[In the news] EU: Poor hardest hit by floods in Mindanao – PhilStar.com
CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – The poor that were severely affected by the flashfloods spawned by tropical storm “Sendong” here and in Iligan City and who could not leave their homes and settle in safer areas represent 80 percent of the displaced families, now totaling 641,000 people.
European Union Ambassador Guy Ledoux yesterday said the figure given by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCA) highlighted the poverty level of the residents that have been affected by the floods.
He stressed the need to reduce the high casualty count by addressing the issue of poverty whenever disasters and calamities strike the Philippines.
“The Philippine government is well aware of this and is implementing various policies to promote economic growth and reduce poverty,” Ledoux said.
The EU, for its part, is also contributing to the poverty reduction effort, he said.
Last year, the EU disbursed funds in numerous development aid programs aimed at reducing poverty.
The EU, through its non-government organization partners, has mobilized many relief workers on the ground to provide immediate emergency assistance to 170,000 displaced families.
But beyond relief assistance, Ledoux said, is the continuing need to strengthen disaster preparedness mechanisms in the area. Although the EU has invested significantly in disaster preparedness in the Philippines in the last few years, Ledoux said more needs to be done.