UN seeks int'l aid for Bohol

UN seeks int'l aid for Bohol
Volunteers for and members of the Philippine Red Cross team carry goods that were transported through a boat after a bridge collapsed from a massive quake that hit Bohol.

The United Nations on Friday appealed for $46.8 million (S$57.8 million) in international aid for more than 380,000 people in Bohol province now living in tents after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Central Visayas last week.

Australia was the first to respond, announcing on Friday that it would provide up to P124 million in aid to support the Philippine government's response to the humanitarian emergency caused by the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu province.

The earthquake flattened homes, schools, clinics, centuries-old churches and other vital infrastructure, killing more than 200 persons.

A further 35,000 families need emergency shelter while more than 380,000 residents of Bohol require assistance for basic needs like water, sanitation, food and health services for six months, UN resident humanitarian coordinator Luizha Carvalho said.

"At this moment, the Philippines is the one [country] that really stands alone with the highest of needs and the highest requirements," Carvalho told a news conference.

Carvalho said she hoped donors would still give money despite a series of recent natural and man-made disasters that also required international assistance, such as a destructive typhoon in December last year and Moro rebel attacks that destroyed parts of the southern city of Zamboanga last month.

"We have a very interesting pattern of several events that are happening almost simultaneously and we still hope for the generosity of the donors," Carvalho said.

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