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Australia pledges P187.5M worth of humanitarian assistance to Odette-hit areas

Australia is set to provide AUD5 million or P187.5 million in emergency relief to help areas battered by Typhoon Odette last week.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne assured the Philippine government and humanitarian organizations that it would support their recovery from the devastation caused by the typhoon.

Payne said among the assistance is funding for the Philippine Red Cross and the United Nations (UN) Population Fund to distribute relief supplies and child and maternal health services.

She said the assistance also includes funding for the World Food Programme, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the International Organization for Migration to provide critical transportation and communications support to the Philippine government for the delivery of relief supplies.

The funding also covered local non-government organizations (NGOs) and Australian NGOs already operating in the Philippines to deliver immediate lifesaving assistance (including food and non-food items, shelter, water and hygiene kits), protection, and livelihood recovery activities.

“I would like to convey Australia's condolences and heartfelt thoughts to those families in the Philippines who have lost loved ones or whose lives have been affected by this disaster,” Payne said.

“Australia remains steadfast in our commitment to support the Philippines during this difficult time,” she added.

At least 258 people have been reported dead, 47 are missing, and 568 have been injured due to Odette, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Thursday.

A total of 2,196,432 people or 585,029 families were affected by the typhoon in 4,566 barangays.

The affected regions were Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga, Northern Mindanao, Davao, Soccsksargen, Caraga, and Bangsamoro.

The agency said a total of 33 cities and municipalities were in a state of calamity. — VBL, GMA News