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PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 04, 2012


EU diplomats inspect ECHO project in Oro

by Jorie C. Valcorza

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental, January 4 (PIA) -- Europian Union (EU) Head of Delegation Ambassador Guy Ledoux will visit the city, today, to personally see the implementation site of the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) project implemented by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

The ECHO project will run for three (3) months focusing on relief operations and hygiene promotion.

Accompanied by other EU diplomats, the team took off for an early drive to the five-hectare property donated by the Xavier University in barangay Lumbia, where some 1,000 shelters will be put up within in the next six (6) months to house qualified families displaced by the recent tyhoon.

As of press time, the area is already clear and temporary shelters were likewise built. The tents were spacious and were made of cotton in order to adapt to the weather conditions, making it more comfortable to live in.

Selected families will be provided for a while with food, as well as, construction materials needed to build their new houses in the resettlement area, costing around Php 70,000 to Php 80,000.

After inspection, EU diplomats visited Sitio Cala-Cala in Barangay Macasandig and announced to the displaced family seeking shelter at the public covered court to apply for the ECHP project of which selection will be based on the most deserving and needy families.

The team also distributed hygiene box containing five (5) towels, 12 laundry soaps, four (4) sanitary napkins, five (5) toothbrushes, two (2) toothpastes, four (4) shaves, and six (6) tissue rolls. Sets of drinking water containers, mats, blankets and mosquito nets were likewise handed.

In a press conference at the Macasandig evacuation site, Ledoux noted that EU had a very efficient disaster reaction mechanism in place that allows assistance within few hours after the disaster.

He said, they are the first to dispatch an assessment team in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities with three (3) humanitarian experts, two (2) days after the typhoon hit the region.

On the same day, the decision from the EU in Brussels to allocate three (3) euro or Php 180 million worth of emergency relief assistance to typhoon sending victims was also announced.

“The purpose of our visit today is to express solidarity with the victims and to assess the progress of the relief activities implemented by our partner,” he added.

Beyond relief assistance, the Ambassador pointed the continuing need to strengthen disaster preparedness mechanism, saying, disaster preparedness has to be made part of the community life by the community and for the community.

Together with Ambassador Ledoux were PRC Chairman Richard Gordon; PRC Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) country representative in the Philippines Selvaratnam Sinnadurai; Deputy Head of Mission of the Spanish Embassy, Maria Molina; Norberto Gomez de Liaño, Deputy Coordinator General, Office of Technical Cooperation (AECID); Jozef Naudts, Belgian Embassy First Secretary and Dr. Mario Tavolaj, consultant of the Italian Embassy.

During the presscon PRC Chair Richard Gordon announced that Xavier University offered to add two (2) more hectares in the Lumbia relocation site giving additional homes to displaced families. (PIA 10)

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