UN PH pledges support for relief efforts in quake-hit Abra

Published August 3, 2022, 8:39 AM

by Khriscielle Yalao

The humanitarian sectors of the United Nations (UN) in the Philippines pledged to aid the national government in providing humanitarian aid and relief to the victims of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Abra and other parts of Northern Luzon on July 27.

Photo from Abra Provincial Government FB Page

“During this difficult time, the government serves as a beacon of hope to alleviate human suffering and save lives. The Humanitarian Country Team and United Nations system in the Philippines stand ready to support the government and remains a reliable partner in this stride,” said UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines, Gustavo González in a statement released on Monday, Aug. 1.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) intends to use satellite imaging technology to determine priority areas that need immediate humanitarian aid.

In partnership with the UN Satellite Centre (UNOSAT), the images will help responders, particularly the Philippine Office of Civil Defense (OCD), deliver urgent relief goods and services at a faster rate.

Aside from the UN OCHA, the national sector of the World Food Programme (WFP) has provided 15 delivery trucks to the OCD and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Shelter Cluster, a global Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) that supports internally displaced people (IDPs), also deployed structural engineers to inspect public and residential infrastructures after the earthquake.

A total of 44,889 IDPs are presently camped in open spaces or hosted by relatives, and 3,588 temporarily sheltered in the 38 evacuation centers in Northern Luzon, with around 98 percent of these IDPs affected in Abra as per the DSWD’s assessment reports.

González commended the actions of the Philippine government, noting “their prompt reaction and the stewardship of responding to the needs of its constituents.”

At present, the DSWD has given 41,000 family food packs to areas in Cordillera and the Ilocos Region, and established a Gender-Based Violence sub-cluster to protect women and children IDPs.

The Department of Health (DOH) continues to provide medical services and equipment, as well as distribute water purification tablets for safe drinking water.

Around 2,000 and 1,000 tarpaulins were given to Abra and Ilocos Sur respectively by the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance.

Search, rescue, and retrieval efforts by 55 military and defense teams are ongoing in the quake-affected areas.