Sense of hope returns to Philippines as European Commission provides additional humanitarian aid

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A sense of hope was returning to Tacloban on Saturday, eight days after Typhoon Haiyan hit The Phillipines killing thousands.

Logistics are improving so more aid is reaching those hit by the worst storm in recorded history. 

Kristalina Georgieva, the head of the EU’s European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) visited a medical centre staffed by German and Belgian aid teams.

“The Commission is providing an additional seven million euros. That brings the funding from the European Commission to 20 million euros for immediate relief and also for building early recovery, because clearly the need for shelter here is enormous,” said Georgieva.

This was in addition to 25 million euros already pledged by EU member states, she added.

As she left, Georgieva greeted a crowd waiting outside for hospital assistance, who thanked her for the aid from the EU, some with tears welling in their eyes.

The European Union is the world’s biggest donor of humanitarian aid, providing more than 50 percent of humanitarian aid worldwide.

Meanwhile Filipino survivors face a long struggle to rebuild shattered lives.

78-year old Gertrudes Radan is living with her mother-in-law and granddaughter in a small van found on the roadside after her house was flattened.

“My son is trying to rebuild the house back in Calipayan because it was totally destroyed. He’s rebuilding it now so that we can move back,” she said.

Amid the despair and weariness, men gather in groups to drag debris off homes and wrecked streets. Most have given up searching for lost loved ones.

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