THE European Union (EU) has pledged to spend €1.05 million (roughly P60 million) in humanitarian aid funding to deliver emergency relief assistance to families affected by typhoon Ulysses (international name:Vamco).
It is the latest in a series of destructive typhoons to hit large parts of the Philippines’ most populous island of Luzon, including the national capital, Metro Manila, in recent weeks.
“The EU is scaling up its humanitarian assistance in the Philippines in response to the devastating typhoons that have hit the country over the past month,” said Arlynn Aquino, who oversees the EU’s humanitarian response in the Philippines. “The additional contribution will help to get much-needed aid to the most vulnerable people to help them go through this difficult time”.
Ulysses hit the country whilst it is still struggling to cope with the devastating impact of powerful typhoon Goni (locally known as “Rolly”), which struck in early November, the EU said.
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.
The EU funding will support humanitarian aid partners who are already on the ground to respond to the immediate needs of those most in need. This includes shelter, food, health care and access to clean water, safe sanitation and good hygiene, as well as other vital aid.
The funding is part of the EU’s Acute Large Emergency Response Tool (ALERT).
Typhoon Ulysses is the fifth storm to hit the archipelago nation over the past three weeks. It made landfall in several towns across Quezon province in Luzon on the evening of 11 November.
Maximum sustained winds of 155 kilometres per hour, the system caused heavy downpours and severe flooding across the region, damaging more than 65,000 houses.
In Metro Manila, floodwaters of up to 4.5 feet left many parts of the capital submerged, impacting in excess of 50,000 people. Widespread power shortages and infrastructural damage have also been reported.
Central Luzon, located two hours north of Manila, is the worst-hit region where more than 1.7 million have been people affected. As assessments are still underway, the true scale of the damage is currently unclear.
The acute large emergency response tool (ALERT) is used to respond to large natural disasters where over 100,000 people or over 50% of the population are affected. Depending on the type of disaster, the aim is to allocate funds within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of the emergency.