Philippines

Philippines: European Union releases €800,000 in emergency funds to support people affected by devastating earthquake

The European Union has allocated €800,000 in emergency funds to assist victims of the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck northern Philippines on 27 July. The quake, which killed 10 people and injured 410 others, has caused extensive damage to homes and buildings, including schools and healthcare facilities. More than 400,000 people have been affected thus far, according to the Philippine government, while numbers are expected to continue rising.

The earthquake struck northern Luzon, the country's most populous island, toppling buildings and setting off landslides and thousands of aftershocks. The epicenter is located some 13 kilometers southeast of the small town of Dolores in Luzon’s Abra province. The impact was felt as far away as the capital, Manila, over 400 kilometers away.

“Thousands of people have lost their homes and livelihoods, and traumatised families have been forced to stay in tents and makeshift structures due to successive aftershocks,” said Arlynn Aquino, who oversees EU humanitarian programmes in the Philippines. “Together with our humanitarian partners already on the ground, we are making sure that urgent assistance reaches those most in need as soon as possible.”

The funding aims to provide the most vulnerable in the hardest hit-areas with shelter, safe drinking water and sanitation, hygiene, mental health and psycho-social support services, as well as education. The EU will continue to monitor and assess needs.

Background

The Philippines is regularly rocked by earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", a belt of intense seismic activity stretching from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin. The country is also lashed by some 20 typhoons and tropical storms each year, making it one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries. The 27 July quake was one of the strongest recorded in the Philippines in recent years.