Statement of the Department of Foreign Affairs: On the international assistance for victims of typhoon Yolanda

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[Delivered by Assistant Secretary of Foreign Affairs Raul S. Hernandez on November 13, 2013]

The Department of Foreign Affairs would like to convey its sincerest gratitude to our international partners and kababayans abroad for their generous and swift response in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda.

As of 2:00 pm today, the number of international donors monitored by the DFA has risen to thirty-six (36) and the value of international assistance has been estimated at Php 3,848,564,500 or USD 89,501,500. Again, this figure accounts only for cash donation pledges and in-kind donations to which monetary valuation had been assigned by the donors.

Let me clarify that most of the international assistance, either in monetary form or in-kind donations, does not go through the Philippine government. The DFA, as the first point of contact for the international community, is notified of pledges of international assistance. The DFA will then pass on the information to the NDRRMC and other agencies involved in relief and rehabilitation efforts.

So far, except for Indonesia, all international donors that have pledged monetary donations are coursing the money through their aid agencies, or through NGOs, charitable institutions and foundations of their choice. The Vatican, for instance, is sending its donation to local churches and these churches will be distributing the aid to the people. Some donors are distributing relief goods directly to the affected communities while others turned the items over to NDRRMC and DSWD repacking stations. Other donors are also deploying their own medical and search-and-rescue teams in hard-hit areas.

Furthermore, a pledge of financial support is subject to the rules and processes of the donating government or agency. Therefore, it takes time for the actual funds to be released to the recipients. As for reports that adequate aid is yet to reach those in need, the DFA wishes to assure the public that it is doing everything it can to properly and promptly coordinate offers of international assistance with the agencies engaged in aid delivery

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