MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said most of the international aid that has been pledged or reported to have arrived here in the country will not be passing through Philippine government agencies.
"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," DFA Spokesman Raul Hernandez said in a press briefing on Wednesday, November 13.
The DFA, being the first point of contact with the international community, is the agency that is notified of pledges of international assistance. The DFA then passes the information to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and other agencies involved in relief and rehabilitation efforts.
Some donors have started distributing relief goods directly to the affected communities while others have been turning over their donations in-kind to the NDRRMC and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) repacking stations. Some of the donors, like Belgium, have deployed their own medical and search-and-rescue teams to the hard hit areas.
Hernandez explained that international aid goes through different channels and a systematic process. "Furthermore, pledges of financial support is subject to the rules and processes of the donating government or agency," Hernandez said. "Therefore, it takes time for the actual funds to be released to the recipients."
Even the United Nations (UN) is having problems when it comes to getting bringing aid to the people.
UN Undersecretary General Valerie Amos, who is here in the country for the launch and implementation of the UN Action Plan for Typhoon Yolanda, tweeted this morning:
Amos was able to board a plane later on.
Hernandez assured the public that the DFA is doing its best to properly coordinate offers of international assistance that they are notified of with agencies that are engaged in delivery.
As of posting, the DFA reports 36 foreign governments and agencies that have informed them of their donations. Hernandez said that the total cash donations they have been notified of have reached P3.8 billion (US$89 million) as of Wednesday, November 13.
Typhoon Yolanda, which ravaged parts of the Visayas, has left thousands of people dead. The government's tally is pegged at 2,275 but this number is expected to rise in the coming days as most of the bodies have not been retrieved. - Rappler.com
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