MORE donations keep pouring into the Yolanda-affected provinces coming from two different religious sectors, the Catholic and Islamic, in different parts of the world, the Department of Foreign Affairs reported on Tuesday.
The DFA said that the official Catholic aid agency for England and Wales, Cafod, along with 13 other charities under the United Kingdom Disasters Emergency Committee have raised more the £30 million or an estimated P2.11 billion to contribute to the $301-million or P13.1-billion flash appeal set into motion by the United Nations last week for the humanitarian mission across 44 provinces devastated by the typhoon. Cafod was able to raise more than £23 million in just 48 hours.
In his homily during a special Mass offered for the Philippines, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, also said that he has sent a special envoy, Bishop Arnold, to convey the support and prayers of the British community to the Philippines.
“The Filipino community here enrich our country greatly by your faith, your prayers and your work. We salute you in all you do here and we stand by you in this hour of need,” Nichols said during his homily on Nov. 15.
The special Mass, attended by thousands of Catholics, Filipinos and Britons alike, was held at the Westminster Cathedral, seat of the Archbishop of Westminster and the Mother Church for Roman Catholics in England and Wales.
“So many parishes benefited from the lively faith and contribution of the Filipino community and we all benefit from their significant contribution to hospitals and the caring services in this country. Now, in their hour of need, we must support them in prayer and generosity,” Nichols said.
For his part, Philippine Ambassador to London Enrique Manalo thanked the British government and its people for their generous and unwavering support for the Philippines in its hour of great need.
Meanwhile, Islamic doctors also expressed intentions to send a medical team to the areas affected by super typhoon Yolanda.
Under the Muslim World League, doctors from Physicians Across Continents (PAC) met with Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ezzedin Tago last week to express their willingness to deploy its medical team to the Philippines.
The DFA said that PAC already went to the Philippines on November 12, while the main medical team left Saudi Arabia on November 13.
Also, The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, ordered a $10-million donation for relief and rehabilitation efforts in the typhoon-ravaged areas.
“I received a call today from the Minister of Finance informing me about the donation, and seeking advice on the mode of transmittal of the amount so that it could reach those who need the humanitarian relief,” Tago said.
The king extended his generous contribution to the relief efforts for the Yolanda victims.
“On behalf of the President, the Filipino people especially those in the Kingdom, and those in the affected areas, we thank the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, for his generous contribution to the relief efforts for the Yolanda victims,” Tago said.
He added that the Saudi Arabia government and its people have long been kind hosts to Filipinos in the oil-rich kingdom adding that the Philippines and Saudi Arabia value both its relationship specially the bond between both citizens.
“The King has again proved he is humanitarian king, and the Filipino government and people are very grateful for his kindness,” Tago said.
In Japan, meantime, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida visited the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo last Friday to convey their government’s message of sympathy and support for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda and the entire Filipino nation.
DFA said that Kishida reiterated its assurance that Japan is ready to extend all possible assistance to the Philippines to support its ongoing emergency response and relief operation efforts to the affected areas.
The Japanese foreign chief said that its commitment to help the Philippines is one way to show that the Japanese government appreciates the time when Manila helped Tokyo during the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Aside from Kishida, other high-ranking officials of the Japanese Foreign Ministry also visited the embassy to sign the condolence book.
Philippine ambassador to Japan Manuel Lopez expressed gratitude to the overwhelming support of the Japanese government.
Earlier, Japan has announced the extension of an additional emergency grant aid amounting to $20 million. This on top of the $10 million assistance announced on Nov. 12.
The grant is intended for various forms of emergency humanitarian assistance to be extended in cooperation with the World Food Programme (WFP), UN Children’s Fund (Unicef), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Apart from these grants, Japan also dispatched a Japan Disaster Relief (JDR) Medical Team and members of Japan’s Self-Defense Force (SDF) units to assist affected communities.
The Turkish government has already turned over its donations of tents, blankets and kitchen set to the Philippine Red Cross.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay, who visited the Philippines last week, also said that his country planned to donate food which will be sourced locally. Atalay said that if circumstances allow, he and his delegation wish to visit the typhoon-stricken areas, particularly Tacloban City.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that the Canadian government is giving an additional $15 million to fund emergency relief activities in the Philippines.