Australia pours in Au$ 7.3 million relief for victims of killer typhoon in Mindanaoby Mediatrix C. Pericon

December 18, 2012 11:33 pm 

MANILA, Dec. 18 — The Australian government is pouring a total Php307 million (A$ 7.3 million) to the Philippine government to help thousands of affected families hit by typhoon Pablo.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said: “The number of affected people requiring food, water and health services is staggering.

"Nutrition and health risks are also alarmingly increasing, especially among the most vulnerable of the affected populations, including children, women, the elderly and the disabled.”

The Australian Embassy, said Charge d’ Affaires Andrew Byrne has prepositioned P84 million (A$ 2 million) for emergency, food, and health supplies through the Philippine Red Cross, World Food Program, and UN Population Fund which are already being distributed to families in the worst-hit areas in Mindanao.

Likewise in response to the UN appeal, the Australian government provided a relief amounting to Php126 million (A$ 3 million) including stocks of rice through the World Food Program; it also erected emergency shelters through Habitat International, livelihood support through the International Labour Organization, and distributed health supplies through the UN Population Fund.

Another P84 million (A$ 2 million) has been allocated to provide access to clean and safe water for 25,000 people, emergency shelter for 3,500 vulnerable families, and set up safe child-friendly spaces for 3,000 children through Oxfam Australia, Save the Children Australia and Caritas Australia.

To Assist specific emergency relief need of needs of persons with disabilities, Australia had communicated with non-government organizations in Mindanao and provided them with P12.6 million (A$ 300,000) fund.

“This assistance reflects the Australian people’s commitment to helping our friends in times of need,” Byrne said.

“I hope Australia’s humanitarian assistance can help some of the worst-affected families to rebuild their lives.”

Australia places a very high priority on responding to natural disasters in its aid program to the Philippines.

"The Australian Government understands that humanitarian assistance is not enough. Australia’s aid program also targets P462 million of its annual aid program budget of P5.5 billion on reducing disaster risk and enhancing disaster preparedness across the country,” Byrne said.(PNA)

HBC/MPC/UTB

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