The French convoy arrived in Cebu on Thursday, November 21, the drop off point of international aid coming to the Philippines, according to French Ambassador Gilles Garachon.
This includes 60 uniformed personnel from the French army and fire department specializing in catastrophic situation as well as medical doctors. Aside from food, they also bring tents, generators, water purifier, and medical equipment.
Part of the goods and some 20 personnel from the convoy will go to Leyte. He said the goods would be delivered immediately to the affected families in the north with the help of the local government units. The super typhoon also damaged 80-90 percent of infrastructure and agriculture of the 12 LGUs in the north.
In his meeting with Governor Hilario P. Davide III, the ambassador thanked the governor for “a lot of assistance from his office.”
According to the ambassador, the French people saw on international television what happened in the Philippines. He said it led to a strong mobilization in their local communities as the whole of Europe and Western Countries.
“The real reason for our aid is that we want to be at your side and we want to help the victims. We were moved by what was at hand; it is such a huge disaster,” he said.
Garachon added their assistance would not stop with providing emergency relief. He said the French business community is set to deliver €10 million worth of assistance for the rebuilding phase like building of houses and schools damaged by the super typhoon Yolanda.
The French ambassador believed that Yolanda or Haiyan, which was recorded as the strongest typhoon to hit the land, is linked to climate change.
He said next phase should be “to work together to train Filipino specialists in seismology, typhoon, and climate change and we have to work together to draw a long term field in preparing for this situation.” Xerxes Alkuino