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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 13 August 2012

European Commission mobilises emergency aid to help flood victims in the Philippines

Following massive flooding in the Philippines, national authorities have begun a large-scale emergency response. The European Commission will complement on-going efforts with €700,000 of humanitarian aid which will be distributed through its partner organisations.

The European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, said: "In the last two weeks the Philippines have been battered by torrential monsoon rains and two typhoons, Saola and Haikui. Right now, in the emergency response phase, our primary objective is to make sure aid moves quickly to those in greatest need. It is also hoped that our past investments in disaster preparedness projects will have contributed to limiting the death toll".

The floods have affected more than 3.5 million people and forced over one million to evacuate their homes. Significant damage has been caused to infrastructure and agriculture. The capital Manila was not spared. 615,000 people have sought refuge with relatives and friends and more than 410,000 people are currently sheltered in 930 evacuation centres.

The Commission's humanitarian funding will assist 127,000, poor and vulnerable people, including those in remote communities which have been cut off. The money will be used primarily to provide food, water, shelter, medical aid and sanitation, as well as to help clean-up debris.

The funding is based on a preliminary assessment carried out last week by experts from the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) who visited the affected areas to see where the Commission's funding could make the greatest difference. These experts will continue to assess the rapidly changing situation. The Commission's funding may be increased in the coming weeks if the torrential rains continue or if flood waters recede so slowly that they prevent the affected population from returning to their homes.

Background

The Philippines is among the most disaster-prone countries in the world, with 268 recorded natural disaster events over the last three decades. In 2011 the country was badly affected by three major typhoons and floods, for which the European Commission provided €7.6 million of humanitarian assistance. In early 2012, an additional €3.55 million of humanitarian aid was provided to support the recovery efforts in areas affected by the worst of the cyclones.

The Commission has also been supporting community-based disaster preparedness projects in the Philippines, allocating more than €5.6 million over the past 6 years. For the period 2012-2013, the Commission has allocated a further €2.4 million for disaster preparedness in the Philippines, through country and regional actions.

The Commission is a long-term provider of humanitarian assistance in South-East Asia, where it brings relief to the victims of displacement, conflict and natural disasters and where it advocates for and supports measures for disaster preparedness and risk reduction. In 2010 and 2011, the Commission has provided humanitarian assistance worth more than €65 million in the region.

For more information

The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/georgieva/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)


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