Australia gives P60-M aid for disaster, conflict victims

By Helen Flores

MANILA, Philippines — Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull turned over on Monday around P60 million in relief supplies and funds for the victims of the fighting in Marawi and natural calamities.

The supplies include tents, sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets, multi-purpose malong and children’s toys for 160,000 people.

“We helped the people of the Philippines in the war in Marawi. Now we’re determined to help you win peace...that’s our commitment,” Turnbull said in a statement.

The Australian leader, who was in Manila to attend the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit and related meetings, handed the assistance to Emmanuel Leyco, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) officer-in-charge, when he visited the National Resource Operations Center in Pasay City.

“We welcome the Australian government’s continued support. With Australia’s assistance, the DSWD has strengthened its disaster response by implementing a more efficient system and reaching people in need more quickly. We look forward to our continued partnership as we support the rehabilitation of conflict-torn Marawi,” Leyco said.

The relief items are part of the Australian government’s three-year support program for disaster response to the Philippines amounting to P120 million.

“Australia stands ready to support the Philippines in times of need,” the Australian embassy said.

The Australian government has contributed P3.37 billion since 2006 to aid victims of disasters and conflict.

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