Typhoon Haiyan has claimed many lives and caused massive devastation in the Philippines. Thousands of people have been made homeless. In the area affected by the disaster, much of the infrastructure has been destroyed. The German Government has thus far made available 1.5 million euros in emergency humanitarian aid for dealing with the effects of the typhoon. At the request of the Federal Foreign Office and in close consultation with the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief has sent an advance team to the Philippines.
Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle, who is currently in India, expressed his condolences to the people affected. He spoke to Undersecretary Evan P. Garcia, representative of the Philippines, about the situation in the crisis areas on the fringes of the Asia-Europe-Meeting Foreign Ministers Meeting in New Delhi. He assured the Undersecretary that “We want to help and stand by the many people who have been injured and made homeless in the areas destroyed by the typhoon.” To that end, the German Government is making a further one million euros available for German aid agencies on the ground to help the victims.
Germany helps typhoon victims
Speaking on behalf of the German Government on Sunday (10 November), Foreign Minister Westerwelle promised half a million euros in emergency aid for the typhoon victims in the Philippines. “Germany wants to help. Germany will help,” he said before flying to New Delhi. He went on to say that a decision would be made with the Embassy and the crisis unit “on what else we can provide in the way of assistance”. The European Commission has also made emergency relief to the tune of three million euros available.
The German Embassy in Manila has established a crisis unit which can be contacted around the clock. The Embassy is in close contact with the local authorities as well as with German and international relief organisations. After the arrival of an advance team from the Federal Agency for Technical Relief in Manila on Sunday, the remaining members of the German assistance team reached the Philippines on Sunday night. They were welcomed by staff from the German Embassy in the Philippines and immediately began to assess the situation in close cooperation with Embassy personnel. Their first priority is to establish what specific assistance is required.
Travel and security advice for the region
In its travel advice for the Philippines, the Federal Foreign Office advises against unnecessary trips to the affected provinces. Travel advice for Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos has also been amended accordingly.