European Union earmarks P9.2-M for Filipino flood victims

The European Commission, the politically independent executive arm of the European Union (EU), is allocating EUR150,000 or about PHP9.2 million for Filipinos affected by the widespread flooding triggered by non-stop monsoon rains in the past few weeks.

The funding was announced by the EU delegation in Manila on Tuesday, which said the amount is expected to aid at least 30,000 people in the worst-hit localities.

The EU funding will support the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) in delivering relief assistance through the distribution of essential relief items including food, safe water, emergency shelter kits, mosquito nets, blankets, hygiene kits, and jerry cans.

According to the delegation, cash grants are also being delivered to targeted communities to ensure the most vulnerable families can meet their basic needs and restore their livelihoods.

As outbreaks of water-borne and mosquito-borne diseases such as leptospirosis, dengue and diarrhoea are common following flooding, disease prevention and hygiene promotion activities are also being provided.

The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The Philippines witnessed three weather disturbances between July 17 and 21, triggering a series of heavy rains, landslides and floods in 28 provinces across the country.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, monsoon rains as of August 7 left about 87,000 families displaced, out of which at least 801 families are still living in evacuation centers.

The flooding has also caused extensive damage to infrastructure, farmlands and livestock, hampering the ability of the affected populations to access essential services while also disrupting their livelihoods.

As more rains are expected in the country during the annual monsoon season, which normally lasts until September, humanitarian experts from the EU’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Operations department (ECHO) continue to closely monitor the situation. PNA