Foreign aid pours in for Sendong victims

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 23 2011 06:13 PM | Updated as of Dec 24 2011 03:49 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Overseas humanitarian aid is pouring in for victims of tropical storm Sendong in southern Philippines.

South Korea is giving $610,000 worth of aid relief to victims.

A total of $500,000 is being given by the South Korean government, while Korean companies Samsung Electronics Philippines Corporation ($50,000) and Hanjin Heavy Industry Corporation-Philippines ($20,000) and Korea Electric Power Company Philippines ($10,000) have also made pledges.

The Join Together Society (JTS) Korea, a non-government relief organization, also pledged $30,000 worth of assistance.

South Korea President Lee Myung-bak has sent a letter to President Aquino and victims of Tropical Storm Sendong.

In a letter sent to President Benigno Aquino III, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak relayed his condolences to the bereaved families and victims of Sendong.

President Lee expressed his sincere hope that the Filipino people will overcome difficulties brought by the calamity.

Denmark is also contributing to the relief campaign for Sendong victims by donating DKK 300,000 (around P2.3 million) for immediate humanitarian response in disaster-hit areas.

Denmark aims to help an initial 1,500 families in the urban areas of Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City where food, water, sanitation materials, mattresses and blankets will be distributed to the victims.

It is cooperating with a local non-government organization, the Citizen's Disaster Response Center (CDRC), in the relief program.

Other countries such as the United States have made similar aid pledges.

Tropical storm Sendong has killed at least 1,080 people and left 1,079 other missing, according to latest figures from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

It has also displaced tens of thousands of people, who are now staying in temporary shelters.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said an appeal for humanitarian assistance for the victims of Sendong was launched Thursday.

The appeal was made by United Nations agencies, international organizations and development partners, and the Philippine government.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario has requested Philippine embassies and consulates around the world to inform their host governments of the flash appeal, which seeks to address the needs of 471,000 persons in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City affected by Sendong for the next three months.

The appeal seeks to raise around $28.5 million in aid.

The amount is based upon a rapid-needs assessment conducted by the Philippine government, in cooperation with the United Nations humanitarian agency.

The appeal calls for urgent assistance for the following: (1) non-food items and shelter, such as kitchen utensils, blankets, sleeping mats, jerry cans, clothing including underwear; (2) temporary shelters; (3) water, hygiene and sanitation items including soap, hygiene kits and latrines; and (4) food, preferably ready-to-eat and with appropriate nutritional content, not requiring water for cooking.

Other needs identified are clearing of debris, medical supplies, psycho-social support and livelihood support.