THE New Zealand government on Friday said it will donate P159 million to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) for construction of additional warehouses and logistics and training center.
“We will continue to provide assistance to the Philippine Red Cross for whatever they need,” New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said during the inauguration of the PRC logistics and training center.
Key took part in the recently concluded Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila.
Located at the back of PRC’s national headquarters in Mandaluyong City (Metro Manila), the logistics and training center will serve as a storage facility for relief goods, supplies and equipment, and also as a training and multi-purpose activity center.
“Our partnership with New Zealand started even before Super Typhoon Yolanda [Haiyan] came, and the importance of the partnership became of even greater importance after that typhoon as we all saw the importance of having logistics warehouses in strategic areas where we can preposition relief items and equipment for faster and more efficient disaster response,” PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said.
The New Zealand Aid Program, an international aid and development program under the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (NZMFAT), and PRC have been working together since July 2013 in the retrofitting of PRC’s strategic warehouses to help improve the humanitarian organization’s overall efficiency and capabilities during emergencies.
The agreement between the NZMFAT and PRC also aims to improve the latter’s logistics training and prepositioning of stocks of non-food items such as plastic mats, blankets, tarpaulins, jerry cans, mosquito nets, hygiene kits and kitchen sets.
The warehouse features a storage area with pallets and racking system, which makes the storage capacity twice the volume for distribution.
PRC and NZMFAT have finished the retrofitting of PRC’s strategic warehouses in Subic, Laoag and Cebu.
The improvement of the three remaining warehouses (Batangas, Cagayan de Oro and Mandaluyong City) will be finished before the start of 2016.