AUSTRALIA INCREASES SUPPORT TO DISASTER RISK REDUCTION IN THE PHILIPPINES
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Rod Smith has announced the Australian Government will provide an additional Php 32 million to help reduce the risks of natural disasters in the Philippines.
Geoscience Australia will work with the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) and other technical agencies to implement a range of projects and activities over the next three years to strengthen natural hazard risk assessment capacity in the Philippines.
Mr Titon Mitra, Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) Minister Counsellor (left), and Gen. Glenn Rabonza, National Disaster Coordinating Council Executive Officer (right) sign the Subsidiary Arrangement between the Governments of Australia and the Philippines that signify expanded and increased Australian support to disaster risk reduction in the country. Through a Php 32 million grant from AusAID, Geoscience Australia will work with the NDCC and other technical agencies to implement a range of projects and activities over the next three years to strengthen natural hazard risk assessment capacity in the Philippines.
“As a regional neighbour and key development partner, Australia is helping improve the Philippines’ capacity to manage natural hazards and respond to emergencies. Both our governments recognise the need for coordinated action in disaster risk management in the Philippines,” Ambassador Smith said.
“Natural disasters have a huge impact on development, causing loss of life, displacement of families and major damage to agricultural crops and infrastructure.
“Geoscience Australia will work with technical agencies to enhance the Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (REDAS), developed by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), to understand the potential impact of different sized earthquakes. Geoscience Australia will also assist scientific agencies increase understanding of how risk and impact can be assessed for other natural hazards and how these can be integrated into the REDAS.”
The additional assistance, funded through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), is part of a broader arrangement between the Governments of Australia and the Philippines for Australian support for disaster risk reduction in the Philippines.
The Australian Government assistance will also help the NDCC sustain disaster risk reduction activities in the Philippines. The NDCC’s ongoing Hazards Mapping and Assessment for Effective Community-based Disaster Risk Management or READY Project, funded by the United Nations Development Programme and the Australian Government, paves the way for deepening disaster risk reduction engagement.
The READY project involves the mapping and assessment of areas vulnerable to hazards and disasters, the establishment of community-based early warning systems in areas identified as being most at risk and the development of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials and campaigns.
The Australian Government has supported the Philippines on disaster related activities including strengthening community-based disaster management and provided almost Php 100 million in humanitarian and emergency assistance in response to natural disasters in the country since 2006.