Japan, WFP carry out ‘Odette’ aid; Thailand ships goods for survivors

Officials from the World Food Programme and the Embassy of Japan

THE Embassy of Japan’s Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission Yasushi Yamamoto  attended the turnover ceremony for the “Emergency food and logistics assistance to vulnerable populations affected by Typhoon ‘Odette,’ Philippines” project on March 10, which is being implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP).

Said event was held in Burgos City, Surigao del Norte, with WFP-Philippines Representative and Country Director Brenda Barton, as well as Head of Emergency Preparedness Unit Yukimi Ogaki from the WFP Headquarters, in attendance.

Assistant Secretary Nathaniel G. Imperial (left) receives the symbolic donation from Chargé d’Affaires Thawat Sumitmor

The ceremony was held a day before the commemoration of the 11th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Recalling the tragic event, Yamamoto expressed his gratitude on behalf of all the Japanese people for the Philippines’s support during the earthquake and the ensuing tsunami.

“We, the Japanese people, never forget the kindness of the Filipinos,” the minister stated. “Both our countries and people experience various hardships and sadness almost every year due to severe natural disasters. As your neighbor and partner, Japan is always a proven close friend of the Philippines particularly in times of adversities.”

He also hoped that the WFP’s unique expertise in emergency response will encourage the affected people to build back from the damages brought by the typhoon: “Siargao will emerge stronger and better, with Japan by its side.”

The $5-million project donated by the Japanese government targets to nourish approximately 130,000 people, or around 26,000 households, affected by the typhoon in Northern Mindanao and Central Visayas. The WFP will ensure that the most vulnerable affected families receive sufficient food to meet their immediate basic requirements in the initial stage of the emergency response.

This initiative, according to the embassy, comes at a crucial period in mitigating the deterioration of the food-security status, and assist in the restoration of livelihood activities in the affected communities. 

Thailand pitches in

EARLY this month the Philippine government received a donation of $65,000 from its Thai counterpart as humanitarian assistance for the survivors of Typhoon “Odette’s” (international name Rai) onslaught.

A ceremonial turnover of the donation was held at the Department of Foreign Affairs headquarters on March 2.

On hand at the turnover were Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs Nathaniel G. Imperial, Chief of the Response and Operational Coordination Division of the Department of National Defense-Office of Civil Defense Susana E. Quiambao and Royal Thai Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Thawat Sumitmor.

Imperial expressed his appreciation for Thailand’s consistent “act of solidarity” with the Philippines, as he recounted the many times the former provided assistance to the country, such as in the aftermath of Typhoon “Yolanda” (international name Haiyan) in 2013, and in the early days of the current pandemic.

He further noted the messages of support from the Thai government during these times, as evidence of its solidarity with the Filipinos.

Thawat described the donation as a symbol of the friendship, goodwill and long-standing relations between the two countries.

The actual donation was earlier received by the Office of Civil Defense.

Image credits: DFA-OPCD Philip Fernandez


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