Philippines + 1 more

Emergency airlift authorised for flood-hit Philippines

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Minister of State for Trade and Development Joe Costello, TD, today announced that Ireland is preparing to airlift emergency shelter supplies to assist the international relief effort in the Philippines.

"The full scale of the devastation wrought by the typhoon which hit the Philippines on December 15 and 16 is now clear. It is estimated that 1,000 people have died while almost 350,000 people have been left homeless as a result of landslides and severe flooding on the island of Mindanao", Minister Costello said.

"Given the extremely difficult conditions in which thousands of families are now living I have instructed officials to prepare to airlift emergency shelter supplies to Mindanao from our pre-positioned stocks in Malaysia.

"More than 280,000 people have sought shelter in evacuation centres in the disaster area. Ireland will provide tents and thousands of blankets to assist these families, who have lost their homes and belongings to the severe floods. "I would like to express Ireland's solidarity with the people of the Philippines, and indeed with thousands of Filipino people who live in Ireland," Minister Costello said.

The emergency supplies will be airlifted by Ireland from our pre-positioned stocks in the United Nations humanitarian depot in Malaysia to Mindanao Island. The airlift is expected to take place on Christmas Day. The supplies are in addition to €100,000 already provided to Plan Ireland to support their emergency response in Mindanao.

Members of Ireland's Rapid Response Corps are on standby to deploy to the Philippines over the coming days and weeks to assist the international relief operation.

Minister Costello also expressed concern at the earthquakes which struck Christchurch in New Zealand today.

"Our thoughts are with the people of Christchurch, who have endured an extremely difficult year. We will continue to monitor the situation closely through our embassy in Canberra," he said.

23rd December 2011

Notes for the Editor

  • For further information or to request an interview with Minister Costello, contact Fionnuala Quinlan, Press Officer, Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 01-4082653 or 0879099975.
  • Irish AId is the Government's overseas aid programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • Irish Aid maintains emergency stocks within the UN Humanitarian Relief Depot system located in or close to crisis prone of the world. Through this network Irish Aid supplies in Panama, Dubai, Ghana and Italy, as well as in Malaysia (Subang).
  • Irish Aid maintains the Rapid Response Corps, a register of highly-skilled individuals who are willing to be deployed at short notice at short notice to assist in an emergency relief effort.