AUSTRALIA PROVIDES ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE TO 'ONDOY' VICTIMS
The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Stephen Smith, today announced a further contribution of Php 80 million (A$2 million) to support the urgent food relief efforts for the victims of Tropical Storm ‘Ondoy’ that hit the country on 26 September.
“On behalf of the Australian Government and people I extend heartfelt condolences to the people of the Philippines for the loss of life and destruction resulting from these devastating floods,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Rod Smith said.
“Australia is deeply concerned that the number of people suffering from the devastation caused by Tropical Storm ‘Ondoy’ has significantly increased to now more than 3 million.”
“Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos are in dire need of emergency assistance. They have lost their homes and livelihoods and are now staying in evacuation centres with very limited access to food, health, water, and other basic services. 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 loss of life and damage caused by this single weather event across south-east Asia is both tragic and a reminder of how prone our region is to these sorts of natural disasters.”
Australia’s additional assistance, to be provided through the World Food Programme, will help the Philippine Government particularly the Department of Social Welfare and Development to provide emergency food relief especially to those most in need. Australian assistance will support the provision of supplementary food rations, including high-energy biscuits, to children under 5.
The additional contribution builds on the Php 40 million (A$1 million) initial commitment of the Australian Government to support the relief efforts of the Philippine Government and humanitarian agencies working on-the-ground including the Philippine National Red Cross.
In addition to financial assistance, Australian technical experts are also working on the ground providing logistical and communication support to the response and relief efforts of the Philippine Government and UN partners.