Typhoon Haiyan: TV appeal for Philippines donations

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal to help survivors of Typhoon Haiyan

A television appeal for donations has been made by a group of leading UK aid charities following the devastating Philippines typhoon.

Broadcaster Kirsty Young presented the short film on the BBC on behalf of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).

The DEC earlier said it was overwhelmed by the £1.5m raised in the first 15 hours after its plea for contributions.

The first British government aid flight has now landed at Cebu airport in the Philippines.

A 12-strong UK medical team is also being sent to the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan struck on Friday.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen had made a personal donation and sent a message expressing her "heartfelt condolences" to those affected by the typhoon.

It is feared the storm has killed thousands of people and displaced hundreds of thousands more.

UK aid plane at Cebu airport The first UK aid flight arrived at Cebu airport around midnight local time

DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed described the amount already raised as "quite staggering".

Start Quote

As a mother I carry a heavy heart to see the pictures and video of Tacloban city. It's been days I've been trying to contact my family and children”

End Quote Milagros Navarra, who lives in London

He said: "It is clear the British public has been moved by the stories we are hearing from the Philippines - people struggling to survive with no food, water or shelter.

"The more money we raise, the more our member agencies can do on the ground to help people rebuild their lives."

Mr Saeed said the relief effort was being severely hampered because the typhoon had made roads impassable and closed airports.

DEC, a group of 14 UK aid organisations, said it was already responding but there was still a desperate need for water, food and emergency shelter.

It comprises the charities Action Aid, Age International, British Red Cross, Cafod, Care International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Plan UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.

The government said it would match donations to the appeal pound for pound up to £5m.

'Unfailing generosity'

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "We've all seen the appalling devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan, with heart-breaking scenes played across our TV screens.

The BBC's John Maguire visits UK Shelterbox, which is preparing supplies

"Today's Disasters Emergency Committee appeal launch is a vital step to ensure aid agencies can provide essential relief to those most affected by this unprecedented disaster."

He added: "I am proud that the British public have always shown an unfailing generosity for helping those in need and I know their response to this appeal will be no different."

The UK medical team will include three emergency physicians, two orthopaedic surgeons, one plastic surgeon, two accident and emergency nurses, one theatre nurse, two anaesthetists and one specialist physiotherapist.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: "The Philippines government has asked Britain for urgent medical assistance and I have now activated the UK's International Emergency Trauma Register.

"We are mobilising a 12-strong team of volunteer surgeons, doctors and paramedics who are expert at operating in emergency situations such as this."

Professor Anthony Redmond, the head of the UK government's aid team says he will work with a "network" of agencies

The team will be led by professor of international emergency medicine Anthony Redmond, of Manchester University.

He said two public health specialists had already been sent to the capital Manila to assess the situation. There was the option to call in more medical volunteers from the register if necessary, he added.

Justin Forsyth, chief executive of Save the Children, said there was a danger that if enough aid were not delivered quickly pregnant women and children would miss out.

"All the organisations - Save the Children, Oxfam, all the others, the United Nations - are there ready to help," he said.

"We need to land the planes, we need to offload them and then we need to get aid to people."

On Monday night, Mr Cameron said the UK was increasing emergency aid to the country by another £4m to £10m.

Supplies for the Philippines leave a Red Cross depot near Bristol

He announced that HMS Daring, a Type-45 destroyer deployed near Singapore, would arrive at the disaster area within days.

At least one RAF Boeing C-17 transport aircraft would be used to move humanitarian aid and large equipment, Mr Cameron added.

The government said its contribution would help to get food, aid and shelter to a total of 800,000 people.

The UN has launched an appeal for $301m (£190m) to help relief efforts in typhoon-hit areas of the country.

  • To donate to the appeal, people can visit the DEC's website
  • Call 0370 60 60 900
  • Send a cheque made payable to DEC Philippines Typhoon Appeal to PO Box 999, London EC3A 3AA
  • To donate £5 you can text HELP to 70000. Texts cost £5 and the whole £5 will go to the DEC Philippines Typhoon Appeal. You must be over 16 and ask the bill payers permission. For terms, conditions and full information go to dec.org.uk

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