The European Commission and Australia have pledged to aid Southeast Asian countries still reeling from the effects of massive flooding.
The recent floods in Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam have killed more than 700 and affected 8 million people.
The commission announced Oct. 21 a €10 million ($13.9 million) donation to U.N. agencies, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and other non-governmental organizations responding to the disaster. The funding will be used to address health and sanitation needs, provide food aid, nonfood items and temporary shelters, procure boats, satellite phones and other equipment for logistics and telecommunications, as well as support food-for-work initiatives.
The Australian government, meanwhile, is partnering with the Philippine city of Taguig under the Building the Resilience and Awareness of Metro Manila Communities to Natural Disasters and Climate Change Impacts program, or BRACE. The initiative aims to help the city plan better so that it can reduce risks and vulnerability from disasters such as flooding.
Australia has committed to contribute 31.5 million Australian dollars ($32.6 million) to BRACE. It also promised to work with local NGOs to provide the poor with safe, cost-effective housing.
The new aid commitments came as the United Nations noted the urgent needs of children affected by flooding in the region, including clean water, hygiene supplies to stop the spread of disease, food supplies and safe places in evacuation centers where children can play.
UNICEF said it is working with governments and partners on the ground in the affected countries to deliver aid to flood victims. Its sister organization, the World Food Program, revealed Friday that it will begin a relief operation in the coming days, involving distributions of monthly rations of rice to 12,000 households, or around 60,000 people, in Cambodia.
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