THE European Union (EU) has earmarked P148 million to help victims of the strong earthquake in Bohol province.
EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux on Thursday said the funds will be used for support emergency response and relief to survivors of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake which shook the province of Bohol and other nearby areas.
“We have seen the destruction and suffering caused by the powerful earthquake,” Ledoux explained. “We stand by the people of the Philippines in this hour of need and this EU assistance reaffirms our commitment to immediately respond to the needs of the families affected by the disaster.”
Ledoux said the fund will be used in distributing food and other relief items, repair of shelter, water and sanitation, primary health care and the management of evacuations sites.
The EU has sent a team of aid experts to the municipalities of Calape, Maribojoc and Loon in Bohol province to assess the priority needs of the affected population.
During their visit, the EU team found that most of the houses collapsed and access to services was difficult. Primary health care and potable water supply was also limited because water pipes were broken.
A 7.2 magnitude earthquake on October 15 struck the provinces of Bohol, Cebu and Siquijor in Central Visayas. Thousands of buildings and homes were destroyed, roads and bridges blocked, damaged or collapsed, power lines cut and water supplies interrupted.
According to the data from the government, an estimated 3.1 million people were affected by the deadly earthquake, while more than 200 people were killed and hundreds were injured. Around 350,000 people have been displaced, of which 80 percent were relocated in makeshift shelters in evacuation centers.
Earlier, the EU has donated €10 million to the victims of Typhoon Pablo [international codename: Bopha]; €200 000 for the victims of Typhoon Trami [international codename: Maring]; and €300 000 to assist those displaced by the fighting in Zamboanga City. NEIL A. ALCOBER