A major international humanitarian relief effort got under way after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on 8 November. One of the largest storms to ever make landfall, the typhoon had a catastrophic impact on parts of the Philippines, leaving more than 5,000 people dead and destroying more than one million homes.
The New Zealand Government has committed $5.125 million to the humanitarian effort. It includes $1.5 million in dollar-for-dollar funding to New Zealand non-government organisations (NGOs) that are working with partners on the ground.
In addition, an RNZAF C-130 Hercules carrying emergency supplies departed New Zealand 14 November for the Philippines. Since it started operations in Philippines on 16 November until it left at the end of November, the C-130 delivered more than 270 tonnes of relief supplies and evacuated more than 1,000 survivors from the worst affected areas to other areas within the Philippines.
New Zealand is also launching a $2.3 million initiative with the Philippines Red Cross to bolster disaster relief supplies for future events.
New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines, Reuben Levermore, wrote about visiting one of the affected areas three weeks before the typhoon, and his thoughts and observations in the days immediately following the typhoon. Read his full blog: Return to Leyte.
New Zealanders are generous by nature and want to help others when disasters strike. The most effective support you can give is a cash donation to an experienced humanitarian agency involved in the response. They urgently need money for their work.