AUSTRALIA PROVIDES EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE TO TYPHOON MILENYO VICTIMS
Philippines National Red Cross Secretary
General Corazon Alma de Leon and United
Nations Development Program Deputy Resident
Representative Kyo Naka receive the Australian
government donation worth A$50,000
from Australian Embassy Charge d'Affaires
Pablo Kang (centre).
The Australian Government has contributed A$50,000 (Php1.9 million) for emergency humanitarian relief in the wake of Typhoon Milenyo (international codename Xangsane) that left a trail of destruction when it struck the country last 27 September 2006.
Australian Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Pablo Kang said the assistance would be coursed through the United Nations Development program (UNDP) and the Philippines National Red Cross (PNRC) to augment on-going relief operations to severely affected areas.
At the presentation ceremony held at the Australian Embassy, PNRC Secretary-General Corazon Alma de Leon expressed appreciation for the Australian Government’s contribution. “The assistance will go along way in providing immediate relief to our kababayans displaced by the typhoon”, he said.
UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Kyo Naka said UNDP would use the amount to provide food and medicine for at least 3,500 families in Sorsogon, one of the hardest hit provinces in the Bicol region. The region, which is also one of the country’s poorest areas, is among the seven regions that experienced massive agriculture and infrastructure damage.
The worst typhoon to hit Metro Manila since 1995, Typhoon Milenyo ravaged 19 provinces, 31 cities, 179 municipalities and 2,446 barangays. The death toll has climbed to over 100 with many injured and still missing. More than 19,000 families or almost two million were forced to seek temporary shelter in evacuation areas.
“The Australian Embassy is liaising with the NDCC and other key donors on the emergency relief efforts underway. We will monitor and work closely with these organisations in assessing continued emergency needs”,
Mr Kang said.
Australia and the Philippines are close regional partners and the two countries share an interest in reducing poverty and improving stability and security in the Philippines. Australia's aid program in the Philippines focuses on economic governance, strengthening security and stability including disaster preparedness and response, and raising the living standards of the rural poor in the south of the country. Australia, through its international aid agency AusAID, has allocated A$70 million in overseas development assistance to the Philippines in 2006-07.