Press release

Justine Greening pledges long term support during Philippines visit

Britain will give the Philippines the long term support it needs to get back on its feet after the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Justine Greening is greeted by UK Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad at Cebu airport during a visit to see how the UK is helping those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Picture: Russell Watkins/DFID
Justine Greening is greeted by UK Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad at Cebu airport during a visit to see how the UK is helping those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Picture: Russell Watkins/DFID

Britain will give the Philippines the long term support it needs to get back on its feet after the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, International Development Secretary Justine Greening has announced during a visit to some of the hardest-hit parts of the country.

The commitment was made during this weekend’s visit to Cebu and Tacloban where she is seeing how UK personnel and equipment have been getting UK aid supplies to people in the most remote parts of the country and helping to coordinate wider international humanitarian efforts.

The latest support from the UK Government includes:

  • 6 new UK aid flights over the next 6 days (Sunday, Nov 24 to Friday, Nov 29) carrying vital DFID supplies to the Philippines including tents, blankets and cooking sets
  • a £5 million investment in resilience for up to four cities in the Philippines, so they can plan for and invest in measures such as flood protection and drainage systems that will help in the event of future extreme weather events
  • a £3 million allocation from within the £30m pledged to the UN and Red Cross appeals to ensure women and girls are not disproportionally affected by the crisis. This will give women access to relief items and documentation, provide psychosocial support and safe spaces for women, help those who have suffered violence get vital care, and provide services to help reunite families
  • a £2 million allocation from within the £30m pledged to the UN and Red Cross appeals to allow UNICEF to increase nutrition provision alongside the increased capacity of the primary health care system. DFID will support nutritional services and will enable the establishment of community based therapeutic feeding centres for girls and boys with severe acute malnutrition
  • £1 million allocation from within the £30m pledged to the UN and Red Cross appeals to help 3,000 people to receive the tools and materials they need to rebuild their houses.

Justine Greening said:

I have visited some of the worst-hit areas and heard from survivors who have lost everything. I have seen how DFID and our military are delivering UK aid supplies to the most desperate parts of the Philippines and how our help is getting these people back on their feet.

While we can be proud that UK kit and personnel are making a difference in the immediate term, we will not stop here.

In the coming months the UK will be working hard to help build a better future for all the people of the Philippines, including girls and women who are often the ones who suffer disproportionally in the wake of crises like this.

During her visit, Justine Greening saw how the UK is playing a leading role in getting aid to people who need it. A RAF C130 is delivering vital supplies to hard-hit regions three times a day and the UK has doubled the capacity of Cebu airbase, now the country’s aid hub, with the delivery of vital loading equipment.

In Tacloban, the roads have been cleared, hospitals and schools are reopening and, amongst the devastation, food and water is being delivered to the people who need it. Over 3 million people have now received food assistance in Tacloban, Guiuan and Ormoc, nearly 4 times as many people as the beginning of the week.

While in the Philippines, Ms Greening also met the crew and captain of HMS Daring, one of the two Royal Navy warships the British Prime Minister has sent to the islands.

She heard how they have been distributing shelter packs and fresh water to islands like Canas, Calagnaan and Tulunanaun where people had been sleeping under piles of rubbish to escape the elements. HMS Daring has also taken a team of British doctors deployed by DFID to treat the injured in some of the most cut-off communities.

The additional 6 aid flights announced by Ms Greening are expected to carry the following kit:

  • 1,130 Tents to be distributed by ACTED and Handicap International
  • 22,000 plastic sheets to be distributed by NGO partners
  • 3,000 cooking sets, 19,800 buckets, 13,000 synthetic blankets, 4,000 wool blankets, 295 tents, and 23,000 Tarpaulins to be distributed by NGO partners.

Cities in the Philippines at risk from future floods, storms and extreme weather events are to receive help to mitigate the risks of climate change. DFID, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Asian Development Bank will make £5m in support available for up to four cities in the Philippines to plan for and invest in resilience amid increasing urbanisation in the country. The funding will help:

  • support physical improvements in cities such as drainage, housing, flood protection, and wastewater systems
  • enhance surveillance and early warning systems
  • update building codes, regulations
  • reform resilience-focused water and land-use planning.

The £3 million towards protecting the most vulnerable people, including women and girls, will include support to UNHCR, UNFPA and UNICEF interventions such as the provision of protection kits, psychosocial support, women friendly spaces and family tracing and re-unification.

Notes to editors

  1. Find out more about the UK Government’s humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan.
  2. Britain has harnessed its military assets to get supplies moving much faster. The UK Government has deployed some of our largest military aircraft to carry over forklifts, 4x4s, and mini diggers to help clear and reopen runways and roads.
  3. HMS Illustrious is currently travelling from Singapore to the Philippines loaded with UK Aid supplies and is expected to arrive on Monday 25 November to take over from HMS Daring.
  4. So far the British Government has donated more than £50 million to get vital shelter, food, water and medicine directly to those that need it, with the help of charities on the ground. The British public has donated £57 million to the relief effort through the DEC appeal.
  5. The funding for cities in the Philippines at risk from future floods, storms and extreme weather events is being made available through the Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund (UCCRTF), a joint initiative launched by DFID, the Asian Development Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation. A total of 25 cities in 6 countries at extreme risk in Asia will receive support from the Fund. Full details will be announced on 29 November.

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Published 24 November 2013