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Emergency EU funds to help victims of tropical cyclone
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Published on 11-11-13 

The European Commission is providing an initial €3 million (£2.57m) of emergency relief to help in the aftermath of tropical cyclone Haiyan which crossed the Philippines on 7 and 8 November. In addition, €8m in aid to help with the economic and social recovery of conflict-affected areas in Mindanao was announced by EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs during a visit to Manila today.  With sustained winds of nearly 300 km/h, the cyclone caused massive damage and affected an estimated 10 million people across the archipelago, just three weeks after a powerful earthquake shook the central area of the Philippines.

    Emergency EU funds to help victims of tropical cyclone

    The European Commission and its humanitarian partners will work closely with national and local authorities' relief operations to deliver the €3 million of emergency funding for immediate humanitarian needs in the worst affected zones.

    The European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), which is monitoring the situation 24/7, has already deployed an advanced assessment team of two experts to the Philippines. A team of 6-8 civil protection experts will be dispatched within the next few days to coordinate the rescue efforts with the Philippine authorities and humanitarian organisations.

    "We are all deeply shocked by the devastation caused by tropical cyclone Haiyan," said Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

    "The priority is to restore access to remote areas hit by the cyclone, deliver urgently needed humanitarian aid to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been left homeless and ensure that they have clean water to drink, emergency food supplies and shelter. This is what we are all working on right now through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism."

    President Barroso sent a message of condolences to the President and the people of the Philippines on Saturday.

    The EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCP) has been activated to ensure coordinated European relief efforts following a request by the Philippine authorities' for international assistance to address the colossal needs in the aftermath of the devastating cyclone Haiyan.

    Several EU Member States are sending material support to the Philippines and the EUCP supports this effort through its coordination capacities. Belgium has shipped a medical team and a water purification unit to help address the acute need for clean drinking water. Hungary has committed a search and rescue team and medical doctors to be deployed shortly. The UK and France are sending shelter kits. Sweden is providing a base camp with communication equipment to support the international coordination effort. Germany has deployed needsassessment experts.

    Further in-kind contributions to be delivered via the EUCP are expected within the coming days.

    The €8 million contribution for Mindanao announced by European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will be channelled through the Mindanao Trust Fund and will support activities to promote confidence-building, peace and demand-driven governance. Around 300,000 people have already benefitted from 141 projects implemented by the Mindanao Trust Fund which is 70% financed by the European Union (European Commission and Sweden).

    The EU, as the main donor to the fund, is a long-term supporter of the Mindanao Peace Process, both at political level and by providing assistance to the region. 

    Due to its exceptional strength and size, an estimated 10 million people - or over 10% of the Philippine population – are directly affected. The full extent of destruction is still being accessed. The death toll continues to rise and is expected to exceed appalling 10,000 victims. National and international relief efforts are on-going, but are expected to be further complicated by a new approaching storm.

    Background

    The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world and Haiyan was the 25th typhoon to have hit the archipelago this year. Last month, the Philippines were hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, which destroyed the homes and livelihoods of around 350,000 people.

    In 2013 the European Union has already provided significant humanitarian assistance to the archipelago:

    - €2.5 million in response to the earthquake in Bohol;

    - €10 million to help rebuild the communities devastated by Typhoon Bopha which hit South-Eastern Mindanao in December 2012;

    - €200,000 to help those affected by flooding caused by Typhoon Trami in August 2013.

    - €300,000 allocated in early October to assist those displaced by the conflict in Zamboanga.

    The EU Civil Protection Mechanism (CPM) was created in 2001 and since then has reacted to more than 180 disasters worldwide. All EU Member States participate in the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism as well as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

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    Last update: 12/11/2013  |Top