, , ,

Typhoon Haiyan and Food Aid

It has been one month since the devastating Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the Philippines. A report from the charity Oxfam has discovered that even in this time, millions of victims are still dependent upon emergency aid.

From this catastrophe, millions of individuals were displaced, with over 5,600 people being killed. From the report conducted by Oxfam, “four million people are still in need of shelter, while three million are still surviving from food aid.”

Within the first few weeks of the disaster, $400 million worth of aid was promised, with Australia alone committing $30 million alone. However, it will take more than monetary participation to get the Philippines back on its feet.

Long-term recovery, according to Oxfam, is what is dire in order for the Philippines to see a sustainable improvement. Relocating communities to areas that are less stricken by natural disasters, building resilience and preparation in communities are what is needed to obtain stability.

Each year, the Philippines is hit by a average of 20 typhoons with winds reaching speeds of 315 kph. Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda was by far the most devastating in the Philippines history. With climate disasters increasing, many fear that Typhoon Haiyan is only the tip of the iceberg.

In light of this fear, reliable sustainability is needed now, more than ever.With the emergency aid being provided to the Philippines, many errors within the United States Emergency aid program have been highlighted. Currently, emergency aid program reforms are under debate by Congress.

As the USAID purchases majority of their supplies locally with the aid funds, it will mean that the monetary assistance with go less far. According to the Inter Press Service News Agency, USAID has been able to access a contingency fund, but doing so now will great a dent in that fund for the remainder of the fiscal year.

This past spring, President Obama called for a total renovation of the U.S. Food Aid delivery system. Regardless of much of its bipartisan support, the bill was unable to receive much of the backing necessary to pass through the Senate.

The differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill are being worked out by means of a special committee. The farm bill is projected to successfully make it into law, once the differences are discussed.

The Senate bill would enable a “funding tool to facilitate local purchasing at around $350 million.” In 2008, this was a pilot project that was began in the hopes of stepping up USAID.

Eric Munoz, a senior policy advisor with the humanitarian group, Oxfam American, said, “What’s happening in the Philippines should be a touchstone for members of Congress and the responses that USAID has provided, in thinking about what is necessary in addressing natural disasters.”

Samaria Garrett

Sources: IPS News, ABC Net
Photo: Giphy.com