The South Korean government on Wednesday turned over PHP2.5 million worth of rice and hygiene kits as immediate relief to the communities affected by Typhoon Odette.
The donation, delivered to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, includes 1,500 sacks of rice and 740 hygiene kits, all of which were sourced locally.
“The Republic of Korea, we know that four million people in 38 provinces and 11 regions are not just there as big numbers, they are people who are in desperate need of speedy and continuous assistance and relief, and I know every little bit counts,” Korean Ambassador to Manila Kim Inchul said.
The envoy noted that this initial aid is on top of its upcoming USD2 million (approximately PHP100 million) humanitarian assistance to further help the typhoon victims recover.
The Embassy is currently working with different partners in the Philippines to evaluate where the additional contribution should be best allocated.
“With my short experience here in the Philippines in the past, we (contributed) a few hundreds of US dollars following Typhoon Rolly and the destination of that cash assistance was the Philippine Red Cross and with that, they built close to 200 permanent housing for the displaced people in Albay,” he told the Philippine News Agency.
“So it will depend on what we will find here. We’re contacting different departments and international organizations to see where they feel the need, the urgency because relief has to go along with recovery,” he added.
Along with emergency relief packs, Kim stressed that housing, telecommunication, power have to come back altogether to allow the affected population to return to their daily lives.
“It’s a comprehensive thing, so it will require a whole of the international community and the Philippine government approach,” he said.
Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Myca Magnolia Fischer, meanwhile, thanked the Korean government for its support, especially as the government ramps up its relief operations for the Visayas and Mindanao.
“We’re thankful for the solidarity and sympathy of the Republic of Korea. Korea has always been a steady partner of the Philippines and especially during this difficult time we can really rely on Korea to give their support,” she told the PNA.
DSWD Director Emmanuel Privado said the latest Korean rice donation will be able to feed about 6,000 families.
As of December 28, the DSWD has so far delivered more than 120,000 family food packs to the 11 regions hit by “Odette” with at least three trucks carrying 1,700 boxes each still in transit.
Source: Philippines News Agency