Foreign aid pours in for flood victims

Posted at 08/10/2012 6:02 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Relief aid from other countries has started to pour in for the more than 2 million victims of massive floods in the Philippines.

The Australian minister for foreign affairs, Senator Bob Carr, announced Friday that Canberra will donate P88 million in food and emergency supplies that will be delivered through the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

"The Australian government has made these items available through the PRC and WFP so that they can be immediately accessed in serious humanitarian situations, such as the current flooding in and around the capital," Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said in a press statement.

"We know that prompt response is essential to saving lives during disasters. Australia, through our arrangements with the Philippine Red Cross and WFP, is able to assist the Philippine government to respond quickly and effectively," he added.

The Australian Embassy said Canberra is giving P44 million for emergency kits for distribution to families which include medical supplies, mosquito nets and water containers. Another P44 million has been earmarked for 1,000 tonnes of rice.

The embassy added that over the past 7 years, Australia has provided more than P760 million in humanitarian and emergency aid to the Philippines and is working closely with Manila to manage disasters and help people adapt to climate change.

The Singapore Red Cross also announced a contribution of  SG$100,000 worth of relief supplies  to assist flood victims.

Food and family kits will be distributed by SRC volunters on Monday to people in evacuation centers.

"We have been in close contact with our sister national society, the Philippine Red Cross, since the onset of the crisis. The Singapore Red Cross is committed to help the Philippine Red Cross in the massive relief operation," said Benjamin William, secretary-general of the Singapore Red Cross.

The US embassy in Manila earlier announced that it is giving P4.3 million to support disaster relief efforts in the Philippines following severe flooding caused by the southwest monsoon.

The US government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will conduct an initial damage assessment in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces to determine the extent of damage caused by flooding and determine immediate needs within the affected communities.

“As a good friend and longstanding development partner, the United States will work with the Philippine government to determine where our assistance is most needed. We remain committed to helping the Philippine people overcome this difficult time," US Ambassador Harry Thomas, Jr. said.