Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the gifting of P60 million (AU$1.5 million) worth of prepositioned relief supplies and associated funds to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) during his visit to the National Resource Operations Centre (NROC) in Pasay City.
“We have helped the people of the Philippines with the war in Marawi, now we’re determined to help you win the peace, and that’s our commitment,” Turnbull noted.
The prepositioned relief stores support the Philippine government’s response to humanitarian crises including the Marawi conflict. The supplies include tents, sleeping mats and blankets, mosquito nets, multi-purpose malong and children’s toys. These can support the immediate requirements of 160,000 people.
DSWD Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel Leyco noted, “We welcome the Australian Government’s continued support. With Australia’s assistance DSWD has strengthened its disaster response by implementing more efficient systems—and reaching people in need more quickly. We look forward to our continued partnership, including as we support the rehabilitation of conflict-torn Marawi City.”
The relief stores are part of the P120 million (AU$3 million) grant the Australian government provided for a three-year Support Program for Disaster Response, which included technical assistance from an Australian Civilian Corps adviser. The contribution was also used to construct a new warehouse in NROC, and assisted DSWD to set up systems for more effective responses to disasters and conflict.
Prepositioning relief items in-country means they can be quickly deployed to assist people affected by disasters and conflict. The Australian Government prepositions goods with DSWD, the Philippine Red Cross, the United Nations Population Fund and the World Food Programme. With this, Australia stands ready to support the Philippines in times of need.