Philippines

ECHO pledges support for typhoon survivors in the Philippines

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The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid department, known as ECHO, plans to provide €850,000 (1.3 million CHF / $ 1.1 million USD) to support efforts to help 75,000 people affected by typhoons and severe flooding in the Philippines.

The funds will go towards the International Federation's revised emergency appeal, launched on 10 December, which called for 10.5 million Swiss francs (€8.6 million/ $6.6 million USD) to support the Philippine National Red Cross in assisting over one million people affected by a series of deadly storms, which slammed into the country between September and December 2006.

The ECHO initiative is part of a wider emergency operation undertaken by the Philippine National Red Cross and the International Federation to provide vulnerable families with access to shelter, sanitation facilities and health care.

The European Commission's contribution will enable the local Red Cross to supply 15,000 families with the materials and tools they need to reconstruct typhoon-resistant and durable homes within the next six months.

"The Philippines, along with other Asian nations, were battered by storm after storm last year," says Jyri Rantanen, the International Federation's Field Assessment and Coordination Team leader in the Philippines.

"An important element of the recovery operation is to improve the new homes so that they can withstand future storms."

In order to achieve this, the International Federation and Philippine National Red Cross will also be promoting better building techniques through interactive community training.

In total, an estimated 2.5 million people were affected by last year's typhoons. Those hardest hit were unemployed, single-parent families and the disabled.

For further information, or to set up interviews, please contact:

Gwen Pang, Head of International Relations, PNRC Tel: +63 917 827 74 21
Anna Nelson, Media Officer for Asia & the Pacific Tel: + 41 22 730 4381/ +41 79 724 2046
Media Service Duty Phone Tel. + 41 79 416 38 81