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Philippines still reels from quake as EU offers aid

Around 280,000 in shelters after homes destroyed

Philippines still reels from quake as EU offers aid

A girl walks past a damaged home in Maribojoc, Bohol (Vincent Go) reporter, Manila

October 31, 2013

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The European Union today announced that it is allocating $3.4 million in humanitarian assistance to some of the 350,000 people who lost their homes and livelihoods following an earthquake which shook the central Philippine province of Bohol on October 15.

"We have seen the destruction and suffering caused by the powerful earthquake," said EU ambassador Guy Ledoux in a statement. “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."

The funding will be used to deliver emergency relief in the sectors of shelter, water and sanitation, primary health care and the management of evacuations sites.

Ledoux said humanitarian aid experts noted that most houses in the towns of Calape, Maribojoc, and Loon collapsed and access to services was difficult. Primary health care and potable water supplies were also limited due to broken pipes.

Japan earlier this week also extended $385,000 in emergency relief goods to Filipinos affected by the 7.2 magnitude quake. The Japanese embassy in Manila on Tuesday said the government extended the aid, which includes tents and plastic sheets, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

"In the face of these serious damages and in light of strong bonds existing between Japan and the Philippines as strategic partners, the government of Japan made this decision to extend emergency assistance for humanitarian aid for those affected," the embassy said.

Meanwhile, Marlea Muñez, executive director of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples, said providing funds for relief operations "will never be enough," especially for tribal communities affected by the disaster.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said at least 218 people were killed while 790 were injured in the deadly quake. Some 3.2 million people were affected, while around 350,000 people have been displaced, with 80 percent living in makeshift shelters outside their homes and in open public places.

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