Pledges for Yolanda (Haiyan) victims drop in January

By on January 23, 2014


Photo: Facebook Page of Super Typhoon Yolanda Recovery

MANILA, Philippines – Two months after the devastating super typhoon hit the country, international pledges have just been coming in droplets.

Back in November 2013, international communities gave a total of P23.798 billion ($538.978 million).

But as of January 17, the Philippines has just received less than a quarter of the cash that at least 58 countries and groups promised.

In an interview with Rappler, Budget Secretary Butch Abad said, “What we heard them say at the height of the Yolanda relief operations versus what you see them now delivering by way of cash, there’s a big disparity.”

Meanwhile, a United Nations (UN) official believes that countries tend to “forget,” citing what was also experienced in Haiti when it was devastated by a magnitude-7 earthquake in January 2010. UN figures said that two years after countries pledged $4.5 billion in aid, only 53% of aid reached Haiti.

“It is also possible that most of their funds have already been committed” to other priorities toward the end of 2013,” Abad interpreted.

“A lot of the fund-raising would have to be done at the start of this year, when new funds are available. So that may likely explain the huge disparity between what we read in the papers during the height of the relief operations,” Abad added.

It was also included in the report of Rappler that the disparity between the promised donations at the height of the Haiyan disaster and the actual donations received at present was due to the fact that not all donations pass through the Philippine government as other agencies can give directly to affected communities.


Statistics speak

Based on the statistics of the Philippines’ Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FAITH), the international community pledged P2.8 billion ($63.418 million) in cash and P20.998 billion ($475.56 million) in non-cash items.

But the Philippines only received 21.16% of the money pledged by various countries. That’s only P592.58 million ($12.337 million).

In line with this, Ambassador Libran Cabactulan, the Philippines’ permanent representative to the UN, urged donors to support the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) recovery program in Eastern Visayas.

The Philippines still needs P360.9 billion ($8.17 billion) in a span of 4 years to rebuild the houses of the Yolanda (Haiyan) victims.


With Report from Rappler