UN calls for $47 million intl. aid for Philippines

331341_Bohol-IslandThe UN has called for around $47 million in international aid for the hundreds of thousands of people who are living in tents after a powerful earthquake in the Philippines.

On October 15, a massive 7.1-magnitude quake destroyed homes, schools, clinics and other vital infrastructure in the country and left more than 200 people dead.

UN resident humanitarian coordinator, Luizha Carvalho said on Friday that a further 35,000 families are in need of emergency shelter while over 300,000 residents of Bohol Island, the epicenter of the deadly quake in the Asian country, require help for basic needs like water, sanitation, food, and health services for six months.

“At this moment, the Philippines is the one (country) that really stands alone with the highest of needs and the highest requirements,” Carvalho said during a news conference.

She expressed hope that donors would provide the disaster-prone country with money for those hit by the earthquake.

The Philippines has faced a series of recent catastrophes that also need international assistance, including a destructive typhoon in December 2012.

“We have a very interesting pattern of several events that are happening almost simultaneously and we still hope for the generosity of the donors,” Carvalho said.

She added that UN aid agencies have collected $43 million for victims of Typhoon Bopha, but the money is far short of the $76 million that the UN originally wanted to help the Philippines after a storm that left around 2,000 people dead or missing in the south.

“The international community are very generous if they are able to see a good argument and a good case that is put together… and that is what we find in the Philippines,” Carvalho further said.

Meanwhile, World Food Program representative, Praveen Agrawal said many survivors of October 15 temblor are still living under makeshift tents that would not resist heavy rain.

“We need to move fast. If we are overtaken by rains, the situation could become even more serious,” he added.

Bohol is an island about 600 kilometers from the Philippine capital, Manila.

The Philippines sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is an area with intense seismic and volcanic activity caused by friction between shifting tectonic plates.

A 7.9-magnitude quake struck the Moro Gulf on the southern island of Mindanao in 1976, killing as many as 8,000 people, according to the Philippines official estimates.

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