AUSTRALIA PLEDGES PHP 55 MILLION TO SUPPORT VICTIMS OF TROPICAL STORM SENDONG
The Australian Government today announced that it would provide Php55 million (A$1.3 million) to support victims of flooding caused by Tropical Storm Sendong.
“I extend my condolences to the families of those killed in this tragedy and for the significant destruction caused by Sendong,” said Australian Ambassador Rod Smith. “The scale of destruction has taken everyone by surprise. Australia stands ready to help Filipino families affected by this disaster get back on their feet.”
Australia is already responding. AusAID has a very strong partnership with the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Philippine Red Cross. Australia funds kits of non-food items (e.g. sleeping mats, mosquito nets, hygiene kits and cooking items) that are pre-positioned with the Philippine Red Cross in strategic locations around the country. Up to 5,000 kits valued at Php12.6 million are now being mobilised and distributed to displaced families.
“These pre-positioned kits enable the Philippine Red Cross to immediately respond to the needs of families affected by natural disasters. These kits are being distributed to families in evacuation centers, particularly around Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities,” Ambassador Smith said.
Australia is also providing an additional Php42 million to help the Philippine government procure essential medicines to treat the injured, provide temporary shelter for the displaced, and extend livelihood support to families who have lost their incomes.
“Australia strives to be responsive to our friends in the aftermath of disasters. We have a strong focus on Mindanao and the worst affected provinces (Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur) are all key partners of the Australian aid program,” Ambassador Smith said.
“We have built strong relationships with the people of these provinces in recent years. This support highlights our commitment to these provincial partnerships,” Ambassador Smith noted.
“Australia will continue to work with the Philippines Government and stands ready to offer further assistance if needed,” Ambassador Smith said.
Australia is the top grant donor to the Philippines, providing Php5.5 billion (A$123 million) in aid in 2011-12. Working closely with the Philippines Government, Australia has been helping to strengthen the Philippines’ capacity to plan for, and effectively respond to, natural disasters.