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WFP expands aid to victims of typhoon Reming in the Philippines

Continuing its assistance to victims of a typhoon which struck the Philippines in late 2006, the WFP has made available an additional 5,880 bags of rice (294 tons) for distribution to families that lost their homes to Typhoon Reming.

Continuing its assistance to victims of a typhoon which struck the Philippines in late 2006, the WFP has made available an additional 5,880 bags of rice (294 tons) for distribution to families that lost their homes to Typhoon Reming.

Continuing its assistance to victims of a typhoon which struck the Philippines in late 2006, the WFP has made available an additional 5,880 bags of rice (294 tons) for distribution to

It takes time to rebuild after a disaster of this scale
Valerie Guarnieri, WFP Country Director and Representative to the Philippines

families that lost their homes to Typhoon Reming.

The rice will be provided to nearly 6,000 families in Albay province, many of whom are still living in evacuation camps more than two months after the calamity, and will provide for their needs for at least a month.

“It takes time to rebuild after a disaster of this scale,” said Valerie Guarnieri, WFP Country Director and Representative to the Philippines.

Attention wanes

“The cameras have moved on to crises elsewhere, but WFP will stay with the affected communities while they repair their fishing boats, plant for the next harvest, or find new ways to make a living,” she said.

Typhoon Reming (also called Durian) struck the Philippines on 30 November 2006, devastating the Bicol region. Most of the severely affected areas are coastal and farming municipalities and towns located around the periphery of Mt.

Mayon Volcano in Albay province where more than a thousand lives were lost and entire villages buried under mud and boulders which careened down the slopes of the volcano.

Donors contributions needed

Of the survivors, nearly one million people were displaced, many of whom sought refuge in schools and other evacuation centers set up by the Government, while others stayed near their homes or moved in with family and friends.

While international aid has been forthcoming, more donor contributions are still needed to support the relief and recovery of the victims of Typhoon Reming.

The UN Appeal for US$48.7 million to support food, shelter, health, water, sanitation and recovery activities is only 11 percent funded, crippling the ability of the United Nations agencies and their partners to respond.

Evacuees

WFP, along with Government and non-governmental organisations, recently completed an emergency food security assessment.

Preliminary findings show that food assistance will be needed over the next several months, particularly for people in evacuation centers and those whose livelihoods are agriculture and fishery based.

The assessment also emphasised the need to regularise food distributions to affected communities, and to offer increased rations.

Previously, most assisted families received only 2 kg of rice along with small quantities of beans, canned sardines and noodles which, while welcome, fell considerably short of their requirements.

Food allocations

The typical Filipino family consumes from 10 to 15 kg of rice each week.

With the newly agreed allocation from WFP, families will receive a 50 kg sack of rice, which they can supplement with small amounts of vegetables, beans or fish. WFP purchased the rice locally and it is being distributed by local government and non-governmental organisations.

A WFP office established in Legaspi in January monitors food distributions and coordinates food relief and recovery efforts with Government and other partners.

More than 30,000 family members will benefit from this additional food assistance, according to WFP.

Food assistance

This latest assistance brings to 440 tons (8,800 bags) of food relief provided by WFP to bolster typhoon relief efforts, funded by the UN Central Emergency Response Fund.

WFP has also requested a total of US$3.1 million (5,788 tons of rice, beans and vegetable oil) from donors as part of the United Nations Emergency Response Typhoon Appeal. So far, Canada has donated CDN$1 million (US$850,000).

WFP had operations in the Philippines from 1965-1996 and resumed its activities in 2006 to support the peace process and help meet the needs of the most vulnerable people in Mindanao.

In addition to the Mindanao programme, which seeks to assist 2.1 million conflict-affected people, WFP remains ready to assist with national disaster response efforts when needed.

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