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P55.5 million disaster relief fund for PH

The Dutch Embassy in Manila announced a EUR950,000 (approximately P55.5 million) disaster relief fund to help the Philippines weeks after typhoons Rolly and Ulysses battered the country.

Of the total aid, some EUR600,000 (around P35 million) will be provided by the Netherlands government while the additional EUR350,000 (approximately P24.4 million) was collected from the Dutch people by the Netherlands’ Red Cross.

The Embassy said the fund will be channeled through the Netherlands’ Red Cross and will focus on rebuilding damaged houses, basic needs and livelihood support, disaster risk reduction, health, sanitation and hygiene, and restoring family links.

“On behalf of the Netherlands government, I would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to the people of the government of the Philippines over the losses of lives, displacement of families, and the widespread damages to property and infrastructure,” the Netherlands Ambassador to the Philippines Saskia De Lang said.

The envoy said both countries are similarly vulnerable to extreme weather and noted that climate change worsens the situation.

“We stand with the Philippines in these difficult times and we will continue to cooperate on climate adaptation, water management, and disaster risk reduction. But for now, we focus on the immediate humanitarian response,” she said.

The Netherlands had previously partnered with Manila to address its multiple water challenges, including coastal protection, land use planning, drinking water management, and the Manila Bay Sustainable Development Management Plan.

“The aim of the Dutch-Philippine cooperation is to turn vulnerabilities into resilience and sustainable, inclusive development,” the Embassy said. “The Netherlands government is actively engaging the Dutch private sector to collaborate in these efforts. Aid and trade go together and reinforce each other,” it ended.*PNA

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