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Foreign Ministry Supports Red Cross Volunteer Mission in Philippines


Since the beginning of December an Estonian Red Cross volunteer has been working at a first aid centre in Balangiga in the Philippines. He will be there for five weeks as a member of the Finnish Red Cross team.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is supporting the Estonian Red Cross mission with 7,000 Euros.
According to Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, the typhoon that has devastated the Philippines has brought about a catastrophe and its effects will have to be dealt with for a long time. “We must focus on providing aid to the people in the catastrophe-affected region and ensuring their access to necessities. Certainly, the accessibility of medical care is extremely important,” stated Paet. “We are ready to provide assistance in order to improve the situation in the Philippines and let people continue with their lives,” added the foreign minister.

The Finnish Red Cross’ first aid medical centre began work in the end of November and collaborates with the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Estonian volunteer will be responsible for ensuring technical support to the centre.

The personnel of the medical centre also travel to nearby villages to provide aid to as many people as possible.

Nearly 70,000 people live in Balangiga and its surroundings.

In November, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aided children in the catastrophe region of the Philippines through UNICEF with 100,000 Euros and through the International Committee of the Red Cross with 50,000 Euros.

In early November of this year the island of Samar and then the island of Leyte, which has several million residents, in the Philippines were hit with one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded. The authorities estimated that the typhoon affected the lives of over 4.3 million people in 36 provinces. The capital of Leyte, Tacloban, and the coastal city of Palo, which is 10 kilometres away from Tacloban, suffered the most from the catastrophe.


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