The European Union announced €3 million (almost 170 million Philippine Pesos) in further humanitarian funding to provide assistance to those most vulnerable populations in the country, both those affected by the most recent natural disasters and by conflict.
“We commend the actions of the Philippine government, whose preparedness measures before typhoon Tisoy saved the lives of those residing near the coast and landslide-prone areas,” said Janez Lenarčič, the EU Commissioner for Crisis Management. “However, the number of people displaced from their homes due to natural disasters and conflict is still high and the EU is ready to help answer their more urgent needs.”
The EU funding will support global humanitarian aid organisations in their actions to deliver immediate assistance to those most affected by typhoon Tisoy, which caused widespread damage in the southeastern part of Luzon, and by the earthquakes in Mindanao.
In the aftermath of Tisoy, also known as typhoon Kammuri, assistance will be provided through healthcare services, access to clean water and the distribution of emergency shelter materials, hygiene kits and essential household items that were lost in the disasters. Hygiene promotion activities are also being carried out to mitigate the spread of waterborne diseases. In addition, cash grants will be distributed to enable victims to sustain themselves during their displacement and to help victims restart their livelihoods.
In Mindanao, the funding will target both displaced people and returnees. It will focus on improving food security through humanitarian food assistance and the replacement or strengthening of lost and damaged livelihoods. Aid will also aim to provide better access to sources of potable water, sanitation and proper hygiene practices, as well as healthcare assistance.
Part of this funding will support Plan International and the International Organization for Migration and is coming from the EU’s Acute Large Emergency Response Tool (ALERT), which allocated €800,000, and the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which contributed €200,000.
Typhoon Tisoy, the 20th tropical cyclone hitting the Philippines in 2019, has affected more than two million people and over 55,000 are still displaced. Some 484,000 houses have been damaged, out of which more than 63,000 have been completely destroyed.
During the months of October and December 2019, five major earthquakes hit Mindanao causing loss of life and significant damage to homes, schools and public buildings, and leaving more than 340,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance. The earthquakes have added stress to an already fragile population facing and armed conflict.
Since 1996, the EU has provided more than €124 million in humanitarian aid to the Philippines.
The acute large emergency response tool (ALERT) is used to respond to large natural disasters where over 100,000 people or over 50% of the population are affected. Depending on the type of disaster, the aim is to allocate funds within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of the emergency.
The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund, established in 1985, 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, it can request funds from the DREF. For small-scale disasters, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors. The delegation agreement between the IFRC and the EU enables the latter to replenish the DREF for agreed operations (that fit in with its humanitarian mandate) up to a total of €3 million.