MANILA – Humanitarian assistance continues to pour in, five days since the destructive super typhoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan) slammed the country.
"As of 2:00 pm today, the number of international donors monitored by the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) has risen to thirty-six (36) and the value of international assistance has been estimated at P3,848,564,500 or $89,501,500. Again, this figure accounts only for cash donation pledges and in-kind donations to which monetary valuation had been assigned by the donors," DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a statement.
Del Rosario explained the process where the assistance, either in kind of in cash, goes through. He clarified that it does not go through the Philippine government.
"The DFA, as the first point of contact for the international community, is notified of pledges of international assistance. The DFA will then pass on the information to the NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) and other agencies involved in relief and rehabilitation efforts," he said.
Del Rosario said that except for Indonesia, all international donors that have pledged monetary donations are coursing it through their aid agencies or through nongovernment organizations, charitable institutions and foundations of their choice.
"The Vatican, for instance, is sending its donation to local churches and these churches will be distributing the aid to the people. Some donors are distributing relief goods directly to the affected communities while others turned the items over to NDRRMC and DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) repacking stations. Other donors are also deploying their own medical and search-and-rescue teams in hard-hit areas," he said.
He also explained that a pledge of financial support is subject to the rules and processes of the donating government agency.
"Therefore, it takes time for the actual funds to be released to the recipients. As for reports that adequate aid is yet to reach those in need, the DFA wishes to assure the public that it is doing everything it can to properly and promptly coordinate offers of international assistance with the agencies engaged in aid delivery," the DFA secretary said.