€30 million for Philippines: Commissioner Georgieva returns to Tacloban

typhoonThe European Commission is giving an additional €30 million to the Philippine government in a further boost to the European Union’s reconstruction assistance in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan.

EU-funded humanitarian actions have already greatly contributed to meeting the emergency needs of the survivors of the world’s most destructive typhoon ever recorded to have made landfall. But the road to reconstruction is still long.

My visit to Tacloban has been a stark reminder of the devastation which hit the Philippines last November,” said International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva. “Seven months on, many survivors are still struggling to recover. The need for assistance remains, but my visit has also been full of encouragement. Everywhere I turned, I saw people rebuilding their homes, replanting their fields, or reopening their businesses. While there will always be a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ Haiyan, the survivors are getting back on their feet. This €30m is confirmation that the EU will continue to support the recovery and reconstruction process.

The new funding comes from the European Commission’s development budget. It is aimed at supporting post-Yolanda/Haiyan reconstruction through the availability of essential medicines, improved quality of health services, and support to the post-typhoon reconstruction plan of the Philippines’s government. Particular attention is being given to the impact of the disaster on the poor and the most vulnerable members of the local population.

In the current situation it is of great importance to combine short term relief operations with long term plans,” said the EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs. “Since the disaster we have been active in focusing our development cooperation on activities that help the affected communities to recover and reconstruct, but also to prepare for possible future typhoons. This will help to fight poverty immediately and at the same time make people’s lives and livelihoods safer in the long term.

Commissioner Georgieva is participating in the Asia-Europe meeting (ASEM) on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, where she is a keynote speaker. With the increasing frequency of mega-disasters, such as Yolanda/Haiyan, there is a need for reinforced international collaboration to face the effects of such catastrophes. The ASEM conference in Manila from 4 to 6 June 2014 will highlight lessons learned and best practices in the Tacloban Declaration, which will contribute to the post-2015 international framework on disaster risk reduction.


Typhoon Haiyan (locally named Yolanda) was the strongest cyclone to make landfall ever recorded. It struck the Philippines on 8 November 2013, causing massive devastation in the central regions. Over 6,200 people have been officially reported dead, more than a thousand are missing, four million displaced and between fourteen and sixteen million affected, out of which six million are children.

The humanitarian assistance already provided by the European Commission to the survivors amounts to around €30m. This contribution has made a difference for around 1.2 million people. In addition, €10m have been channelled from the Commission’s development funds to assist with reconstruction and development projects. In total, the EU’s assistance to the people hit by the typhoon amounts to over €740m (including contributions from the European Commission, member states and private donations).


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