November 21 ------ The European Union (EU), along with the governments of Sweden, Australia, United States, Germany, and New Zealand have heeded the call of the United Nations (UN) in mobilizing Php182 million (US$3.8 million) to help about 260,000 Filipinos that have been severely affected by Typhoons Rolly (Goni) and Ulysses (Vamco). “With support from resource partners, the UN and humanitarian community translate international solidarity into concrete actions that combine emergency relief assistance and early recovery efforts to help people get back on their feet,” UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez said.
In a statement on Thursday, the UN itemized the following aid assistance: Humanitarian Aid Department of the European Commission (ECHO), Php74.5 million (US$1.54 million); Australian Government, Php33 million (US$0.7 million) through the World Food Programme (WFP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP); Sweden, Php67.6 million (US$1.4 million) through Save the Children, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and Plan International; and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Germany, Php7.2 million (US$150,000) through existing projects with the UN Agency on Migration (IOM).
The UN said many governments are donating to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, including New Zealand that is providing a contribution of P7.2 million (US$150,000) through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
On November 9, a Humanitarian Needs and Priorities (HNP) document amounting to US$45.5 million was launched by the UN and humanitarian partners to deliver assistance to typhoon-affected people requiring urgent humanitarian aid in 16 prioritized municipalities in Catanduanes and Albay provinces in support of the Philippine government response. The HNP is being updated to reflect the impact of Typhoon Ulysses. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. expressed appreciation of the international community’s demonstration of solidarity with the Filipino people.
“Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses have brought great suffering to Filipinos. We are a resilient country and we will get back on our feet as we always do, but the generosity of these countries will make our recovery that much faster,” Locsin said. The UN official, for his part, cited the support of UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock for fast-tracking a contribution to the relief efforts through the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). CERF is one of the fastest and most effective ways to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian assistance reaches people caught up in crises. CERF’s Rapid Response window allows the UN to kick-start relief efforts immediately in a coordinated and prioritized response when a new crisis emerges.