MANILA, Dec 23 (Mabuhay) — Foreign relief aid continues to pour in for provinces hit by Typhoon Odette, with the South Korean and Irish governments on Wednesday pledging about PHP116.8 million in humanitarian aid.

Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Inchul said Seoul will provide USD2,050,000 (approximately PHP102.7 million) to help Visayas and Mindanao recover and restore the affected communities’ livelihoods.

The envoy announced Seoul’s contribution in his recent meeting with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. where he also conveyed Korean President Moon Jae In’s message of sympathies and solidarity to President Rodrigo Duterte.

“President Moon Jae In sent a message of sympathies and solidarity to President Duterte. In his message, he expressed his sincere condolences to the families of victims who are suffering sorrow and pain,” Kim said.

“As part of the solidarity, the Korean government decided to provide USD2 million of humanitarian assistance. Also, the Embassy of Korea is in process of providing an additional USD50,000 for emergency relief,” he added.

The Embassy said USD50,000 or about PHP2.5 million of the total aid will be used to procure rice.

The Embassy is in close coordination with major humanitarian organizations to mobilize the fund, with plans to work with the Department of Social Welfare and Development in distributing the rice donation.

Ireland, on the other hand, earmarked EUR250,000 or at least PHP14.1 million in disaster relief assistance.

Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora Colm Brophy said: “The situation in the Philippines after last week’s super typhoon is dire. Nearly two million people have been affected, with over 600,000 displaced from their homes. My thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones, homes, and livelihoods.”

“Ireland’s Ambassador (William Carlos) at our newly established Embassy in Manila is on the ground, monitoring the evolving situation,” he added.

The Irish aid, to be coursed through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), will provide critical, life-saving humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable population on the ground.

The WFP is currently providing logistical, food assistance, and communications support as part of the Philippine government’s emergency response.

On Wednesday, Social Welfare and Development Director Emmanuel Privado said the agency has received satellite phones from the WFP, which should help boost its disaster relief efforts in Cebu and Surigao del Norte.

An estimated 1.3 million people were affected by the super typhoon that pummeled the Philippines last week, displacing thousands across Mimaropa (Region 4-B), Bicol (Region 5), Western Visayas (Region 6), Central Visayas (Region 7), Eastern Visayas (Region 8), Northern Mindanao (Region 10), Davao (Region 11), Soccsksargen, Caraga and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

As of Tuesday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) confirmed 156 deaths, with 37 missing and 275 injured due to “Odette”. (MNS)

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