NZ gives P96-M aid to Leyte
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - March 18, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - New Zealand is giving NZ$2.5 million (about P96 million) in aid for farming communities affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

New Zealand Minister of Civil Defense Nikki Kaye announced the agriculture aid during a meeting with residents of Barangay Gacao in Palo, Leyte on Saturday. She said the aid would be coursed through the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

New Zealand Ambassador Reuben Levermore, FAO representative to the Philippines Rajendra Aryal and local government officials accompanied Kaye.

Aryal said the money would be used to help farmers restore their farms and buy tools and farm animals. Training would also be held for both farmers and agricultural technicians.

Kaye said New Zealand, being an agricultural country, could impart their knowledge.

“Our hearts are with you,” she said, “and this time, we are putting our money into it.”

She said she visited the village to show their commitment to help the residents, but noted that they do not want to impose solutions, as they would prefer that the approach be community-based.

“The additional NZ$2.5 million will be mainly used to help you plant other crops so you don’t have to rely solely on coconut trees; we want you to enhance your resilience and stand against any typhoon in future,” Kaye said.

New Zealand initially gave NZ$5 million as emergency aid to Yolanda victims. Kaye said they are also giving an annual assistance of NZ$4 million, which could come in handy if the FAO emergency fund runs short.

With contributions from the international humanitarian community, FAO to date has reached nearly 44,000 farming households, enabling them to plant in time for the December/January planting season in the weeks immediately following the typhoon.

FAO provided rice seeds and fertilizer, which is expected to feed around 800,000 people for one year.

Coconut farmers

FAO is targeting small-scale coconut farmers, in line with the UN’s Strategic Response Plan aimed at providing them with alternative livelihood while they wait for six to eight years until their replanted coconut trees are fully productive again.

FAO, in close collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform and other relevant government agencies, is implementing medium-term strategic projects on intercropping, integrated with small-scale livestock ruminants supporting typhoon-affected small-scale coconut farmers and helping them restore their livelihood and build resilience against future disasters.

FAO warned that coconut production in the country will be affected as farmers are in urgent need of assistance to recover their livelihood nearly three months after Yolanda hit.

FAO called for donors to support its $38-million call for severely affected Philippine households.

Meanwhile, the archdiocese of Palo, Leyte yesterday urged the national government to impose a price freeze on basic commodities in typhoon-affected areas.

Fr. Amadeo Alvero, spokesman of the archdiocese, cited reports that prices of some basic goods have doubled or even tripled. – With Lalaine Jimenea, Evelyn Macairan

 

AMADEO ALVERO BARANGAY GACAO DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EVELYN MACAIRAN FAO FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL ORGANIZATION LEYTE NEW ZEALAND NEW ZEALAND AMBASSADOR REUBEN LEVERMORE
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with