A multinational coordinating center was activated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and its allies from other countries to integrate relief efforts for the areas that suffered from super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan).
Lt. Col Ramon Zagala, AFP Public Affairs Office chief, said on Nov. 19, that this was established to address monitoring and coordination requirements of intensified humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations augmented by at least 19 other countries.
Member countries include the United Kingdom, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Sweden, Vietnam, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada, Spain, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Israel.
The coordinating center’s headquarters is located at Camp Aguinaldo.
“The coordinating center will be able to employ effectively all assets that were contributed so that the relief goods can be delivered to those who need them,” Zagala said.
He added that there are too many countries involved that it needs to be “orchestrated” properly.
The AFP has also been placed on red alert.
More US troops
Additional US forces are also expected to arrive within the week to give a boost to the humanitarian efforts for areas devastated by Yolanda.
About 1,000 sailors from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit is scheduled to arrive. There are already 850 soldiers on the ground and 6,200 personnel from the USS George Washington Strike Group.
Also yesterday, the US launched its own task force for its disaster efforts at Camp Aguinaldo. Joint Task Force 505 will be led by Lt. Gen. John Wissler, chief of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force.
“Because of the long-standing partnership and friendship between our two nations, the US, working in support of the government and Armed Forces of the Philippines, is able to rapidly respond with critically needed capabilities and supplies in times of crisis,” Wissler said in a statement.