News / Asia

International Aid Flows Into Grateful Philippines

  • Typhoon survivors board a Philippine Air Force transport plane in Tacloban, Nov. 21, 2013.
  • A Philippine man carries aid from a U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter in Palo, Philippines, Nov. 20, 2013.
  • U.S. sailors and Marines load supplies onto a helicopter to be delivered in Eastern Sumar Province, Philippines, Nov. 20, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • U.S. military personnel carry supplies to be distributed in Eastern Sumar Province, Philippines, Nov. 20, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • U.S. sailors work with Philippine armed forces members to transport relief supplies in Ormoc City, Philippines, Nov. 18, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • A member of the U.S. Navy hugs a child during a visit to Philippine Army base Camp Downes in support of Operation Damayan, Nov. 18, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • A Seahawk helicopter transports international relief supplies in support of Operation Damayan, Ormoc City, Philippines, Nov. 17, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • U.S. sailors and Marines work with Philippine civilians to unload relief supplies in Guiuan, Philippines, Nov. 17, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • Villagers scramble for aid from a U.S. Navy helicopter in the coastal town of Tanawan, Philippines, Nov. 17. 2013.
  • A soldier carries a baby to board a U.S. military transport plane at the damaged Tacloban airport, Tacloban city, Philippines, Nov. 17, 2013.
  • A U.S. hospital corpsman assists Philippine nurses in treating a patient's head wound at the Immaculate Conception School refugee camp, Guiuan, Philippines, Nov. 17, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • Philippine citizens board an U.S. HC-130 Hercules to be airlifted to safety in support of Operation Damayan, Guiuan, Nov. 17, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
Relief Operations in the Philippines
Simone Orendain
International humanitarian officials say there is a noticeable improvement in getting aid to central Philippine communities, even if some are being reached for the first time since the typhoon struck 12 days ago. The international aid has been flowing in, exposing some of the government’s vulnerabilities. More than 4,000 people were killed and millions displaced when Typhoon Haiyan tore through the central Philippines. Hundreds of thousands have yet to be reached with emergency aid. 

More than a week after Super Typhoon Haiyan battered the central provinces, President Benigno Aquino said the Philippines would be able to recover especially with the help of other countries.  That was Sunday and he was touring municipalities in the eastern-most provinces that took the heaviest of Haiyan’s pounding, saying he would stay on to oversee relief and recovery operations.  Two days later, he returned to Manila.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda says Aquino noticed a significant improvement in relief goods reaching people who had nothing to eat days after the storm. 

“He has expressed confidence in the work that the composite team on the ground has done.  Things have turned out better than he expected,” he said.

The Philippines set a goal of releasing 150,000 food kits daily, one week after the storm.  But the government was faced with logistical and infrastructure challenges, including loosening up bottlenecks at ports along waters off the hard hit provinces, clearing debris from hard to reach roads and restoring communication lines.

Officials say most issues have been resolved.

Massive aid

Dozens of governments have pledged nearly $200 million in cash and in-kind donations.  A number have sent military assets bearing basic necessities and medical aid. 

In addition to $30 million in financial help, Japan has sent members of its self-defense force on a medical mission to several provinces. 

The United States, whose aid comes to $37 million, docked an aircraft carrier in Samar province last Thursday.  Its teams worked with Philippine forces to put in place logistics that would help aid move more smoothly.  And its strike force is using MV-22B Ospreys - small craft that can land vertically in remote areas. 

  • From left to right: U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy, commanding general, 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade; Philippine navy Capt. Roy Vincent Trinidad, officer in charge, Tacloban airfield; and U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, commander, Battl
  • From right to left: U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy, commanding general, 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade; U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, commander, Battle Force 7th Fleet; and Philippine navy Capt. Roy Vincent Trinidad, officer in charge,
  • ircraft Structural Mechanic (Engine) 1st Class Robert Henderson, from Marlton, N.J., center, and other Sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) and Marines assigned to the 3d Marine Expeditionary
  • Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Deanna Coutts, from Chicago, center, loads a bag of supplies into an MH-60S Seahawk from the "Golden Falcons" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12 to be airlifted to nearby villages in support of Operation D
  • Sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) and Marines assigned to the 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade load boxes of supplies into a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey from the Marine Medium Tiltrotor

When asked by reporters whether the government would try to convince the international community to stay on longer, Lacierda said they were here voluntarily.

“They see the need.  They assess.  We will leave it to them.  Far [be it for] us to demand from them,” he said.

Government reaction

Richard Heydarian, a political analyst at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, says the Philippine government does not want to appear too dependent on outside help, which he says has been life-saving.

“They also wanted to be quite politically correct, by not singling out some countries, thanking them, ‘Oh thank you United States and Japan.’  They didn’t want to do that.  They wanted to give a generic statement in order to underplay any possible geopolitical dimensions,” he said.

Heydarian points out China’s considerably smaller portion of aid equaling $1.7 million compared to a number other countries’ and companies’ contributions.  On Wednesday a China foreign ministry spokesman said it would send a medical disaster team, a Chinese Red Cross contingent and lend its 14,000 ton floating hospital the “Peace Ark” to the typhoon-ravaged area.

The Philippines and China are in the midst of a territorial squabble in the South China Sea that prompted Manila to file an arbitration case with a United Nations tribunal earlier this year.

International humanitarian agencies have been full of praise for the government’s willingness to work with other governments and outside entities, given the magnitude of the disaster.

WATCH: Related video from VOA
People Still Leaving Philippines Typhoon Areai
X
November 21, 2013 9:23 AM
People are still trying to escape the destruction in the Philippines nearly two weeks after Typhoon Haiyan struck.

World Food Program Executive Director Ertharin Cousin said this week after a visit to the worst-hit parts, the Philippines has been consistently receptive.

“They have always said ‘Yes, do that.’  And that, to us, is a government that recognizes that their primary responsibility is meeting the needs of their people.  And it’s our goal to continue to work with them,” said Cousin.

The United Nations says close to 13 million people have been affected by the typhoon.  Its labor office says about five million people will need employment

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs