MANILA, Feb 10 (Mabuhay) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $2-million grant to support the Philippine government’s emergency response to the devastation in central and southern provinces caused by Typhoon Odette, the strongest typhoon to make landfall in the country in 2021.

The grant under ADB’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund will provide humanitarian assistance to about 15,000 households, or about 75,000 people, in Visayas and Mindanao severely affected by the December 16 typhoon.

It will fund food vouchers to be distributed to target communities, which beneficiaries can exchange for food in selected markets. The grant also includes logistics support for the food assistance delivery.

“Typhoon Odette’s damage on housing, agriculture, and infrastructure amid the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic has made life more difficult for Filipinos in affected areas,” ADB Director General for Southeast Asia Ramesh Subramaniam said. “This assistance will help finance the humanitarian needs of those residents, especially people living in remote areas.”

ADB is partnering with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to deliver the food assistance.

It builds on WFP’s ongoing work with the Department of Social Welfare and Development to provide emergency relief to typhoon-hit areas.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council estimated the typhoon caused PHP24.6 billion (nearly $500 million) in damage to crops, public infrastructure, and private property.

Several areas remain blocked by collapsed roads and bridges, and with power supply yet to be fully restored.

The category 5 typhoon destroyed more than 1.7 million houses in eight provinces.

The United Nations estimated over 9.9 million people across the six worst-hit regions were affected by the typhoon, with nearly 144,000 people still without a home as of 28 January 2022.

In December 2021, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared a state of calamity for a year in the six regions to accelerate the rescue, relief, and rehabilitation efforts. (MNS)

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