Delegation of the European Union to
European Union approved an additional amount of PHP 192 million for projects to provide further support to the survivors of Typhoon Sendong(international name: Washi) in Northern Mindanao in their efforts to rebuild their homes and livelihoods. The projects will be implemented in the towns of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and affected rural communities in Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur (Region X & ARMM) and Negros Oriental (Region VII).
The Head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador Guy Ledoux, explained the importance of these projects: “While the floods in Mindanao were over very quickly the humanitarian needs have not gone away as quickly” he explained. “Although the cameras have left and the headlines have changed, we are not leaving the victims behind but trying to ensure that he communities can get back on their feet.”
This funding is the second commitment by the European Commission through its Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), following an initial decision in December 2011 to provide PHP 162 million in emergency aid for debris clean-up, emergency rehabilitation, food assistance, non-food items, shelter support, coordination and management of evacuation centres/camps, health and hygiene promotion, water and sanitation, psychological support and protection. More than 154.000 individuals will benefit from this assistance.
Partners in these new projects in Mindanao include the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the German Red Cross, the UN High Commission for refugees (UNHCR), the UN’s Organisation for Coordinating Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and a consortium of non-governmental relief organisations led by Acción Contra el Hambre, including Save the Children, Plan International and Care Netherlands. The focus continues to be on water/sanitation, hygiene promotion, IDP camp management / temporary shelter, food security/ livelihood, humanitarian aid coordination and protection.
EU humanitarian aid experts visited the affected regions between 5 and 14 March 2012 and witnessed the good use of the EU assistance in the immediate aftermath of the typhoon. Their assessment was that many people were still displaced and in need of basic assistance like shelter, food, water and sanitation, six months after the disaster. This is why the EU decided to provide additional support for the victims of Sendong.
With this additional humanitarian aid, the European Union has poured in a total of PHP 566 million for the victims of Sendong combining contributions from the European Commission and several EU Member States.
On 4 January 2012 EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux led a group of EU diplomats on a visit to Northern Mindanao to express solidarity and support for vulnerable families affected by typhoon Sendong. The visit also aimed at assessing the progress and effectiveness of the EU assistance provided.
The EU was one of the first to provide immediate aid to the typhoon victims. Within 48 hours of the disaster three ECHO experts were deployed to Mindanao to assess the humanitarian situation. As a result, the EU swiftly released PHP 162 million in emergency aid.