2:53 pm | Thursday, October 31st, 2013
MANILA, Philippines—The European Union is providing P148 million in humanitarian aid to about 350,000 people who lost their homes and livelihoods when a powerful earthquake ravaged Bohol island and nearby provinces in Central Visayas.
“We have seen the destruction and suffering caused by the powerful earthquake,” EU ambassador to the Philippines Guy Ledoux said Thursday.
“We stand by the people of the Philippines in this hour of need and this EU assistance reaffirms our commitment to immediately respond to the needs of the families affected by the disaster,” he said.
The quake that struck underneath Bohol on October 15 left 222 people dead, 796 injured and eight missing mostly on the resort island, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in its latest report Thursday.
The aid, made available through the EU’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), is intended for the emergency needs of the victims, such as shelter, water and sanitation, primary health care and the management of evacuations sites, the EU Delegation to the Philippine said.
Ledoux said that two humanitarian aid experts—Torben Bruhn, regional health coordinator of ECHO based in Bangkok and Arlynn Aquino, humanitarian aid officer in the Philippines—went to the Bohol towns of Calape, Maribojoc and Loon shortly after the tremor jolted the island to determine the priority needs of the affected population.
They noted that most of the houses collapsed and access to services, including primary health care, was difficult, he said. The supply of potable water was limited because water pipes were busted.
Of the close to 350,000 displaced people, about 80 percent are living in makeshift shelters and evacuation centers, EU said.
EU is one of the biggest providers of humanitarian assistance to the Philippines.
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