Filipinos Abroad, Gov'ts, Aid Flood Victims

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MANILA—Donations and pledges, including aid from overseas Filipino communities, continue to pour in from all over the world for the victims of the deadly flooding that hit the Philippines' island of Mindanao and claimed more than 1,500 lives.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said it has received US$12,613,473.87 worth of aid from Filipino communities, Philippine Embassies and Consulates General around the world and private individuals and groups.

The Filipino community in Hawaii raised $44,000 in cash and pledges for the victims in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities, which were ravaged by killer floods a week before Christmas. The Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu said the one-day drive netted about $30,000 in actual donations and $14,000 in pledges.

About 100 volunteers gathered at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu on December 26 to man phone lines as they appealed to compatriots and friends from across the state for donations.

As of December 28, the Philippine government has already received over US$12.6 million worth of foreign donations and pledges for the storm victims, according to the DFA.

The government of New Zealand has contributed $500,000 to the relief efforts of the Philippine Red Cross to provide food, blankets, water and sanitation, shelter and livelihood assistance to 25,000 people in the worst affected areas in northern Mindanao and Visayas, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs. The humanitarian effort was joined by officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy in Wellington by donating $1,000.