AUSTRALIA INCREASES ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS OF TYPHOON YOLANDA TO PHP1.2 BILLION
14 November 2013
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced the Australian Government is increasing its contribution to the recovery effort for the devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) to Php1.2 billion (A$30 million).
The announcement of the additional Php 820 million (A$20 million) comes on the back of Australia’s immediate response of Php 15.5 million (A$390,500), announced by Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, which she rapidly increased to Php 410 million (A$10 million) as reports of the devastation started to filter through.
Mr Abbott’s announcement said the additional funds will be used to address serious nutrition, child health and protection needs, purchase emergency foods and provide logistic support and non-food items.
“Providing safe drinking water and power is now critical,” Mr Abbott said. “The Australian Defence Force is preparing to provide water purification systems and power generators to Tacloban over the coming days.”
Australia’s further contribution will include:
- Php 530 million (A$13 million) to the United Nations Flash Appeal;
- Php 530 million (A$13 million) to be provided through Australian non-government organisations and their partners on the ground for immediate life-saving assistance;
- Php 82 million (A$2 million) for the urgent deployment of an Australian medical assistance team (AusMAT);
- Php 41 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
- Php 41 million (A$1 million) to be provided to the Australian Federal Police to provide disaster management specialists.
Two Royal Australian Air Force aircraft, a C-17A Globemaster and a C-130J Hercules, have already deployed to the Philippines to assist the relief effort. Both arrived in the Philippines overnight, transporting Australian doctors, nurses, paramedics, other medical specialists, and ADF logistic support staff. The C-130J will transfer the medical personnel and equipment from Cebu to Tacloban.
The AusMAT arrived on an ADF C17 flight from Darwin, Australia on Wednesday and will begin work in the coming days. It includes 12 doctors, 14 nurses, three paramedics, a radiographer, a pharmacist and six logisticians. ADF has also assigned an additional RAAF C-130J Hercules and stands ready to deploy a second C-17A Globemaster if required.
The Royal Australian Navy ship, HMAS Tobruk, has also been made available to support the relief and recovery effort if required. HMAS Tobruk has heavy lift capability, on board accommodation and ability to support helicopter and landing craft operations.
Australia’s Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said that nothing could replace the lives of people who were lost, but it was hoped that Australia’s contribution would go some way to helping people rebuild their lives.
“We are saddened by the enormity of the hardship that our close friends in the Philippines are experiencing at this time,” Ambassador Tweddell said. “As the scale of devastation becomes more evident, Australia’s further contribution will help people start the process of recovery as quickly as possible. The Australian Government stands ready to provide further assistance if and when required.”