MANILA – The European Union (EU) on Tuesday announced EUR1.7 million (approximately PHP95.8 million) in humanitarian funding to provide emergency assistance to the Typhoon Odette-hit provinces in the Philippines.

“In an immediate response to typhoon Rai which caused wide-spread destruction and deplorable loss of lives in the Philippines, the EU stands by the Filipino people in these difficult times and has started to provide emergency relief actions to those affected in close cooperation with our humanitarian partners," said EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič.

The funding will cover the immediate needs of the affected population through the provision of food, drinking water, shelter, and other urgently needed household items.

Humanitarian partners will equally strengthen healthcare services, including hygiene promotion activities to mitigate the spread of waterborne diseases.

The EU also confirmed that cash grants will be made available to allow those most affected to sustain themselves during the time of displacement.

The EUR1.7 million fund is drawn from the EU's Acute Large Emergency Response Tool (ALERT) and can be topped up in the future, as close monitoring of the humanitarian emergency and needs of the population in the Philippines continues.

ALERT is mobilized in times of disasters that affect over 100,000 people or over 50 percent of the population.

Depending on the type of disaster, the aim is to allocate funds within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of the emergency, the EU said. (PNA)