Australia Donates P120-M More to Yolanda Areas

July 2, 2014 — Australia has committed to extend an additional A$3 million (around P120 million) for disaster preparedness and resilience of communities in the Philippines which were severely affected by typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) last year.

According to Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, the funding will be provided through the Resilience and Preparedness towards Inclusive Development (RAPID) Program, jointly implemented by the Philippine government through the Climate Change Commission, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the Australian Government.

The RAPID program will help improve land use planning, building codes, risk assessments and the establishment of early warning systems. It will be formally launched on Thursday by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Deputy Secretary Ewen McDonald who is visiting the Philippines this week.

In addition, Minister Bishop also announced that six Australian Civilian Corps (ACC) specialists will be deployed to the Philippines to support to the massive ongoing recovery and rebuild effort.

He said the new team of ACC disaster recovery experts will join the two Australian specialists deployed in December in the wake of Yolanda, to support the planning, implementation and coordination of recovery activities.

Bishop noted that funding from Australia is likewise being used to provide small livelihood grants to families in affected communities.

To date, the Australian government has provided A$36 million (roughly P1.4 billion) to the recovery and rehabilitation effort. This is on top of an initial A$41 million (around P1.6 billion) provided directly after the disaster for immediate humanitarian assistance. - Manila Bulletin

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