Australia continues disaster relief support for the Philippines
1 July 2014
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop today announced that the Australian Government will commit a further Php120 million (A$3 million) in funding for disaster preparedness and resilience of communities affected by Typhoon Yolanda.
The funding will be provided through the Resilience and Preparedness towards Inclusive Development (RAPID) Program, jointly implemented by the Government of the Philippines through the Climate Change Commission, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the Australian Government.
The program will help improve land use planning, building codes, risk assessments and the establishment early warning systems in Typhoon Yolanda-affected areas.
The RAPID program will be formally launched on 3 July 2014 by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Deputy Secretary Ewen McDonald, who is visiting the Philippines this week, Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell, Climate Change Commission Secretary Lucille Sering, United Nations Resident Coordinator Luiza Carvalho and UNDP Country Director Maurice Dewulf. The launch will be held at the Oakwood Premier, Ortigas, Pasig City.
In addition, six Australian Civilian Corps (ACC) specialists will also be deployed to the Philippines to support to the massive ongoing recovery and rebuild effort following Typhoon Yolanda last November.
The new team of ACC disaster recovery experts will join the two Australian specialists deployed in December in the wake of Yolanda, to support the planning, implementation and coordination of recovery activities.
Australian Government funding is also being used to provide small livelihood grants to families in affected communities. Australia has provided Php1.4 billion (A$36 million) to the recovery and rehabilitation effort to date, on top of an initial Php1.6 billion (A$41 million) provided directly after the disaster for immediate humanitarian assistance.
Australia’s support is helping over 500,000 people rebuild their lives, including creating employment and business opportunities for economic recovery. Australia is also helping children return to school by supporting the construction of up to 600 classrooms and early childhood centres in typhoon-affected areas.