The European Union has announced €500 000 (nearly 28 million Philippine pesos) in funding to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to families affected by a series of strong earthquakes that have struck the Philippines’ southern province of Mindanao since mid-October.
“The earthquakes have affected people in communities that were already poor and vulnerable. Our focus is to bring urgently needed assistance to those most heavily impacted by the disasters,” said Christos Stylianides, the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.|
The EU funding will support the global humanitarian aid organisation Action Against Hunger (ACF) in delivering emergency shelter, food, clean water, psychosocial support and other vital aid to the most vulnerable and marginalised groups, including female-headed households, people with disabilities and indigenous people. An EU humanitarian expert has been deployed to the earthquake zone to assess the situation and the needs on the ground.
More than 330,000 people have been affected, over 100,000 of whom have been displaced, by four powerful and shallow earthquakes of above 6 magnitude in Mindanao’s regions of Davao del Sur and North Cotabato. The tremors have destroyed or damaged close to 39,000 houses, while leaving a number of businesses and public structures, including hospitals, schools, market places and roads in tatters, according to government data released on 21 November. There have also been reports of disruptions to water supplies in several areas.
The southern province of Mindanao, where the latest bouts of earthquakes occurred, has suffered through more than four decades of armed conflict. Close to 180,000 people are already displaced as a result of ongoing violence.
(Press release/EU in the Philippines)