the International Office for Migration (IOM) in Makati City, said that it has appealed for US$ 50,000. Based on its own assessment of the Mindanao situation, IOM said it "is providing relief support," though this has not been specified yet.

A four-member delegation from the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), is now in the Sendong-stricken areas and will determine the respective assistance of their member-states once their assessment is done.

In a related development, more than US$ 12,613,473 has been pledged and donated through the Department of Foreign Affaris (DFA). Overseas Filipino communities and private individuals and Philippine diplomatic missions worked round the clock in appealing for contributions for the victims.

The donations and pledges as of December 29 are broken down as follows: US$ 4,780,656.15 in cash, US$ 2,122,255.14 in kind and US$ 5,710,563 worth of pledges.

DFA listed as “top donors” the United States (US$ 100,000 in cash and US$ 5.4 million in pledges), Australia (US$ 1,015,246.92 in cash and US$ 304,600.82 in kind), China (US$ 1.01 million in cash), Czech Republic (US$ 894,000 in cash), Republic of Korea (US$ 500,000 in kind and US$ 110,000 in pledges), Indonesia (US$ 310,000 in cash and US$ 200,000 in kind), and New Zealand (US$ 500,000 in cash).

Other foreign donors include Japan (US$ 320,163.09 in kind), Spain (US$ 261,470.66 in cash), Ireland (US$ 130,807.66 in kind), Malaysia (US$ 100,000 in cash), Singapore (US$ 38,714.37 in cash and US$ 21,533.57 in kind), Chile (US$ 25,000 in cash), Thailand (US$ 100,000 in cash), Denmark (US$ 52,783.82 in cash), Belgium (US$ 130,562.58 worth of pledges), Italy (US$ 645,150 in kind), Switzerland (US$ 320,714.98 in cash) and Oman (US$ 2,909.65 in cash). (PNA) scs/GJB


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