United Nation-initiated action plan to help PH received $ 72-M in aid

November 18, 2013 7:18 am 

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Nov. 17 — The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) said its financial tracking services have so far received US$ 72 million worth of projects under the Haiyan Action Plan for the rebuilding and reconstruction of typhoon-hit areas.

Following the massive devastation brought about by super typhoon “Yolanda” (international name Haiyan), the UN initiated a campaign for raising US$ 301 million in aid package to help the Philippines deal with one of the biggest humanitarian disasters in the world.

UN OCHA estimates that 12.9 million people have been affected by the super typhoon in areas covering nine regions, namely Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Mimaropa, Calabarzon, Bicol, Northern Mindanao, Davao, and Caraga.

Yolanda has also displaced around 1.9 million people and damaged 285,993 houses, the UN agency said.

Matthew Cochrane, the spokesperson for the UN OCHA, noted the Philippine government is one of the most prepared countries in the Asian region in terms of coordinating relief and recovery efforts, especially in the aftermath of Yolanda that destroyed most parts of the Visayas region last week.

“The government is a very important part for the United Nations, and as you know, it’s one of the better prepared governments in the region and around the world,” Cochrane said in an interview Saturday.

Cochrane praised the Philippine government for the role it played during the typhoon response and in other disasters. The coordination has been good and strong and the sharing of information between the UN and local authorities is also very good, he said.

“Our role in the community in the international community is to support the government. This is the government’s response. We are not here to run the show. We are here to support the show,” he said.

“We will be here as long as our assistance is needed. It’s very important that the international community has answered the call of the Philippine government. We have come to provide the support that we can and people don’t need to worry,” he added.

It is coordinating with more than 20 international organizations helping in the relief and rehabilitation campaign.

Food, water, medical care and sanitation are the priorities of relief organizations, and UN organizations are helping to care for the sick and the injured and provide shelter.

Cochrane also underscored the need for the UN agencies to focus on education and communication. (PNA)

CTB/PCOO/RSM

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