Press release

UK humanitarian support for 500,000 affected by Philippines typhoon

British support for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan is now underway.

The UK will provide urgent humanitarian support for up to 500,000 people in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, International Development Secretary Justine Greening has announced.

The UK tonight activated the UK’s Rapid Response Facility, which provides emergency support via pre-approved organisations in the event of a humanitarian disaster overseas.

New UK support includes:

  • Rapid Response Facility support of £5 million so partners on the ground can provide crucial humanitarian aid for up to 500,000 people, including temporary shelter and access to clean water

  • Provision of urgently-needed shelter items such as plastic sheeting and household items like kitchen sets and blankets from the UK’s stockpile of humanitarian items

  • An additional team of four humanitarian experts, to join the three advisers already in country helping to coordinate the international response, plus equipment to support them

The Red Cross is currently reporting that over 1,200 people may have lost their lives in the storm with this number expected to rise, whilst millions have been left homeless. Aid agencies are struggling to reach the worst affected areas. Justine Greening said:

“My thoughts are with the people of the Philippines, in particular those who have lost loved ones. UK support is now underway.

“Many thousands of people in remote, hard to reach communities have lost their homes and everything they own. They are living in the open and completely exposed to the elements.

“The absolute priority must be to reach them with shelter and protection as soon as possible.

“UK support will provide urgently needed access to clean water, shelter, household items and blankets, We are also sending additional humanitarian experts from the UK to work with the DFID team and international agencies, including ensuring partners are prioritising the protection of vulnerable girls and women.”

Notes to editors

  • A team of three British humanitarian advisors arrived in the Philippines from the UK on Saturday 9 November.

  • They are working with the agencies on the ground and the government of the Philippines to assess the scale of the need and advise on what the UK can do to support.

  • DFID also has a humanitarian team on standby for Vietnam.

  • The UK recently provided £4.1 million support to the Philippines, £1.3 million of which is being spent on preparing for emergencies.

  • The Rapid Response Facility (RRF) was established in March 2012.

  • The RRF is a network of pre-approved specialist aid organisations and private businesses who can rapidly deliver emergency medical, water and sanitation assistance to affected people.

  • It enables the UK Government to commit to rapid humanitarian funding to these pre-qualified partners. Responding swiftly in humanitarian disasters ensures that more lives are saved and suffering reduced.

  • Support for humanitarian supplies from UK Aid warehousing plus air transportation from Dubai, totals £600,000.

  • The provision of humanitarian experts to help mobilise the international response totals £250,000.

Press office

Follow the DFID Press office on Twitter - @DFID_Press

Help us improve GOV.UK

Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.