^

EDITORIAL - Sustained assistance

(The Philippine Star) - March 1, 2015 - 12:00am

There were two places that French President Francois Hollande visited in this country: Metro Manila, the seat of power, and the coastal town of Guiuan in Eastern Samar. With him were two of his country’s world-famous movie stars, serving as ambassadors of French goodwill in calling for global action in confronting climate change.

Filipinos remember Guiuan as the area where Super Typhoon Yolanda made landfall in November 2013. Last January, Guiuan suffered another blow, after Storm Amang again devastated coconut trees and other plantations that were just starting to recover from Yolanda. Amang also forced Pope Francis to cut short his visit to Tacloban.

As Pope Francis himself lamented, Yolanda’s victims were the reason he decided to visit the Philippines. The popular pontiff was visibly disappointed when Amang forced him to cut short his visit to Yolanda’s Ground Zero and leave Tacloban before the storm struck and shut down the newly rehabilitated airport.

Clearly, the world has not forgotten the grievous impact of Yolanda – from the death toll placed at 6,000 to 10,000, to the destruction of property including plantations that will take at least two years to fully recover. There was a touching outpouring of global sympathy and assistance as bodies were pulled out of the typhoon debris daily.

Poverty and unemployment persist in the disaster zones, with aid workers reporting an increase in prostitution and child exploitation. There’s still enormous, challenging work ahead in rebuilding. The country needs all the help it can get, and is grateful for the sustained commitment of the global community.

The visits of Pope Francis, Hollande and several other international leaders before them reassure Filipinos that the world continues to care and stands ready to sustain assistance for the typhoon-hit areas. The least that the Philippines can do is to ensure that foreign aid is utilized judiciously and the reconstruction effort is sustained with zeal.

AS POPE FRANCIS EASTERN SAMAR FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE GROUND ZERO GUIUAN LAST JANUARY METRO MANILA POPE FRANCIS STORM AMANG SUPER TYPHOON YOLANDA YOLANDA
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
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