MANILA – The head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) thanked the Australian government for its gift of PHP60 million (AUD1.5 million) worth of relief goods and associated funds.
“We welcome the Australian government’s continued support. With Australia’s assistance, the DSWD has strengthened its disaster response by implementing more efficient systems – and reaching people in need more quickly,” DSWD Officer in Charge Emmanuel Leyco said in a news release issued Thursday.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the donation when he visited the DSWD National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City last Monday.
The relief supplies, which include tents, sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets, multi-purpose malong, and children’s toys, can support the immediate requirements of 160,000 people. They are for humanitarian crises in the country, including that in Marawi City.
The relief items are part of the PHP124.9 million (AUD3 million) grant provided by the Australian government for a three-year Support Program for Disaster Response, which includes technical assistance from the Australian Civilian Corps adviser.
A part of the grant was also used for the construction of a new warehouse at the NROC, which was inaugurated in November last year. The new warehouse, which could store 41,400 family food packs (FFPs), increased the NROC’s storage capacity to 100,000 FFPs.
The Australian government has also helped the DSWD set up systems for more effective responses to disasters and conflict.