'Sendong' victims get more Spanish aid, including a 'diverted' water treatment plant

January 3, 2012 10:25 am 

By Gloria Jane Baylon

MANILA, Jan. 2 — In the true spirit of Philippine “bayanihan” or communal self-help, the provincial government of Albay has deployed to flood-stricken Cagayan de Oro City in Northern Mindanao a water treatment plant it had previously received from the Spanish government.

Albay said that given the situation of evacuees in Mindanao, they are in more immediate need of the plant.

The deployment of the plant, which is now operational, was financed by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID, Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo), the Spanish embassy in Manila said.

Aside from this “relocated” assistance, the AECID Regional Technical Office in the Caraga region has delivered to Philippine authorities locally-purchased Euros 200,000 worth of food, water and non-food items for victims of storm "Sendong" which hit Northern Mindanao in mid-December 2011.

The items are stored in the warehouse of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region X and are available for distribution among affected families, according to the embassy.

The food purchases were half of the current Euros 400,000 that the Spanish Humanitarian Office of AECID has allocated to assist Sendong victims and rehabilitate their wrecked communities.

The other half of Euros 200,000 will address the temporary housing situation of evacuees, as well as water and sanitation in their relocation areas.

With this amount, the Spanish Technical Cooperation Office, in coordination with DSWD, would build semi-permanent shelter units and provide beneficiaries with water infrastructures, according to the embassy.

In partnership with Spanish NGOS and on the basis of existing emergency agreements, AECID has released Euros 510,000 to three NGOS that are active both in Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City.

These are the Action Against Hunger (Euros 100,000 to tackle food Security and WASH); Save the Children (Euros 270,000 for rehabilitation of affected schools and hygiene promotion) and Spanish Red Cross (Euros 140,000 to supply safe drinking water through the operation of three water treatment plants).

Through multilateral agencies, AECID has also committed Euros 500,000 to UNICEF for WASH support, including cluster coordination efforts, construction of sanitation facilities, hygiene promotion, sewage disposal and distribution/storage of safe drinking water through the provision of tanks and trucks.

Already, AECID has granted a total of Euros 1.4 million in humanitarian aid to Sendong victims.

The embassy said that with its Technical Cooperation Office in Manila, it will continue to work in permanent coordination with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the DSWD as well as with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations (OCHA) and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator within the framework of the Humanitarian clusters. (PNA)

scs/GJB

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