Qatar sends P12-M help to Ulysses victims

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The relief supplies are unloaded from the aircraft. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald Alfiler)

MANILA – The Qatari people have donated approximately USD 250,000 (approximately PHP 12 million) in relief supplies across the Red Crescent of Qatar to support the recovery of Filipino families affected by the recent Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco).

An Emiri Air Force C-17 aircraft from Qatar transported the relief supplies over an “airlift” set up between the two countries and landed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport at around 3:56 on Friday.

The Qatar Embassy in Manila said the aid was given under the direction of Qatar’s Emir, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to “help friends in the Republic of the Philippines”. Abdelmonaim Mhindate, head of the Philippine Red Crescent Mission in Qatar, said the donations would be delivered directly to families affected by the typhoon, particularly those in Rizal and Cagayan provinces, two of the hardest hit areas, called “Ulysses” in November struck.

Relief supplies include more than 40 tons of various food and non-food items, as well as accommodation, tents, water and sanitary facilities, generators and lifeboats. It is run by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to help approximately 2,500 families, some of whom were displaced after the typhoon onslaught.

“As soon as we have taken all of these items outside the airport, they will be immediately taken to the affected areas, particularly in Rizal and Cagayan,” Mhindate told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on arrival.

“The State of Qatar and the Republic of the Philippines have a very long historical diplomatic relationship. The Red Crescent of Qatar and the PRC, we also have a longstanding cooperation and partnership, so we have always been keen to support the PRC and the Filipino people, especially those affected by natural disasters, “he added.

Mhindate said Qatar will continue to provide assistance to the Philippines, especially in emergencies during times of natural disasters. “We will continue our work with the PRC to reach those at risk of disaster and we will work hard hand in hand with them.”

The aid program for Qatar was implemented by Qatar Charity and the Red Crescent of Qatar, which in turn coordinated with the PRC to ensure that aid was delivered quickly. Its main donor was the Qatar Fund for Development.

During the ceremonial turnover, PRC Chairman Senator Richard Gordon said the donation was evidence of the mutual support of volunteer organizations among members of the society.

“Qatar Red Crescent has been helping us all along, strengthening our relationship. All these [donations] are necessary, we give it to the most vulnerable areas of the community, ”he said.

The contents of the donation include 402 grocery packages valued at $ 10,765.89; 1,137 grocery packages valued at $ 31,150.68; Thermal blanket; Family rifle tent; Shelter Tool Kit; Plans; Inflatables; Mosquito net; Robin Subaro engine; including charcoal and sand filters.

The QRC has partnered with the PRC in many humanitarian efforts such as Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013, Typhoon Hagupit in 2014, the Surigao earthquake and typhoon Vinta in 2017, and Typhoon Mangkhut in 2018, to just to name a few.

One of his notable efforts is the donation of two water tankers and 650 disaster relief rooms to “Yolanda” victims.

“Ulysses” hit the Philippines on November 11, causing massive flooding in several areas in Luzon while the country was struggling to recover from the devastation wrought by the Super Typhoon Rolly that month.

To date, 4.8 million people have been affected in 7,184 barangays in Regions 1, 2, 3, 5 (Bicol), 4-A (Calabarzon), 4-B (Mimaropa), the Cordillera Administrative Region and Metro Manila. At the current time, 23,071 families are still being cared for in 425 evacuation centers.

The typhoon killed 73, injured 85 and left 19 missing people, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The estimated damage to agriculture and infrastructure on December 3rd was PHP19.2 billion.

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