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31.12.2009 International

Philippines: UN sends food for nearly 50,000 people driven from homes by volcano

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30 December - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has sent 20 metric tons of high energy biscuits to aid nearly 50,000 Filipinos forced to leave their homes by a possible eruption of Mount Mayon volcano in the northern Philippine island of Luzon.

The biscuits, packed with vitamins and energy, will nourish refugees living in temporary shelters in schools and government buildings.

The awakening of Mayon, with earthquakes and ash plumes indicating an eruption could be imminent, comes only a few months after the Philippines was hit by a series of typhoons which left over 200 people dead and hundreds of thousands more surrounded by floodwater. WFP assisted the government in dealing with that emergency, providing rice and high energy biscuits to displaced people.

A mobile storage hub has been set up at a nearby Navy base in Legazpi City, providing warehousing for relief items. The Government and the international humanitarian community is working to position additional tents at evacuation centres in the region as well as latrines and water and sanitation facilities.

“With WFP resources at their disposal the Filipino Government and its people are now better prepared than ever to respond in the event of an eruption,” the agency said today.

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