Brussels, 16 November 2013
More aid to survivors of Typhoon Haiyan as Commissioner Georgieva visits the Philippines
The European Commission is increasing its emergency aid to the Philippines following the massive destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan. During her visit to the country, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva has announced €7 million more in humanitarian aid.
"We have all seen the tragic devastation inflicted by this typhoon and in Tacloban today I am personally delivering a message of European solidarity. We are standing by all the victims with immediate, large-scale assistance," Commissioner Georgieva said.
Today's decision brings to €20 million the Commission's assistance to the Philippines in the aftermath of Haiyan (including emergency humanitarian aid of €3million and €10 million of reconstruction assistance pledged by the Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs). Member States have also contributed around €25 million in financial aid in addition to generous in-kind support.
"The priorities now are restoring access to devastated parts of the Philippines and the urgent delivery of life-saving assistance. It is also imperative that we coordinate relief efforts so that everyone who needs help will receive it," added the Commissioner. She is travelling to Manila, Cebu and Tacloban to meet the national authorities, inspect the devastation and receive in-depth reports from the Commission's experts who have been deployed on the ground since the early hours of the disaster.
The Commission's humanitarian assistance is channelled through organisations operating in the affected areas, including the World Food Programme, the International Federation of the Red Cross, OCHA and Telecoms Sans Frontières. The new batch of EU aid will address the most acute needs such as food assistance, clean water, emergency shelter, health services and communication. EU funds also support coordination, transport and logistics, which is of crucial importance to delivering aid to survivors.
The Commission is also working to ensure coordinated delivery of assistance pouring in to the Philippines from EU Member States. To that end, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated.
To date, sixteen Member States have sent assistance. Norway has also contributed aid through the European Civil Protection Mechanism. European Search and rescue teams, doctors and other urgently needed experts are deployed to the country, as well as field hospitals, water purification units and other equipment.
The EU's Civil Protection mechanism, which is coordinated by the Commissions' Emergency Response Coordination Centre of the European Commission, also supports transport of civil protection assets to the region.
The tropical cyclone Haiyan (locally named Yolanda), one of the strongest ever recorded, hit the Philippines on 7 and 8 November causing wide-spread damage. The full extent of destruction is still being accessed. The UN estimates that 11.3 million people - or over 10% of the Philippine population – are affected. The death toll continues to rise.
The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. In October, the Philippines were hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, which destroyed the homes and livelihoods of around 350,000 people. In 2013 alone, the European Union has provided significant humanitarian assistance to the archipelago: €2.5 million have just been made available for the response to the earthquake in Bohol; for Typhoon Bopha (Pablo), a total of €10 million have been released to help rebuild the communities devastated by the cyclone hit South-Eastern Mindanao in December 2012; following flooding caused by Typhoon Trami (Maring) in August ECHO committed €200 000 to help those affected, and €300 000 were allocated in early October to assist those displaced by the conflict in Zamboanga.
For more information
Factsheet on Typhoon Haiyan:
IP/13/1059: European Commission releases emergency funds to help victims of tropical cyclone Haiyan
IP/13/1063: The EU responds to Haiyan disaster with coordinated relief efforts
IP/13/1052: New EU support to the Philippines
IP/13/1068: EU mobilises new support to the Philippines' reconstruction
The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:
Commissioner Georgieva's website: