Ireland gives WFP first donation for Typhoon Odette response


MANILA - The World Food Programme (WFP) warmly welcomes Ireland's donation of €250,000 (approx. Php 14 million), the first funding contribution to WFP's emergency response to Super Typhoon Odette (internationally known as "Rai").

In a statement release on 21 December, Ireland's Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy T.D. said, "Wherever a disaster strikes, Ireland is ready to do our part to help save lives and restore the dignity of those who have been affected. In response to this crisis, I have approved funding of €250,000 to the UN World Food Programme. This is an expression of our friendship and support to the people of the Philippines and will help to respond rapidly to the needs of the most vulnerable communities in the difficult days ahead.''

Ireland's new Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. William Carlos, and WFP Country Director Brenda Barton yesterday visited the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) National Resource Operations Center in Pasay. From here truckloads of government family food packs are being sent off to disaster zones along with critical items, such as portable satellite phones.

"Typhoon Odette has destroyed homes and livelihoods across the southern part of this country, leaving many communities in urgent need of assistance. The logistics support to enable the timely dispatch of the family food packs is absolutely critical, as is the telecommunications equipment that helps emergency responders know where and what the biggest needs are and respond accordingly," said Ambassador Carlos.

"We are very grateful to Ireland for stepping up so quickly to fill our urgent logistics and telecommunications gaps. We were almost out of cash to respond to the critical needs that are emerging each day from disaster-struck communities across multiple islands," said WFP Philippines Country Director and Representative Brenda Barton.

Through the aid of Ireland and other donors, WFP will continue to support the DSWD by providing critical logistics support to impacted areas. So far, 70,400 DSWD family food packs have been sent to the Visayas and Mindanao with WFP support. In addition, two mobile storage units and a generator for the establishment of a logistics hub in Surigao City have been provided to DSWD.

Typhoon Odette made landfall in Siargao Island on 16 December. It is the strongest storm to make landfall in the Philippines in 2021, and is the third strongest typhoon to strike the Philippines in December since the 1950s. After cutting across Northern Mindanao and Central Visayas making nine landfalls, it exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility on 19 December, leaving behind massive damages, affecting the lives and livelihoods of more than 2.4 million people, more than 600,000 of which are displaced from their homes and are now in evacuation sites.

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