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Brussels, 14 December 1998

Humanitarian aid news: Asia

The European Commission has made available humanitarian aid for projects in North Korea (ECU 2 million), Indonesia (ECU 1.5 million), Laos (ECU 890,000), the Philippines (ECU 700,000), Burma (ECU 695,000) and French Polynesia (ECU 105,000). The aid, managed by the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO), will enable international and non-governmental organisations to carry out projects over the next three to six months.

North Korea: fuel, winter clothes, blankets for children (ECU 2 million)

The collapse of the economy has had devastating effects on the population, particularly among children suffering levels of malnutrition among the worst in eastern Asia. This project focuses on helping them to survive a harsh winter by providing fuel, winter clothes and blankets, especially for public institutions.

Indonesia: after-effects of El Nino (ECU 1.5 million)

Fall-out from a drought triggered by the El Nino freak weather pattern has combined with the effects of a catastrophic economic crisis have had devastating effects on Indonesia. Many of its poorest, most isolated inhabitants face epidemics and ill-health without the means to combat them. This grant will assist with campaigns against malaria and dengue fever, as well as funding other medical aid and clean drinking water.

Laos: aid for victims of drought (ECU 890,000)

Laos suffered severe drought that devastated its rice crop this summer. The rains came too late, and were too sparse to save much of the harvest. This grant will provide money for food-for-work activities, and will enable NGOs to continue providing clean drinking water and basic health care.

Philippines: fallout from typhoon babs (ECU 700,000)

Northern and eastern provinces hit by Babs in October are still struggling to overcome its effects. This funding will provide clean drinking water, medical aid, basic survival kits, food and essential repairs for homes that can be reclaimed.

Burma: aid for ethnic minorities (ECU 695,000)

About 480,000 people belonging to ethnic minorities have been forcibly displaced to carry out forced labour and now find themselves in Rakin and Rangoon. This aid will improve their access to drinking water, healthcare and emergency food aid, especially for women and children.

French Polynesia: aid in aftermath of cyclone Alan (ECU 105,000)

ECHO has responded to a government appeal to provide tents, medical aid, food and clothes for those who lost their homes because of Cyclone Alan last April.

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