The European Commission has allocated €3 million to support emergency response and provide relief to tens of thousands of people affected in the aftermath of the tropical storm Washi, which struck the southern Philippines causing widespread destruction and loss of life. The funds will be used primarily for debris clean-up, food assistance, temporary shelters, medical assistance, water and sanitation, and protection. Over 100 000 people in need of urgent assistance will benefit from funding. The humanitarian situation has been assessed by experts from the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).
In addition, the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) has activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism in order to advise Member States on the precise needs and to coordinate their offers of civil protection assistance.
‘Throughout the year the Philippines have been lashed by successive tropical storms, typhoons and heavy rainfall. While storms are a regular occurrence, the magnitude of Washi and the ferocity with which it hit this part of the country were exceptional. Because tropical storms are less frequent in the southern part of the country, people were therefore less prepared and that has magnified the size of this tragedy,’ said Commissioner Georgieva.
More than 335 000 people are affected in the region while the death toll has climbed to 957, while 42 733 people are living in 62 evacuation centres. Significant damage has been caused to infrastructure and agriculture.