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Gilmore: Irish people expect us to play our full part in Philippines relief effort

It comes as the US and Britain deploy warships to the islands. Some 10,000 people are feared dead in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

TÁNAISTE AND FOREIGN Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore has said that Ireland will play its “full part” the relief effort for Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Speaking on his way into this morning’s Cabinet meeting, he said that the Government was continuing to monitor the situation and added the Irish people expected the State to be fully involved in the international relief plan.

The Government has already announced emergency funding of €1 million, which is being made available through Irish NGOs.

The Tánaiste said that tents, blankets and other basic necessitates were being provided through Irish Aid, and that engineers and other personnel from the ‘Rapid Response Corps’ were on standby to fly out “as soon as they’re needed on site”.

The United Nations is poised to launch an appeal for hundreds of millions of euros in emergency aid for the tyhoon-ravaged country, as the massive international effort begins to build momentum.

Almost 10 percent of the Philippines’ population have been affected after the storm smashed into the nation’s central islands, leaving at least 10,000 people feared dead. Another 660,000 have lost their homes, according to the UN.

UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos is in Manila to launch a “flash appeal” for cash, while the US and Britain have deployed warships carrying thousands of soldiers to assist in a vast operation to help nearly 10 million people affected by Friday’s ‘super typhoon’.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the “logistics of a major country” would be needed to get access to the worst affected parts of the islands and set-up communications systems.

He said that Ireland had a well-regarded record in responding to international tragedies, but that the country didn’t have ”endless resources” that it could make available.

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Video: Nicky Ryan at Government Buildings


Related: Gilmore announces €1m emergency fund for Philippines relief effort

In Pictures: Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan attempt to leave Tacloban

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Daragh Brophy

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