UK minister pledges long term support during PH visit

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Britain will continue to provide long-term support to the people of the Philippines to help them rebuild after Typhoon Yolanda, UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening has announced during a visit to some of the hardest hit parts of the country.

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The commitment was made during this weekend’s visit to Cebu and Tacloban where she is seeing how the British Government £55 million contribution to the typhoon response has helped deliver vital supplies to hundreds of thousands of people in the most remote parts of the country.

Justine Greening also met the Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Health Secretary Enrique Ona, as well as key senior Cabinet officials including the disaster coordinating council, to discuss the strategy, coordination and implementation of the UK’s response to Typhoon Yolanda.

Justine Greening said: “I have visited some of the worst-hit areas and heard from survivors who have lost everything. I have seen how DFID and our military are delivering UK aid supplies to the most desperate parts of the Philippines and how our help is getting these people back on their feet.

“In the coming months the UK will be working hard to help build a better future for all the people of the Philippines, including girls and women who are often the ones who suffer disproportionally in the wake of crises like this.”

During her visit, Greening saw how the UK is getting aid to people who need it. A RAF C130 is delivering vital supplies to hard-hit regions three times a day and the UK has more than doubled the capacity of Cebu airbase, now the country’s aid hub, with the delivery of vital loading equipment.

In Tacloban, the roads have been cleared, hospitals and schools are reopening and, amongst the devastation, food and water is being delivered to the people who need it.

While in the Philippines, Greening also met the crew and captain of HMS Daring, one of the two Royal Navy warships the British Prime Minister has sent to the islands.

She heard how they have been distributing shelter packs and fresh water to islands like Canas, Calagnaan and Tulunanaun where people had been sleeping under piles of rubbish to escape the elements. HMS Daring has also taken a team of British doctors deployed by DFID to treat the injured in some of the most cut-off communities.

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