Following the widespread flooding triggered by incessant monsoon rains in the Philippines, the European Commission is allocating €150 000 in humanitarian funding to bring emergency assistance to affected communities. The aid will directly help 30 000 people in the worst-hit localities.
This EU funding supports the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) in delivering much needed relief assistance through the distribution of essential relief items including food, safe water, emergency shelter kits, mosquito nets, blankets, hygiene kits, and jerry cans. Cash grants are also being delivered to targeted communities to ensure the most vulnerable families can meet their basic needs and restore their livelihoods. As outbreaks of water-borne and mosquito-borne diseases such as leptospirosis, dengue and diarrhoea are common following flooding, disease prevention and hygiene promotion activities are being provided.
The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). This fund was established in 1985 and is supported by contributions from donors. Each time a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society needs immediate financial support to respond to a disaster, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors.
The Philippines witnessed three weather disturbances between 17 and 21 July, triggering a series of heavy rains, landslides and floods in 28 provinces across the archipelago nation. According to the Philippines authorities, as of 6 August the flooding has left nearly 400 000 people displaced, out of which almost 10 000 are still living in evacuation centres. The flooding has also caused extensive damage to infrastructure, farmlands and livestock, hampering the ability of the affected populations to access essential services whilst also disrupting their livelihoods.
As more rains are expected in the country during the annual monsoon season, which normally lasts until September, humanitarian experts from the EU's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Operations department (ECHO) continue to closely monitor the situation.