MANILA, Philippines–Australia has donated an additional P120 million toward the development of communities devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda last year, bringing to more than P3 billion that country’s aid to the Philippines following the disaster.
The Australian Embassy in Manila said Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop had announced the new assistance which would be coursed through the Resilience and Preparedness towards Inclusive Development (Rapid) program being implemented by the Philippine government along with the Climate Change Commission, the United Nations Development Program and the Australian government.
Rapid was launched on July 3 by officials led by Australian Foreign Affairs and Trade Deputy Secretary Ewen McDonald, who was in the Philippines last week.
“The program will help improve land use planning, building codes, risk assessments and the establishment of early warning systems in Yolanda-affected areas,” the Australian Embassy said in a statement.
Along with the new assistance, Australia is sending six civilian corps specialists to join two Australian specialists in the country since December and help in the ongoing massive recovery and rebuilding effort.
The embassy said Australia had provided an initial P1.6 billion (A$41 million) in direct assistance immediately after the disaster struck, followed by P1.4 billion (A$36 million) in other forms of aid for the recovery and rehabilitation effort, totaling P3 billion prior to the latest donation.
Australia has been helping over half a million stricken Filipinos rebuild their lives after the disaster by creating employment opportunities for them. It is also building 600 classrooms.
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