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Australia extends P307M million assistance for 'Pablo' victims

The Australian government is providing A$7.3 million (Php307 million) for the victims of Typhoon Pablo which mostly affected Visayas and Mindanao earlier this month. “The devastation caused by Typhoon Pablo is enormous and Australia will continue to assist the Philippine Government’s well-coordinated efforts to address this crisis,” said Australian Embassy Charge d’ Affaires Andrew Byrne. On December 4, Typhoon Pablo made landfall in Davao Oriental leaving more than a thousand dead and over 800 missing in the span of one week. Aside from the cash assistance, Australia will also be providing basic necessities like food, drinking water, and temporary shelter to the thousands affected by the typhoon. They will also give counseling programs to traumatized children especially in the hardest hit areas, according to a news release of the Australian Embassy in the Philippines. Byrne mentioned that women, children and the elderly, especially those with disabilities, are considered to be the vulnerable groups and would be given top priority. Four parts Australia's A$7.3-million assistance is divided into four parts:
  • A$3 million (P126 million) for basic necessities like food and shelter as its response to the United Nations appeal for help for the Philippines;
  • A$2 million (P84 million) for prepositioned emergency food and health supplies for the hardest hit areas;
  • A$2 million (P84 million) alloted for clean drinking water for 25,000 people, shelter for 3,500 families and comfortable living spaces for 3,000 children, and
  • A$300,000 (P12.6 million) to non-government organizations working in Mindanao to assist specific emergency relief needs of persons with disabilities.
“This assistance reflects the Australian people’s commitment to helping our friends in times of need,” said Byrne. “I hope Australia’s humanitarian assistance can help some of the worst-affected families to rebuild their lives,” he added. A portion of Australia's annual aid program to the Philippines, approximately .084 percent of Php 5.5 billion (Php 462 million) will be used to minimize disasters and strengthen preparedness in the Philippines. To check Australia's humanitarian and disaster response in the Philippines, please click here. UN Appeal The United Nations announced a global appeal on December 10 to solicit help for the millions of victims affected by Typhoon Pablo. "Five million people were affected and they need express assistance," Imogen Wall, spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in an earlier report of GMA News Online. "Their priority needs are food, water and shelter but there's also a big emphasis on helping people's livelihood," she added. Wall also noted that the damage that Pablo brought about would cause long term livelihood problems because it struck the heart of the Philippines' agricultural region which would need at least six months of support. Donations from different countries Meanwhile, among the countries that send donations for the victims of Typhoon Pablo are Australia, Japan, US, Canada, South Korea, UK, Norway and Denmark, to name a few. As of Wednesday, there are 1,047 dead while 692 have been identified and 841 still remain missing, based on a report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. About 701,257 families or 6,203,991 people have been affected in 34 provinces. Only 4,869 families or 21,403 people are in 63 evacuation centers situated in various provinces. Damage is already at an estimated P24,222,823,528.07 with P7,822,986,310 damage to infrastructure, P16,350,605,805.07 to agriculture and P49,231,413 in private properties. - VVP, GMA News