First of all, I wish to recognize and express appreciation for the Inquirer’s professionalism and comprehensive coverage that highlighted the humanitarian impact of Typhoon “Pablo” in the affected areas of eastern and northeastern Mindanao. We would like to also thank the Inquirer for giving prominence to the story “Storm victims get $4M in fresh aid,” under the bylines of Ayan Mellejor and Allan Nawal (Inquirer, 1/20/13).
The story covered the US government’s latest announcement of its humanitarian support for the Philippine government-led humanitarian response to Typhoon Pablo, in the form of a donation of $4 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
I would be grateful if the Inquirer could highlight the following, which is important in terms of drawing public attention to the greater context of the contribution, the Philippine government being an important participant at the handover ceremony. The World Food Programme does not work in a vacuum; it works hand-in-hand with the Philippine government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, in comanaging a single food supply pipeline that is meant to ensure there is an efficient and coordinated response to food needs on the ground.
As I emphasized at a press conference, the strategy of integrating WFP food assistance to the victims of Typhoon Pablo covered by DSWD’s ongoing relief and early recovery operations is the best way of reaching the affected communities, as it helps to ensure that no one will be overserved or underserved. WFP likewise has deployed its field staffs who are working with the DSWD, as well as with the provincial and local governments, to make sure that this concept is working in practice, and that the response is constantly responding and adapting to new needs as they arise.—STEPHEN L. ANDERSON, representative and country director,
World Food Programme-Philippines, 5/F GC Corporate Plaza, 150 Legaspi St., Makati City