MANILA – With the Philippines currently experiencing disastrous floods, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) recently received a generous grant of $AU1 million (approximately Php43.8 million) from the Australian Government to significantly boost WFP’s contingency food stocks for enhanced disaster response capacity in the Philippines.
The contribution, made through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), will be used to dispatch rice to flood-affected people, augmenting the Philippine Government’s relief response.
“WFP is grateful to the Government of Australia for this generous donation. WFP is actively supporting efforts of the Government of the Philippines to prepare for and mitigate the effects of natural disasters at both national and local levels,” explained WFP Representative and Country Director Stephen Anderson.
“Learning from past emergency responses, establishing a strategic contingency stock of food to complement government efforts is both an efficient and cost-effective preparedness and response measure,” he added.
The WFP contingency food stock in the Philippines will include 200 metric tons of fortified high-energy biscuits and 1,500 tons of rice, enough to support 320,000 people for two weeks.
This contingency food stock will be distributed in direct coordination with WFP’s main government partner, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which is also the lead government agency for emergency food response.
“The Australian Government is providing these items to the World Food Programme so that they can be drawn upon immediately in serious situations, such as this massive flooding caused by continuous heavy rains for the past two weeks,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said.
“This allows Australia and WFP to support the Philippine Government to respond quickly and effectively to essential humanitarian needs following emergencies and disasters. This assistance builds on the significant support Australia has already provided to the Philippines on disaster risk management and climate change adaptation, including hazard and risk analysis, integrating disaster and climate considerations in development and land use planning, community-based disaster preparedness and providing safer settlements.”
The Australian Government is among the top donors to the World Food Programme globally and has also provided generous support for WFP’s disaster preparedness and response initiatives in the Philippines. Recently, AusAID contributed to the response to Tropical Storm Washi (Sendong) by providing food and cash assistance to support emergency relief and early recovery activities.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.
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About Australian AID
The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) is the Australian Government agency responsible for managing Australia's overseas aid program. The fundamental purpose of Australian aid is to help people overcome poverty.