Philippines – EU Provides Humanitarian Aid to Victims of Typhoon Tembin

The European Union is allocating €570,000 in humanitarian funding to deliver emergency relief assistance to families affected by powerful Tropical Storm Tembin, which wreaked havoc across large parts of the southern Philippines just before Christmas. The funds will be used to address the immediate needs of those who have been most affected by the tropical system in the heavily hit areas.

Tropical Storm Tembin hit southern Philippines on 22 December, leaving behind a trail of destruction. Photo: © EU/ECHO

“This EU contribution underlines our commitment to the people of the Philippines, many of whom have suffered great losses as a result of Tropical Storm Tembin and are in dire need of immediate assistance. My thoughts are with the victims and all affected by the catastrophe”, said Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. “The funding will enable our humanitarian partners to deliver life-saving aid to those most in need, to ensure that they have the capacities to face the grave hardships.”

Packing winds of up to 90 kilometres per hour, Tropical Storm Tembin, known locally as Vinta, struck the southern part of the Philippines on the night of 22nd December, bringing torrential downpours which triggered widespread flooding, as well as deadly landslides and mudslides in at least 23 provinces across the southernmost island of Mindanao.

As of 27 December, at least 160 people have been reported killed while a further 176 are missing. Over 670 000 people have been affected, including over 140 000 of whom are presently displaced. This includes communities who were already displaced by the ongoing conflict in the region, and are therefore in a state of extreme vulnerability.

According to initial assessments, over 2 600 homes have also been damaged, more than 60% of which were completely destroyed. The typhoon has also caused extensive damage to agriculture, infrastructure, and other basic services. Tembin is considered the deadliest cyclone to strike Mindanao since Typhoon Bopha in December 2012.

The EU-funded assistance will focus on responding to immediate needs of the most vulnerable families, including the provision of emergency shelter and essential household items, access to clean water and hygiene promotion. Humanitarian experts from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) have also been deployed in some of the most affected localities to assess the situation and identify the most pressing needs.

Due to its geographical location, the Philippines typically witnesses some 20 typhoons every year.

Tropical Storm Tembin, the 22nd cyclone to enter the Philippines in 2017, hit the archipelago less than a week after Tropical Storm Kai-Tak, locally known as ‘Urduja’, made landfall over central Eastern Samar province on 16 December.