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article imageAustralia tops donor countries for Super Typhoon Haiyan victims

By Leo Reyes     Nov 15, 2013 in Environment
Australia tops the list of donor countries for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, a deadly super typhoon that hit central Philippines last weekend, killing more than 3,000 people and destroying homes and vital infrastructure along its path.
Earlier Australia pledged $10 million for the relief efforts in the affected areas in central Philippines. On Thursday the country announced an additional donation of $20 million, bringing its contribution to $30 million.
"As a good friend and neighbour, Australia stands beside the Philippines as it deals with this humanitarian disaster," Prime Minister Tony Abbott's office said in a statement.
According the the announcement, the amount will "be used to address serious nutrition, child health and protection needs, purchase emergency food and provide logistic support."
On top of the monetary aid, Australia has also sent doctors and paramedics with equipment and supplies to treat the sick and injured victims.
Likewise the country has sent several transport aircraft to help in transporting equipment as well as victims to temporary medical facilities.
The US has already pledged $20 million in monetary aid which makes it the second biggest donor in terms of monetary contribution. Read more.
But the country's total monetary and non-monetary support to the relief and rescue efforts could be bigger than the combined contribution of the top five donor-countries.
According to the US Marine Corps, eight MV-22 Osprey aircraft will be involved in emergency work in the affected areas. "The Osprey can land and take off like a helicopter but fly at the speed of an airplane, covering four times the distance of a traditional chopper," the USMC said.
Also 12 MC-130 cargo aircraft are being deployed for relief operations. The carrier USS George Washington, amphibious ships USS Germantown, and the USS Ashland will likewise be deployed for the massive rescue and relief efforts.
A US official said more than 1,000 troops will be on the ground to perform various tasks in coordination with Philippine officials.
According to the Philippine Dept. of Foreign Affairs (DFA), total international aid for the relief, rescue and post crises efforts has reached P5.4 billion.
The assistance came from 43 international donors, DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario said.
"This brings the current estimated value of international assistance to P 5.4 billion or $126.8 million. I wish to reiterate that this amount accounts only for those donations to which the donors assigned a monetary value and that pledges of financial aid have to be processed in accordance with the rules and regulations of the donors before the funds reach the recipients," Del Rosario explained.
The top five donor countries are: Australia: $30 million, UK: $24 million, U.S.: $20 million, Japan: $10 million and Denmark: $6.9 million. The United Nations has donated $25 million.
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