Personal hygiene supplies from US arrive for typhoon victims
Manila (15 October) -- A planeload of personal hygiene supplies worth P12 million (USD250,000) for victims of "Ondoy" and "Pepeng" arrived from the United States Tuesday and were turned over to the International Organization of Migration (IOM) for immediate distribution.
IOM-Manila spokesperson Joanna Dabao said that the U.S. donation, in the form of soaps, plastic water containers, hygienic kits and 20,000 water purification bottles, will be distributed in the hardest hit areas in northern Luzon.
IOM has appealed for USD8.66 million to provide emergency shelter and non-food relief items for the victims, and to help the government to organize evacuation centers and other displacement sites.
The bottles, each of which can supply 560 liters of pure water for a family, will combat the growing threat of waterborne diseases caused by the flooding, Dabao said.
This donation is in addition to the USD4 million provided in grants to various relief organizations and a previous donation of relief supplies worth USD400,000 to the Philippine National Red Cross through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
US Charge d'Affaires to Manila, Leslie A. Bassett, announced the delivery and donation of relief supplies to the IOM, through the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).
"We continue to work closely with the Philippine Government and relief organizations," said Bassett, "to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to help the people affected by the recent storm."
In addition to the donation to IOM, medical teams, consisting of US and Philippine military personnel have been providing medical assistance to flood victims at evacuation centers, Bassett added.
US military personnel also brought food, clothing, water, and other needed supplies and equipment such as bulldozers, cargo trucks, transport vehicles, and heavy-lift helicopters to assist with relief efforts.
The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the European Commission (ECHO), and USAID (OFDA) have already committed nearly USD2.25 million, which will allow IOM to help some 61,000 families over the next three months, according to IOM.
The typhoons, with international code-names "Ketsana" and " Parma," hit the Philippines in quick succession on September 26 and October respectively, bringing chaos to much of Luzon island, including the capital city of Manila.
The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said over four million people were affected by "Ondoy" and over two million by "Pepeng." An estimated 350,000 people displaced by the flooding are now staying in government evacuation centers. (PIA) [top]