• China, Australia vow aid for Nina victims

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    THE Chinese and Australian governments have pledged assistance to the victims of typhoon “Nina” (international name “Nock-Ten”) that hit the eastern seaboard of central Philippines on Christmas Day.

    The Chinese Embassy in Manila on Monday said Chinese President Xi Jinping has extended his condolences to the Philippines for the casualties and damage caused by the typhoon.

    “In a message, Xi sent condolences to the Philippine President, and through him, to the people affected by the disaster,” the embassy said in a news release.

    Quoting Xi, the embassy said the Philippines and China are “friendly neighbors.”

    “The Chinese government and people are deeply worried about the Philippine people who have been hit and become homeless in the disaster,” it said.

    The embassy added that Xi was optimistic that the Filipino people, under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte, will overcome the disaster and rebuild their homes.

    Meanwhile, the Australian government announced that it will provide humanitarian assistance worth P32.1 million to families affected by the typhoon.

    Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, in a statement, said 35,000 people will be given emergency items such as sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets, tarpaulins and hygiene kits through the Philippines Red Cross.

    “Australia’s thoughts are with the people of the Philippines as they respond to the devastating impact of Typhoon ‘Nock-Ten,’” the ministry quoted Bishop as saying.

    “The Australian government stands ready to respond to any additional requests for assistance once the full impact of the typhoon becomes clear,” she added.

    On December 29, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launched a 1.6 million Swiss Franc emergency appeal to help the Philippine Red Cross assist more than 20,000 people with emergency relief assistance and longer term recovery support.

    The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council pegged the damage to agriculture and infrastructure in Calabarzon, Mimaropa and Region 5 at P5 billion.

    The typhoon affected 424,223 families.

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