MANILA, Philippines – The European Union (EU) has donated €500,000 or some P28 million for victims of the series of strong earthquakes that struck Cotabato and parts of Mindanao in October this year.
The EU made the announcement in a statement on Monday, November 25, as residents in affected areas were still reeling from the earthquakes which damaged homes and structures, and have left thousands displaced.
“The earthquakes have affected people in communities that were already poor and vulnerable. Our focus is to bring urgently needed assistance to those most heavily impacted by the disasters,” said Christos Stylianides, the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management on Monday.
The EU said that the donation will support efforts to deliver emergency shelter, food, clean water, psychosocial support, and “vital aid” to vulnerable groups who are victims of the calamity, including female-headed households, people with disabilities, and indigenous people.
Aside from these, the EU said humanitarian experts have been deployed to the earthquake-hit areas to assess needs of affected communities.
The EU earlier expressed condolences to Filipinos, saying it was “saddened by the devastation and loss of life” and stood in solidarity with the Philippines in the wake of the earthquakes. (READ: ‘Beyond repair’: Dread and anxiety in Kidapawan after strong earthquakes)
In October, Cotabato suffered from 3 strong earthquakes in just 16 days: the first with magnitude magnitude 6.3 on October 16, the second with magnitude 6.6 on October 29, and on October 31, with magnitude 6.5. The tremors were felt in several other areas in Mindanao. (FAST FACTS: The destructive earthquakes that hit Mindanao)
According to the Philippine government, over 330,000 people remain affected as of November 21.– Rappler.com