By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
TYPHOON’S WRATH. Typhoon Odette’s devastation as seen in Dinagat Islands, where over 28,000 families were affected and more than 25,000 houses were damaged. The French government has earmarked EUR2 million (approximately PHP115.5 million) to support the ongoing relief efforts in the Visayas and Mindanao. (Photo courtesy of the World Health Organization Philippines)
MANILA – The French government has earmarked EUR2 million (approximately PHP115.5 million) to support the ongoing relief efforts in the Visayas and Mindanao following the destruction brought by Typhoon Odette.
“Following the damage caused by Super Typhoon Odette (Rai), which has claimed nearly 400 victims and displaced tens of thousands of people in the Philippines, France stands alongside the Filipino people,” the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
The French Embassy in Manila said at least EUR1 million of the funding would be coursed through the French non-government organization ACTED and the French Red Cross in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross.
“This aid includes the distribution of several thousand family and hygiene kits, as well as material for the emergency rehabilitation of destroyed or damaged houses in the provinces of Surigao Del Norte, Palawan, and Bohol,” it said.
France would send the remaining EUR1 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in response to the UN’s appeal for PHP5.45 billion to help children and families bounce back from the impact of the typhoon.
The WFP, UNICEF, and several other UN agencies are on the ground to provide essential relief items to the affected communities.
Last week, French Ambassador to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz together with foreign diplomats and the United Nations visited Surigao and other affected areas to assess the typhoon victims’ situation, which, according to the WFP, is “still dire and urgent”.
“Most urgent needs are shelter, water and sanitation, protection of vulnerable, food. We must ensure help comes to those who need it most,” Boccoz said.
“This emergency aid will provide thousands of hygiene kits to affected families, and also help them rebuild their homes. France remains ready to support the Philippines in times of crisis,” she said in a separate tweet. (PNA)