Typhoon Haiyan: UK planes take aid to Philippines
- 18 November 2013
- From the section UK
A plane carrying 95 tonnes of emergency aid has left Britain bound for the typhoon-devastated Philippines.
UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening said it departed East Midlands Airport on Sunday evening.
On the island of Cebu, Royal Navy warship HMS Daring has been preparing to distribute relief supplies.
Later boy band One Direction will join a celebrity telethon as part of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal which has so far raised £35m.
Thousands of people have been killed by Typhoon Haiyan and a number of UK nationals remain unaccounted for.
HMS Daring has docked at Cebu after spending three days carrying out reconnaissance work using a Lynx helicopter ahead of international relief teams.
The captain of the Type 45 destroyer, Commander Angus Essenhigh, told the BBC: "We're loading the ship up, and now we're getting the last of the stores on board.
"Overnight we'll sail up towards the affected areas and start delivering some of the relief that is so urgently needed in the islands."
A 12-strong medical team from the UK will be flown to different areas to treat victims of the typhoon.
The UK government flight is taking medical supplies, water tanks and forklift trucks, along with emergency equipment for Save the Children and Oxfam.
Ms Greening said: "This flight from East Midlands Airport is taking vital supplies to help those most in need after the terrible typhoon which hit the Philippines last week.
"The British public have shown incredible generosity over the past few days and it is great that alongside supplies from our own stores, this DfID [Department for International Development] chartered flight will also carry aid from our partners including stocks of medicine and newborn kits from Save the Children and water and sanitation equipment from Oxfam.
"As the arrival of HMS Daring shows, this joint working between the UK government and NGOs [Non-governmental organisations], alongside those on the ground in the Philippines, means we are able to target much needed support."
Foreign Secretary William Hague has confirmed a number of Britons are missing following the typhoon.
They include Colin Bembridge, 61, from Grimsby, who was with his Filipino partner Maybelle, 35, and their three-year-old daughter Victoria near the city of Tacloban when the storm struck.
The Foreign Office said Mr Hague had spoken to his Philippines counterpart Albert Ferreros del Rosario.
The Disasters Emergency Committee, a group of 14 aid charities, said £35m had been raised so far by its appeal in the UK.
Later on Monday, celebrities will answer the phones at the BT Tower in central London as part of the DEC appeal.
Stars from ITV drama series Downton Abbey will join One Direction and other well-known names in taking the donations.
DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said: "The kindness and generosity of the public has been overwhelming this weekend, a full week after the typhoon devastated parts of the Philippines, and the aid agencies represented by the DEC are extremely grateful for people's continued compassion."
A Royal Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft will also be sent to help carry aid workers into difficult to reach areas, while the Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious is on its way to the Philippines to relieve HMS Daring.
Prime Minister David Cameron has said the UK will commit an extra £30m in aid, taking the government's total contribution to £50m.
Typhoon Haiyan killed at least 3,974 people and a further 1,186 are missing, according to the latest official figures.
The typhoon - which had some of the strongest winds ever recorded on land - also left about 500,000 people homeless.