Manila, 15 October 2021 – The European Union is allocating €800,000 (over PHP 47 million) in humanitarian aid funding to respond to the rapid increase in coronavirus cases in the Philippines in recent months. The aid will benefit 70,000 people of the conflict-affected provinces in Mindandao.
“The unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases threatens the lives and livelihoods of many in the Philippines, especially those living in remote areas like Mindanao where access to medical care can sometimes be limited,” said Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič. “This funding from the EU will ensure vulnerable and marginalised people receive vital health support to go through this difficult time.”
The EU funding will support a consortium of partners on the ground, including Action Against Hunger, CARE International and Oxfam International, in assisting the roll-out of vaccination in Mindanao’s far-flung areas. This includes facilitating access to COVID-19 vaccines and supporting local governments and health care authorities in implementing their vaccination campaign. The aid will also focus on improving hygiene practices while also ensuring that marginalised people in 19 municipalities across Mindanao better understand the benefits of vaccination.
Since early August, the Philippines has experienced a drastic surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide and is ranked amongst the top 10 most affected countries, with a record 26,303 daily infections reported on 11 September. The sharp increase in cases has posed a serious threat to the country’s stretched healthcare system.
The southern conflict-torn province of Mindanao is of particular concern due to its already poor healthcare system. Many marginalised groups, such as indigenous communities, displaced people, people with disabilities and the elderly, have very limited access to medical services. Although the government plans to expand the vaccination rollout in the coming months outside of the capital, Manila, where most cases have been reported, the province of Mindanao is not listed amongst the priority regions.
For further information, please contact:
Peter Biro, Regional Information Officer for Asia and the Pacific, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO): firstname.lastname@example.org