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US donates additional P50 million to 'Odette' disaster response

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US donates additional P50 million to 'Odette' disaster response
USAID, in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme, facilitates the distribution of food packs to those affected by Typhoon Odette and set up emergency logistics hubs in Surigao del Norte on December 2021.
Released / US Embassy in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines — The United States on Monday announced that it would provide P50 million to support communities affected by Super Typhoon Odette. 

"In partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the new funding from [the US Agency for International Development] will provide logistics and emergency telecommunications support in typhoon-affected areas," the US Embassy in the Philippines said in a statement.

It added that four emergency logistics hubs would be set up in Surigao del Norte for the storage and distribution of relief supplies.

WFP, with US assistance, will also transport food from the Philippine government and assist with re-establishing the telecommunications networks to support response efforts.   

"The United States is pleased to provide this additional assistance to support the immediate needs of individuals and families in the areas hardest hit by Typhoon Odette," US Embassy in the Philippines Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Heather Variava is quoted as saying in the statement. 

"This support will help ensure that food and other life-saving supplies reach communities most in need."

This is on top of the P10-million initial assistance given to the Philippine government by the US, its longtime ally and former colonizer, on December 22. 

USAID partner Action Against Hunger has also been providing immediate food, water, hygiene, and other relief supplies to storm-affected communities in Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands, according to the embassy. 

In Caraga and Eastern Visayas, the International Organization for Migration is also supervising evacuation shelters and supplying relief materials, including enough heavy-duty plastic sheeting to satisfy the shelter requirements of at least 4,800 households, with help from USAID.

The US agency has provided over P17 billion in disaster relief and recovery aid to the Philippines since 2010. It has also boosted the disaster risk reduction capacity of over 100 cities and municipalities in the country, the US embassy said. 

Taiwan donates goods to 'Odette' survivors in the Visayas

The Department of Social Welfare and Development in a statement Tuesday said Taiwan provided donations to the Visayas through the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines.

The DSWD Field Office VII, headed by Regional Director Rebecca Geamala, received the donations on December 26.

The goods included 350 boxes of water, 206 boxes of instant noodles, 18 boxes of canned tuna, 225 boxes of cookies, 46 boxes of tents, 17 boxes of water filters, and 835 boxes of food rations.

DSWD: P154M in assistance delivered to 'Odette' survivors 

According to the DSWD, 2,600 family food packs (FFPs) have been delivered to the Municipality of Roxas, Palawan while 5,000 FFPs were delivered to Puerto Princesa City via coast guard vessel.

As of early Tuesday morning, more than P154 million worth of humanitarian assistance has been provided to affected families, the disaster agency said. 

Of this amount, more than P115 million was from the DSWD, over P38 million was sourced from concerned local governments, and more than P1 million came from non-government organizations. 

"Aside from the immediate needs of affected families, the DSWD Disaster Response Management Bureau (DRMB) facilitated the delivery of play therapy kits, learners’ kits, school-in-bag/teacher’s kits and oral hygiene kits through the Philippine Coast Guard to the affected Regions," the agency said. 

Odette, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, tore through the Visayas and Mindanao earlier this month, leaving at least 378 reported dead and causing the declaration of a state of calamity in six regions. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has confirmed only 54 of the reported casualties, another 218 remain unidentified. 

Meanwhile, the damage caused by the super typhoon on infrastructure is estimated by NDRRMC to be as high as P16.7 billion while the damage to houses is estimated at P29.2 billion. The Department of Agriculture on Monday night reported that agricultural damage is nearing P6 billion. 

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