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EU triples aid to typhoon victims

Vast numbers still need aid urgently

EU triples aid to typhoon victims
Some survivors continue to live in tents three months after the tragedy (photo by Keith Bacongco) reporter, Manila

March 6, 2013

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The European Union is to triple its emergency aid to victims of Typhoon Bopha with a further €7 million (US$9.1 million), saying hundreds of thousands of people are still in urgent need of assistance.

The additional funding brings the total amount of humanitarian aid to €10 million since the storm struck the southern Philippines in December. The European Union initially provided €3 million to cover the immediate needs of 165,000 "vulnerable people."

The additional aid will be used to fund repairs to houses damaged by the typhoon, provide food assistance and support the improvement of basic health services in affected provinces.

Kristalina Georgieva, commissioner responsible for the EU's International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, noted that Typhoon Bopha caused some of the worst damage seen since Typhoon Ketsana in 2009 in the United States.

"Three months later, hundreds of thousands of survivors still face extremely difficult humanitarian conditions, which require an increase in support from the EU and other partners to address these urgent
needs," Georgieva said in a statement released to the media on Wednesday.

Experts from the European Commission's humanitarian aid service visited Mindanao in February and discovered "critical gaps" in relief efforts, especially regarding shelter, nutrition, basic health care and income support.

Typhoon Bopha struck Mindanao on December 4, affecting the lives of more than six million people and killing more than 1,000. Some 850 people were reported missing.

According to the UN some 250,000 homes, public buildings and businesses were damaged or destroyed while thousands of hectares of agricultural land have been devastated.

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