UK aid agencies prepare Philippines relief

At least 10,000 people are feared dead and thousands of survivors desperately require aid in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan swept across the country on Friday.

The Disasters Emergency Committee - a group of 14 UK aid organisations - has launched an appeal to help the victims.

What are the UK government and aid agencies doing to help?

UK government

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

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

A 12-strong team of volunteer surgeons, doctors and paramedics is being sent from the UK's International Emergency Trauma Register.

David Cameron has pledged an extra £4m in aid, bringing the UK's total contribution since the disaster struck to £10m.

David Cameron: "We continue to help around the world, as we are today in the Philippines, where Typhoon Haiyan has wrought such appalling devastation"

He announced that Royal Navy warship HMS Daring - deployed near Singapore - would be heading towards the disaster to arrive within days.

The Type 45 destroyer is taking with it an onboard Lynx helicopter, engineering and first aid expertise, and equipment to turn seawater into drinking water.

At least one of the RAF's Boeing C-17 transport aircraft will be used to move humanitarian aid and large equipment.

The additional support will provide aid flights to the badly-hit area of Cebu, in the eastern Philippines, to deliver cutting equipment, 4x4 vehicles and forklift trucks to help to reopen roads and runways.

Before Monday night's announcement, the Department for International Development had already released £5m to organisations working in the Philippines to provide assistance including access to clean water.

The UK is donating shelter materials, such as plastic sheeting, and household items such as kitchen sets and blankets from the UK's stockpile of humanitarian items in Dubai - worth a further £600,000.

The government has sent three British humanitarian advisers, who arrived in the Philippines on Saturday.

They are working with the agencies on the ground and the government of the Philippines to assess the scale of the need and advise on what the UK can do to help.

They are also working to ensure the UK is "prioritising the protection of vulnerable women and children".

NHS experts have also been flown with water purification kits and shelter to the city of Tacloban in Leyte province, which was at the centre of the storm.

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

British Red Cross

The British Red Cross already had workers in the Philippines helping victims of the earthquake which struck the Bohol area last month. They have been redirected to help in the aftermath of the typhoon. Another team has flown out to the Philippines from the UK.

The organisation has contributed £100,000 to the relief effort and is appealing for more donations from the public.

It has sent a team to the Philippines capital, Manila, which is being deployed to Cebu, where the British Red Cross has a distribution hub. Already 280 cubic metres of relief materials have been sent to the area from Malaysia, including 10,000 tarpaulins, 20,000 jerry cans and 47,000 hygiene kits.

More supplies were due in Cebu from a Red Cross warehouse in Dubai on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, workers at the British Red Cross's warehouse in Bristol have been spending Tuesday loading supplies such as computers, printers, forklift trucks, vehicles, as well as water purification and sanitation kits, tents and heavy duty kit, to be flown out from Stansted airport on Thursday. A shelter expert will also be on the flight. A spokeswoman said: "It's going to be a long operation. We're setting up for months and years."


A man paints a message reading "Help SOS We Need Food" at Anibong in Tacloban, eastern island of Leyte (11 November 2013) Survivors who have fled their homes with nothing say they need essentials such as food and water

The charity says the bulk of its work will be in providing emergency supplies of water, sanitation and shelter. It says communities also need to have power and communications restored and roads need to be cleared so that aid can get through.

An aid shipment of water and sanitation equipment from the UK is expected to be dispatched within the next 48 hours.

Oxfam will also work on helping people, including those who rely on farming and fishing to make a living, to get back on their feet.

Spokesman Graham Mackay said: "Our main concern is getting relief to the worst affected areas. Because communications are down the real extent of this horrific disaster is still not known."

Save the Children

Children hold signs asking for help and food Thousands of children are in need of food and shelter

Save the Children has provisions stockpiled in a warehouse in Dubai. It is expecting to fly 40 tonnes of medical equipment, materials to build shelters, health and sanitation equipment to the disaster area on Wednesday morning, along with logistics experts and technicians to help with building. It also has assessment teams in the Philippines gathering information on the situation there and on what work needs to be done.

The charity will focus particularly on child protection, setting up child-friendly spaces, where children can play and attempting to deliver books so they can continue some form of learning since many schools have been destroyed. With many children separated from their families, it hopes to help them feel safer and less frightened on their own.

It estimates the cost of its efforts will be $30m (£18.7m).

Care International UK

Care International UK has a small team already on the ground in the coastal province of Leyte which has been badly affected. Two shelter experts flew out from the UK on Friday and are assessing what needs to be done.

A spokeswoman said the charity hoped to help 30,000 families in the province - an estimated 150,000 people - by providing shelter, water and food, which it says are the most immediate needs. Its staff are sourcing supplies in the Philippines capital Manila including rice, cooking utensils and tarpaulins for shelter.


Cafod - one of the 14 major charities involved in the DEC appeal - is already working with local partners on the ground in the worst hit areas of the Philippines.

It has been focusing its response on people's immediate requirements, helping to provide food, water, clothes, blankets and other essential household items.

Like other charities, the organisation had already been on the ground bringing food and shelter to people who lost their homes in the earthquake on the island of Bohol last month.

Cafod says that the typhoon has added to the destruction and has made it more difficult to deliver aid. However, it adds it has scaled up its response and is currently moving tarpaulins to Cebu City to provide 8,000 families with shelter.

Teams are also travelling to the areas hardest hit to determine exactly what people need in the coming days. Cafod has pledged an initial £50,000 in response to the crisis.


Cornwall-based international disaster relief charity ShelterBox already had response teams and aid on the ground at Bohol in the Philippines in the aftermath of last month's earthquake.

More teams have arrived in Manila since, working closely with other aid agencies to make plans for reaching the worst-affected areas.

To supplement stocks already distributed from the former US air base at Clark on Luzon island, ShelterBox has major consignments arriving in two plane-loads from Dubai. It can also call on stock from Melbourne and near Kuala Lumpur.

Each box contains a durable tent for an extended family, and essential items including blankets, cooking utensils, water purification, solar lighting, a tool kit, even activity sets and teddies for children.

ShelterBox has already committed aid for up to 4,000 families to the Philippines.

Mark Curnow, of ShelterBox, said: "Everyday that goes past we realise more and more the real significance of this disaster and the areas of devastation become more apparent".

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