AN AIRLIFT OF over 100 tonnes of aid from Ireland is due to arrive in the Philippines today, as the international response to the tragedy and destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan gains momentum.
The shipment, valued at €510,000, contains 599 tents, 700 tarpaulins, 10,000 blankets and 880 ropes.
The supplies are in addition to the emergency funding of €1 million announced by Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore on Sunday.
“On hearing of the scale of the disaster, I immediately authorised an airlift of emergency shelter items to the Philippines from Ireland’s pre-positioned stocks in the UN Humanitarian Depot in Dubai,” Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs Joe Costello said.
“These essential supplies will be distributed by Plan Ireland, to alleviate the immediate needs of men, women and children affected by one of the most powerful storms ever recorded.”
The shipment left Dubai at around 6am this morning (Irish time) and is due to arrive in the Philippines at 6pm.
The UN estimates more than 11.3 million people have been affected with 673,000 made homeless, since Haiyan smashed into the nation’s central islands on Friday.
Overwhelmed and under-resourced rescue workers have been unable to provide food, water, medicines, shelter and other relief supplies to many survivors, however, and desperation has been building across the disaster zones.
Many countries have pledged help as part of an international relief effort. The United States and Britain are sending warships carrying thousands of sailors to the Philippines, and US amphibious craft were also being deployed.
All are expected to arrive over the next few days.
This article includes reporting from AFP