A major international humanitarian relief effort got under way after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on 8 November 2013. 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 contributed $4.8 million to the humanitarian effort. This included $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 has also provided $5 million for recovery. A contribution of $2.5 million to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will help restore agriculture and fisheries livelihoods of 128,000 households and further support of $2.5 million to the Philippine Red Cross will strengthen warehousing and pre-positioned supplies in regional depots.
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.