The Philippines faced the aftermath of the destruction brought by Typhoon Odette (international name Rai) on December 16, damaging infrastructure and agriculture, and affecting around 3.95 million Filipinos. In response to this devastating event, the international community and a number of organizations provided immediate assistance to support Filipinos in their recovery efforts.
Taiwan Association Inc. and the Love From Koten Foundation donated P2.7 million and P2 million in disaster relief assistance.
An aerial shot showed the effect of Typhoon Odette in Siargao. PHOTO COURTESY OF UNIC Manila/Ronald Al Jurado, SIKAT via OXFAM
Japan’s disaster relief goods and supplies arrived in Manila through the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
USAid facilitated the distribution of food packs and set up emergency logistics hubs in Surigao del Norte.
US assistance tops P1 billion
The United States government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAid), is allocating an additional P950 million in humanitarian assistance to help communities affected by Typhoon Odette, bringing total US support for this response to more than P1 billion.
With this assistance, USAid will provide food aid; water, sanitation, and hygiene programs to help keep people healthy; and shelter assistance to meet emergency needs and help affected communities start rebuilding their homes.
This new funding is in addition to the P50 million announced earlier this week to support emergency logistics efforts to ensure aid is delivered to those in hard-to-reach areas. This assistance also builds on the P10 million that USAid provided immediately after the storm for food, water, and hygiene supplies; to restore water supply services and sanitation facilities; and to support hygiene promotion activities.
To show US support on behalf of the American people, US Embassy in the Philippines Chargé d’Affaires (CDA) ad interim Heather Variava plans to visit communities affected by Typhoon Odette and see ongoing US relief activities.
Japan’s disaster relief goods arrive
Japan’s disaster relief goods to the Philippines, in light of the devastation brought about by Typhoon Odette, arrived in Manila on December 23. The relief goods and supplies will be distributed to affected communities in the hope of supporting the relief efforts of the Philippines authorities.
The disaster relief goods include generators, camping Tents, sleeping pads, portable Jerry Cans/water containers, tarpaulins/plastic sheets to cover the roof, cord reels, and adaptor plug sets.
The said disaster relief goods and supplies arrived in Manila in two batches, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
On the arrival of the relief goods, Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko expressed heartfelt sympathies to everyone affected by the disaster and reassured of Japan’s effort to reach out to people in typhoon-hit areas. This includes urgent consideration of financial support to the Government of the Philippines. He hopes that the disaster relief supplies will alleviate the hardship the affected people have experienced.
Taiwan, Taiwanese community join hands to help PH recover
In order to help the people affected by recent Super Typhoon Odette return to their normal lives, and to demonstrate the spirit of “Taiwan can help, and Taiwan is helping!,” on behalf of the government Taiwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu presented the donation of US$ 500,000 to the Philippines as disaster relief funds at a hand-over ceremony in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on December 22. Chairman and Resident Representative of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Wilfredo Fernandez, accepted the donation on behalf of the government of the Philippines.
The people of Taiwan share the same feeling when the people of the Philippines suffer from Super Typhoon Odette. Taiwan Association Inc. and the Love From Koten Foundation donated P2.7 million and P2 million in disaster relief assistance. Vice Chairman Eddie Tamondong of MECO received the donation at a handover ceremony held in the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines on December 23.
Representative Peiyung Hsu expressed Taiwan’s sincere condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims. Tamondong extended heartfelt gratitude to the government of the Taiwan, Taiwan Association Inc. and the Love From Koten Foundation for their kind assistance on behalf of the Philippines.
Unicef sends supplies to affected areas
After Typhoon Odette brought widespread destruction to the Philippines on December 16, the needs of children and families in affected areas are becoming clear. Based on initial assessments, around 845,000 children need urgent assistance. Immediate needs include food, water, medicines, clothing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cooking equipment, family kits with sleeping materials, hygiene kits, temporary shelter, disaster kits, tents for healthcare facilities, and go bags.
Unicef staff is on the ground conducting assessments and is leading the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH), Nutrition, Education, and Child Protection clusters together with the Philippine Government and partners. Unicef’s emergency supplies are ready to be dispatched to respond to people’s needs for safe drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, education, and child protection.Around 2,000 family hygiene and dignity kits, 2,767 packs of water purification tablets, additional 2,018 bottles of household water disinfectants, two collapsible bulk water storages, 50 emergency latrine kits and 25 tents for district hospitals and Rural Health Units were dispatched from Unicef’s Mindanao Field Office in Cotabato City to Dinagat Islands, Siargao, Surigao City and Surigao del Norte. The kits contain items such as water buckets, soaps, toothpaste and sanitary napkins.
Unicef is also calling to prioritize children’s needs for the response.
UN calls for $107M life-saving aid
The Humanitarian Country Team in the Philippines launched on December 24 the Humanitarian Needs and Priorities (HNP) plan to respond to the needs of 530,000 people in the worst affected areas in CARAGA and Eastern Visayas following the onslaught of Typhoon Odette.The HNP plan calls for $107.2 million to support the government in responding to the most urgent humanitarian needs for the next six months. The plan has been developed based on preliminary assessment findings and early estimates of people in need to enable humanitarian partners to kick-start immediate life-saving and protection activities, focusing on women, girls, and people with disability living in areas hardest hit by Typhoon Odette.
On December 22 and 23, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez went on a mission to CARAGA and Surigao Province to witness first-hand the damage wrought by the typhoon. During the mission, he spoke with local officials, frontline responders, and typhoon-affected people.
With the Government leading response efforts, the HNP seeks to provide for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), life-saving food needs, emergency shelter, including the efficient management of evacuation camps, decentralized communication to restore access to islands and places which are currently cut off, and support for coordination by the government, among others.
The UN Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) is allocating the $12 million of humanitarian funds to Unicef, UNFPA, WFP, and IOM. CERF is one of the fastest and most effective ways to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian assistance reaches people caught up in crises. CERF’s Rapid Response window allows the UN to kick-start relief efforts immediately in a coordinated and prioritized response when a new crisis emerges.