AUSTRALIA PROVIDES FURTHER ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS OF TYPHOON YOLANDA
11 November 2013
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has written to President Benigno Aquino III to convey the condolences of the Australian Government and people for the tragic loss of life and property caused by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). The Prime Minister noted, “I join my fellow Australians in expressing our deepest sympathies to the people of the Philippines in the wake of the terrible loss of life and damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan.”
These sentiments were underlined by the announcement today of the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop that Australia will provide an additional Php410 million (A$10 million) in emergency assistance to the Philippines following Typhoon Yolanda.
Reports indicate Typhoon Yolanda has affected an estimated 9.7 million people across nine regions, and displaced 615,774 people. Philippine Red Cross officials estimate that 1,200 people have perished in the Typhoon.
“Let me reiterate that Australia is a close friend to the Philippines and we are saddened by reports of the increasing loss of life and damage to property in the affected area. We continue to work closely with our Philippines friends on this response,” Ms Bishop said.
Australia’s additional package of assistance will include the deployment of an Australian medical team to provide emergency medical care to the injured.
The medical team will be transported by an Australian Defence Force C17 out of Darwin, Australia.
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said, “The magnitude of this disaster shocked not just Australians, but people from all over the world. Many people have lost everything – their loved ones, their homes, and their capacity to earn an income. They are in dire need of assistance and have very limited access to food, health, water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter and non-food items.”
“Australia continues to coordinate with the Philippine Government and other humanitarian partners on ways Australia can further assist with this daunting relief effort, and we stand ready to provide further assistance if required,” Ambassador Tweddell said.
Australia’s further contribution will include:
- Php164 million (A$4 million) to the United Nations Flash Appeal;
- Php123 million (A$3 million) to be provided through Australian non-government organisations and their partners on the ground for immediate life-saving assistance;
- Php41 million (A$1 million) for the urgent deployment of an Australian medical assistance team;
- Php41 million (A$1 million) for non-food items such as tarpaulins, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, water containers and health and hygiene kits to assist families affected by this disaster; and
- Php41 million (A$1 million) to be provided to the Australian and Philippine Red Cross to support response efforts.
This additional assistance brings Australia’s contribution of support for people affected by Typhoon Yolanda to Php425.5 million (A$10.39 million). Following the typhoon, Australia immediately responded by providing Php15.5 million in emergency supplies through the Philippine Red Cross and the United Nations Population Fund.