EU announces €30-M grant for Yolanda survivors

Rappler.com
EU announces €30-M grant for Yolanda survivors
As of 2014, donations made by the European Union, its member states, and private European citizens amount to a total of €740 million ($1 billion).

MANILA, Philippines – The European Union (EU) announced a €30-million grant with the Philippine government for reconstruction efforts in areas affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). (READ: We are ‘failing’ six months after Yolanda)

Seven months after the world’s strongest typhoon in recent times ravaged the Philippines, many survivors remain homeless and jobless. Agricultural workers are among the most devastated, hence putting poor families at greater risk of hunger.

Infrastructure also remains a problem.

A recent report from the International Organization for Migration revealed that the Philippines is left with only a few usable evacuation centers after Yolanda. (READ: Homeless, hungry, jobless)

The new funding comes from the European Commission development budget. The reconstruction efforts also aim to support to the implementation of the country’s universal health care framework through the availability of medicines and health facilities and services. (READ: Yolanda’s damage to health facilities)

“My visit to Tacloban has been a stark reminder of the devastation which hit the Philippines last November,” Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, said.

“Seven months on, many survivors are still struggling to recover. The need for assistance remains, but my visit has also been full of encouragement. Everywhere I turned, I saw people rebuilding their homes, replanting their fields, or reopening their businesses,” she added.

International collaboration

Georgieva called the €30-million grant a “confirmation” of EU’s continuous support for the recovery and reconstruction process in Yolanda-affected areas.

“In the current situation it is of great importance to combine short term relief operations with long term plans,” Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development, stressed.

“Since the disaster we have been active in focusing our development cooperation on activities that help the affected communities to recover and reconstruct, but also to prepare for possible future typhoons. This will help to fight poverty immediately and at the same time make people’s lives and livelihoods safer in the long term.”

The Philippines is hosting this year’s Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management from June 4 to 6. (WATCH: ASEM as it happens)

ASEM gathers delegates from 36 participating Asian and European countries to discuss innovative ways to prepare and response to disasters through new technologies. Delegates will also share their best practices from their home countries. (READ: #TaclobanDeclaration)

Georgieva is one of the keynote speakers at ASEM.

Amid disasters and the growing effects of climate change, the EU emphasized the need to “reinforce international collaboration.”

As of 2014, donations made by the European Union, its member states, and private Europeans have amount to a total of €740 million ($1 billion). Rappler.com

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