CAGAYAN – The Australian Government has provided P23-million (AUD600,000) to assist 2,000 farming families in Cagayan Province, in the most affected areas by Typhoon Ompong.
“Australia is a good friend and neighbor, and we are committed to helping families affected by Typhoon Ompong,” said Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely. “We are supporting farmers to rebuild their livelihood, and we are assisting their families with cash and in-kind support to help them get back on their feet.”
Australia’s emergency assistance is being implemented in partnership with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
FAO will distribute fertilizers to the farming families to complement the Department of Agriculture’s provision of rice seeds, and vegetable seeds as alternative short-term income source while waiting for the next harvest season early next year. FAO will also provide technical support through production-related training. These interventions will help the vulnerable farming families who missed the harvest season in October due to the typhoon.
“The Australian Government’s contribution is critical and timely in helping the affected farming families to get back on their feet again,” said Jose Luis Fernandez, FAO Representative in the Philippines. “If not immediately addressed, this may lead to food insecurity and malnutrition, and more financial difficulties as these farmers try to recoup and recover from their losses.”
WFP will roll out an emergency cash-based program to address food security and nutrition needs of the farming families. The program will provide one-off cash support representing 10 days of the minimum wage for agricultural workers in the area.
“WFP is grateful to the Australian Government for their generous support, which allows us to provide cash assistance to safeguard the food security of the affected farmers and their families while awaiting the next harvest,” said Stephen Gluning, WFP Philippines Representative and Country Director.