EU pledges P60-M aid to ‘Ulysses’-affected families

Published November 20, 2020, 1:59 PM

by Roy Mabasa

The European Union (EU) on Friday pledged to spend €1.05 million (roughly Php60 million) in humanitarian aid funding to deliver emergency relief assistance to families affected by Typhoon Ulysses. 

This handout aerial photo taken and received on November 14, 2020 from the Philippine Coast Guard shows residents sheltering on the roof of their flooded house in Cagayan province, north of Manila, on November 14, 2020, days after Typhoon Vamco hit parts of the country bringing heavy rain and flooding. (Photo by Handout / Philippine Coast Guard / AFP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Arlynn Aquino, who oversees the EU’s humanitarian response in the Philippines, said the EU is scaling up its assistance in the Philippines in response to the devastating typhoons that have hit the country over the past month. 

“The additional contribution will help to get much-needed aid to the most vulnerable people to help them go through this difficult time,” she said.

Known internationally as Vamco, Typhoon Ulysses is the latest in a series of destructive typhoons to hit large parts of the Philippines’ most populous island of Luzon, including Metro Manila, in recent weeks.

Ulysses brought destruction to the country at a time when several provinces and communities are still struggling to cope with the devastating impact of Super Typhoon Rolly (Goni) which struck in early November. It has so far affected more than three million people, with more than 440,000 already forced to flee their homes and seek shelter elsewhere, including in evacuation centers.

EU’s humanitarian aid partners on the ground will provide the support to the immediate needs of those most in need which includes shelter, food, health care and access to clean water, safe sanitation, and good hygiene, as well as other vital aid.

The latest funding is part of the EU’s Acute Large Emergency Response Tool (ALERT), a system used to respond to large natural disasters where over 100,000 people or over 50 percent of the population are affected with the aim to allocate funds within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of the emergency.

On Thursday, the EU, along with the governments of Sweden, Australia, United States, Germany, and New Zealand heeded the call of the United Nations (UN) mobilizing Php182 million (US$3.8 million) to help about 260,000 Filipinos that have been severely affected by both typhoons Rolly and Ulysses.