I thought constituents might be interested in the letter below which I've received from Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development, about what the UK is doing to help survivors of Typhoon Haiyan:
I wanted to update you on everything the UK and DFID is doing to help survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.
This was a disaster on an unprecedented scale. Millions of people have been displaced and some of the worst affected areas were completely cut off as a Typhoon three hundred miles wide swept through the region. All our thoughts are with people who have lost loved ones and it is quite clear that we must stand by the Philippines as the country gets back on its feet.
Even before the Typhoon hit, DFID had been in contact with the Philippine government and stood ready to provide assistance.
The British Government has already pledged over £50 million, which makes us one of the most generous donors anywhere in the world. This includes matching the first £5 million donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee Appeal for the Philippines, ensuring leading charities have the resources they need to help victims of the typhoon and make the public’s generous donations go even further;
• £8 million for the Rapid Response Facility so partners on the ground can provide crucial humanitarian aid;
• £3 million to fly vital supplies such as water purification kits, cutting equipment and medical support, as well as teams of humanitarian and medical experts, to flood hit areas;
• at least £5 million for the deployment of MOD assets to support the aid effort; and
• £30 million to support the UN and Red Cross emergency appeals for the Philippines. The funding will be used to deliver vital supplies to more than 500,000 victims of the Typhoon Haiyan and support UN and Red Cross teams working on the ground as they coordinate the international relief effort.
But it’s practical action that’s needed as well. Not only are we getting water, shelter and medical supplies to thousands of people in desperate need but British equipment and personnel will help clear the roads so international humanitarian relief can get to where it needs to go. So far eight flights have landed at Cebu airport, carrying nearly 500 tonnes of shelter kits, hygiene kits, water and sanitation equipment. The UK government is also helping the international aid effort by deploying military and civilian assets to help speed up distribution in the Philippines.
• A Boeing C-17 has arrived in Cebu airport, carrying Land Rover Defenders and JCBs. The UK will also deploy a C130 to help with the relief efforts. The C130 will assist DFID, the UN and national authorities with the internal delivery of humanitarian aid and the movement of personnel.
• Yesterday HMS Daring arrived to provide assistance and the delivery of aid in remote islands.
• HMS Illustrious has also been deployed to the Philippines to speed up the distribution of aid supplies and provide clean drinking water to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. She is equipped with a large flight deck, seven helicopters medical and engineering capabilities, and the means to produce fresh water. Helicopters will be used to assist with the distribution of food and water to survivors stranded in remote locations.
• An Antonov aircraft will transport 100 tons of airfield handling equipment to enable offloading of relief supplies at airfields and provide equipment for rubble clearance.
• The UK is providing heavy lifting equipment at the request of the World Food Programme. This will both help load and unload aid at Cebu airport and unblock roads that are vital to aid efforts. We are also providing fuel to keep this equipment running.
A team of twelve volunteer NHS surgeons, doctors and paramedics who are expert at operating in emergency situations landed in Manila over the weekend. These include 3 emergency physicians, 3 surgeons 3 nurses, 2 anaesthetists and 1 rehabilitation specialist.
The British public have shown incredible generosity and compassion throughout this crisis. More than £35 million was donated to the DEC appeal in just a few days – and this in the same week that the British public donated more than £30 million to Children in Need. The UK government has been working since the start of the crisis to make sure these donations get to the people who need them, including helping NGOs get supplies out to the field on DFID flights.
I will send further updates in the coming days.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require further information.