The United Nations' World Food Program (WFP) has donated 52.5 metric tons of high-energy biscuits to help feed 262,500 people affected by the recent widespread flooding in Metro Manila and outlying provinces.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development has been distributing the wheat-based biscuits fortified with vitamins and minerals, the WFP said Saturday.
The high-energy biscuits were made to be distributed in the first vulnerable days of a calamity or a disaster, when people have limited access to cooking facilities.
The WFP said it also plans to distribute nutritious, ready-to-eat supplementary food in the coming days to about 77,000 flood-affected children, aged 6 to 36 months, in Luzon in coordination with the Department of Health.
"WFP is saddened by the humanitarian impact of the non-stop rains over the last week in the Philippines and we would like to reiterate our solidarity with the Philippine government during times of emergencies," WFP Philippine Representative and Country Director Stephen Anderson said.
"We stand ready to offer our full support to augment government efforts when needed," he added.
WFP, the U.N.'s food aid arm, is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.
The U.N. agency has provided food aid to thousands of villagers, who were displaced in past fighting between Philippine government troops and Muslim rebels in the country's south.
Aside from the food assistance, the WFP said it has been contracting trucks to help transport DSWD relief supplies to flood-hit communities in Metropolitan Manila and nearby provinces.
Relentless monsoon rains swamped most of the Philippine capital and nearby provinces in floodwaters earlier this week, leaving at least 66 people dead, mostly due to drowning, and affecting more than 2.6 million people, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
More than 300,000 people fled from flooded communities, many taking shelter in government-run evacuation centers. The weather started to clear on Thursday, allowing many displaced residents to return home and start massive cleanup and repairs.
The United States, Australia and other countries have extended financial aid and other assistance to help the Philippines deal with the massive flooding. (PNA)