MANILA (UPDATE)— Several nations on Wednesday pledged assistance to the Philippines after Typhoon Odette caused widespread destruction in parts of Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Canada is committing up to $3 million Canadian dollars (approximately P120 million) for relief efforts in the Philippines, of which $500,000 (P20 million) will be provided to the Red Cross, International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan said.
Canada is also releasing an additional $50,000 to support local relief efforts in the Caraga region, which was particularly hard hit by the typhoon, the Canadian Embassy said.
"We offer our condolences to all Filipinos who have suffered as a result of the passage of Super Typhoon Odette, and in particular to those who have lost loved ones, livelihoods, and homes. We salute the courage and dedication of the first responders working so hard to render assistance. Canada stands in solidarity with the Philippines, and will work with our partners to extend assistance to those in need," Canadian Ambassador Peter MacArthur said in a statement.
China committed an emergency cash assistance of $1 million (P50 million) to the Philippine government to support its relief and recovery efforts, said its ambassador to Manila Huang Xilian.
"The cash donation is the newest support rendered by the Chinese side after the 20,000 food packages worth around P8 million and the rice donation," he said in a Facebook post.
"These donations have echoed President Xi Jinping’s condolences offered yesterday. President Xi extended to President Duterte his deep mourning for the victims and his sincere sympathy to the bereaved families and injured. He expressed that China stood ready to render assistance to the Philippine side to the best of its ability. May all be fed and be healed."
The European Union, meantime, said it would allocate an initial €1.7 million (P96 million) in humanitarian funding in areas most affected by the typhoon.
France also committed €250 million (P14 billion) to "support disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness, and response" at the local government level.
The US, meantime, sent tarpaulins to be used as shelters in Southern Leyte.
Typhoon Odette left at least 177 dead, 38 missing, and 275 injured, according to government tally as of Wednesday, after its strong winds and torrential rains inundated the southern half the country just a week before Christmas.
President Rodrigo Duterte has placed six regions under a state of calamity:
Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central VIsayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Caraga.
A state of calamity declaration facilitates foreign aid in recovery efforts, for which the Philippines is "grateful," said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
"Maraming, maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyo," he said in a press briefing, addressing the international community.
The official also noted that mayors in Metro Manila pledged P100 million for survivors of Odette.
"Sa gitna ng trahedya, nakita natin na buhay na buhay ang bayanihan spirit," Nograles said.
(In the middle of tragedy, we saw that the bayanihan spirit lives.)