MANILA, Philippines – New Zealand and the United Nations Children’s Fund have signed a partnership to help and support communities affected by Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) with pandemic relief.
New Zealand, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has donated $1.6 million to UNICEF, which will be used to rebuild affected communities through health programs and nutrition; water, sanitation and hygiene; as well as social protection.
“New Zealand is proud to partner with UNICEF. This partnership will be our flagship project in the fight against COVID-19,” New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines Peter Kell said in a statement on Tuesday.
He added that their country’s contribution will “maintain essential health services” in the affected areas.
“Through this partnership, we can ensure that children and families continue to receive assistance and that essential services remain available to themsaid UNICEF Representative in the Philippines Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov.
The UN agency noted that the Philippines is already one of the hardest hit by the pandemic as it worsened the situation of people living in povertynatural disasters such as the typhoon “make recovery more difficult for many children and their families”.
The typhoon, which hit southern and central regions of the Philippines late last year, affected the flow of essential services in local communities.
UNICEF noted that at least $39.8 million is needed to help nearly half a million people, including some 300,000 children, in typhoon-affected areas rebuild their lives.
Even months after the onslaught of the storm, help continues to flow.
Just last week, the United States, through its United States Agency for International Development, provided an additional 400 million pesos, or approximately US$8 million, to help communities affected by the typhoon. rebuilding and repairing health centers and supporting livelihood programs, among others.