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Philippines typhoon: UK commits extra £30m in aid

BBC - News - Sat, Nov 16th 2013

HMS Illustrious is being sent to the Philippines to help the aid effort

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The UK government is to give an extra £30m in emergency aid following the devastating Philippines typhoon, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced.


He said at the Sri Lanka Commonwealth summit that the scale of the disaster was "becoming clearer every day".


The pledge takes British government assistance following Typhoon Haiyan to a total of £50m.


Mr Cameron said an RAF C-130 Hercules aircraft would also be sent to help aid workers access hard to reach areas.


'Rapid response'

The prime minister said: "Today I can announce we are providing another £30m to support the UN and the Red Cross emergency appeals and we are also supplying an RAF C-130 Hercules aircraft to help ensure aid workers can move between the worst affected areas and get aid to those who need it."


He added: "A week after Typhoon Haiyan hit, the scale of the disaster is becoming clearer every day - over 3,600 dead, nearly 12 million affected.


"They are going to need sustained help from the international community as they start to rebuild their lives.


"I'm proud of the fact that the UK has taken the lead in international relief with rapid response of warships, aircraft and equipment."


Mr Cameron also praised the generosity of the British public, who have so far donated £30m to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal in the UK.


A Royal Air Force C-17 transport aircraft, operated by No 99 Squadron, left RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire for the Philippines on Friday morning as part of the UK's aid effort.


Medical team

The plane's cargo included two JCB diggers, two Land Rovers and a forklift truck with stickers reading "UK aid from the British people", as well as medical supplies.


A team of 12 medical experts from the UK, requested by the Philippines Department of Health, has arrived in the country's capital, Manila.


Royal Navy destroyer HMS Daring has been sent to the country from manoeuvres near Singapore.


It is due to be relieved by the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious which is set to arrive on 24 November from the Gulf.


A British man is reported to be among those missing in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.


The storm, which hit last Friday, has killed at least 3,621 people and displaced more than half a million.


A huge international aid effort is under way but widespread infrastructure damage is hampering efforts to distribute it to some areas.


A US aircraft carrier and other American vessels have arrived in the Philippines where the UN estimates 11 million people have been affected.

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