The German Government is making available a further two million euros in emergency aid for the Philippines to deal with the effects of Typhoon Haiyan. Foreign Minister Westerwelle announced the move following a meeting of the crisis unit at the Federal Foreign Office on Saturday (16 November). With the 4.5 million euros previously pledged, a total of 6.5 million euros is now available for emergency humanitarian assistance in the south-eastern regions of the Philippines which were devastated by the typhoon.
The funds are being put at the disposal of German and international aid agencies, which will use them to get urgently needed supplies to the people in the devastated areas. Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement on the matter on Saturday (16 November):
“Germany stands in solidarity with the people of the Philippines. I am very pleased to see how generously the German people are prepared to donate for the people of the Philippines.”
Foreign Minister Westerwelle had already spoken to the Philippine representative, Undersecretary Evan P. Garcia, about the situation in the crisis areas on the fringes of the ASEM Foreign Ministers Meeting in New Delhi on 11 November. 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”.
Philippine Foreign Minister Albert F. del Rosario also described the situation in the crisis areas to Minister Westerwelle on the phone on Thursday (14 November). During the call, Minister del Rosario expressed sincere thanks for the help which had come so rapidly from Germany. Foreign Minister Westerwelle pledged Germany’s long-term support for reconstruction in the affected regions in addition to the emergency humanitarian aid.
On Friday (15 November), the Foreign Minister paid a visit to the Embassy of the Philippines in Berlin to sign the book of condolences there. “Readiness to help,” he emphasised, “is very high in Germany.” Speaking briefly to the Embassy staff, he pointed out the German Government was helping the people in the Philippines affected by the typhoon disaster, adding that “I am quite sure that the people of Germany will be helping as private individuals too”.
Germany helps typhoon victims
The first flight bringing aid from the Federal Agency for Technical Relief and the German Red Cross landed in Cebu, one of the affected regions, on Thursday morning, carrying 70 tons of supplies. The delivery includes urgently needed tents, cooking sets, hygiene items and plastic sheeting as well as water purification units from the Federal Agency for Technical Relief. Volunteers from the agency were also on board and are now working in the region to provide the people there with clear drinking water and repair the disrupted water supply systems.
The projects funded from the emergency aid budget also include a base camp being built in the area by the German Red Cross. Alongside this, German relief agencies are building emergency shelters and helping to reestablish access to water, sanitation and food supplies for the affected population.
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.