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MANILA, Philippines - The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated US$10 million (P408.6 million) to provide life-saving assistance to thousands of families devastated by the impact of Typhoon Pablo in the Philippines.
Typhoon Pablo, which crossed the southern Philippines on December 4 and 5, has affected six million people, partially or totally destroyed more than 200,000 houses and displaced over 970,000 people according to Government. More than a thousand people have died and hundreds remain missing.
Luiza Carvalho, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, described her feelings during her initial visit to the affected areas few days after the disaster: “I was shocked by the scale of the destruction. Cities and villages have been completely devastated, with only a few roofless buildings and walls still standing, and entire plantations have been wiped out.”
The impact of Typhoon Pablo has been devastating for the already poor and marginalized people of eastern Mindanao, an area already suffering from food insecurity and limited infrastructure and public services. With many displaced from their homes, survivors will face in the coming months critical challenges to cover their families’ basic protection, health, nutrition, and water and sanitation needs. Recurring rains is adding to their misery, as many families seek shelter under assembled debris and tarpaulins.
The CERF’s allocation will target seven key sectors identified by the Government as immediate priorities including emergency shelter, debris clearing, water and sanitation, nutrition, protection and health. As noted by David Carden, Head of OCHA Philippines, “the CERF’s timely and significant support will play a critical role to take early action and response to reduce the loss of life.”
The international community is seeking $65 million to respond to the immediate humanitarian needs in Davao and CARAGA regions. To date, $38 million have been contributed or pledged by donors to support the humanitarian efforts in eastern Mindanao. With the financial support of the Fund, UN agencies, the International Organization for Migration and their humanitarian partners will step up their relief efforts and life-saving activities in Davao and CARAGA regions, most affected by the disaster.
The CERF is one of the largest contributors to relief efforts in the Philippines. In 2012, it allocated $2.9 million to help survivors of Tropical Storm Washi and $3.9 million to strengthen humanitarian operations in central Mindanao. The Fund was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006 to make funding for humanitarian emergencies more timely and predictable. In the first six years of operation, CERF has allocated $35.9 million for humanitarian agencies operating in the Philippines. The Government of the Philippines contributes every year to the CERF.