Saturday, October 3, 2009

Arroyo should account for foreign aid donations

Immediately after the Philippine government sent word that it needs financial assistance to help Typhoon Ondoy victims, foreign governments led by the United States, China, Japan, Canada, Australia and the European Union (EU) gave huge sums as initial assistance for Typhoon victims. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) pledged US$ 3 million for relief operations.

Yesterday, the United Nations (UN) gave assurance that the Philippines stands to get at least US$ 74M worth of relief aid. Ondoy, with the international code name Ketsana, left more 300 people dead and affected the lives of millions of people. The Philippines was the worst hit by the typhoon. More than 3 million Filipinos were affected by huge floods caused by Ketsana. More than 700,000 Filipinos still live in makeshift homes and evacuation centers set up in Pasig, Marikina, Taytay, Tanay, Angono, Manila, and other cities and municipalities in Metro Manila.

Now, I ask the Arroyo government to please give us an accounting of foreign aid. It is not that we don't trust you---it is your responsibility to account for all these foreign aid. These aid are not to be used for other purposes except assisting our fellow kababayans. Evacuation centers still need additional assistance for food and water. As it stands, there is also a great need for medicines since people, especially kids, are now sick.

By the way, World Vision is setting up child friendly areas in selected evacuation centers. These areas will serve as counselling areas for kids affected by the Ketsana. Volunteers for World Vision will read books to kids and play with them, to help them cope with the calamity.

If you have kid's books and toys, please donate them to World Vision. Their office is along Quezon avenue, near Timog Avenue in Quezon City. If you don't have anything to do today, just go to World Vision. Go and donate.