• New Zealand boosts disaster funding for Philippines as typhoon toll rises

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    WELLINGTON: The New Zealand government Monday pledged a further 2 million NZ dollars (US$ 1.65 million) to support disaster relief efforts in the Philippines in the wake of devastation caused by super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan)

    Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said the government would give 750,000 NZ dollars to New Zealand non-government organizations that were working with partners on the ground to support the relief and initial recovery effort.

    “We will also set aside a further 1.25 million NZ dollars in funding to be allocated over the coming days as the priority areas for support are identified,” McCully said in a statement.

    “Typhoon ‘Haiyan’ has caused significant damage and affected more than 4.4 million people across 36 provinces in the Philippines,” McCully said.

    “Close to half a million people have had to leave their homes and sadly the death toll is rising.”

    This funding was in addition to the 150,000 NZ dollars that New Zealand had already committed to the International Federation for Red Cross to support the immediate distribution of relief supplies and to assess needs.

    An official from the New Zealand Aid Program would join the specialist United Nations Disaster Assessment Coordination (UNDAC) team, which was working with Philippines emergency management agencies to plan and coordinate international support. PNA

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