HELP NEEDED. File photo of a tent city inside a campus to house victims made homeless by typhoon Pablo in the town of Boston, Davao Oriental. January 4, 2013. Photo by John Javellana and graphic by Jessica Lazaro
MANILA, Philippines - The Australian government will provide an additional P126-M (AU$3 million) for the relief and rehabilitation of areas devastated by typhoon Pablo (Bopha). This is in response to a fresh appeal for aid by the Philippine government and the United Nations (UN).
This brings Australia's total funding support to P432-M.
In a statement, the Australian embassy in Manila said the additional funding will go to emergency shelters in the worst-hit areas and cash-for-work programs for victims of the typhoon.
Australian ambassador Bill Tweddell, who visited Compostela Valley on January 15, said the scale of destruction was staggering. He commended the Philippine government for its "effective and well-coordinated efforts to address [the] crisis."
Australia will also provide P84-M (AU$2 million) to replenish pre-positioned supplies used in the Philippine government’s initial response to typhoon Pablo. This is on top of P462-M in pre-programmed Ausaid funds for disaster preparedness programs.
UN resident humanitarian coordinator Luiza Carvalho welcomes Australia's announcement. "Australia has been a major contributor to humanitarian response efforts from the beginning," she said. "We are thankful for the support received to date and would like to encourage other donors to also increase their assistance or to make contributions."
On January 25, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the UN renewed their call for foreign aid for the victims of Pablo, particularly in the hardest hit areas of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. Since then, the DSWD was able to raise over US$1.1-M in additional funding.
At least $76-M is needed to carry out the revised Pablo Action Plan. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), only 41% of this amount ($32-M) has been donated. UNOCHA expects additional pledges of $4.5-M. But this still leaves a funding gap of $44-M.
Over 840,000 people are still displaced, including 700,000 whose livelihoods were destroyed by the typhoon. The humanitarian situation was worsened by flooding caused by heavy rains on January 20.