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Australia Provides $5 million for Typhoon Bopha emergency relief

Australia will provide $5 million for survival kits and 1,000 tonnes of emergency foods for families trapped or left homeless by Typhoon Bopha (Typhoon Pablo in the Philippines) which struck the Philippine island of Mindanao December 4, 2012. Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said the typhoon had created a humanitarian crisis deserving immediate international response. ‘Our hearts go out to the Philippine community in the wake of this tragedy.” Senator Carr said.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III declared Friday 7 December a State of National Calamity to haste the rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts in the typhoon damaged areas of Mindanao. The proclamation will hasten the government’s and the private sector’s release of assistance, including international humanitarian donations and will actively control the prices of basic goods and commodities for the affected places, The proclamation necessitates that the mechanism for international humanitarian assistance are implemented pursuant to the country’s disaster and risk management legislation.

Senator Carr said,“At the request of the Philippine Government, we’re providing $5 million in emergency aid including sleeping mats. Water containers, hygiene kits and 1,000 tonnes of rice for families trapped or left homeless by this storm.

“This is basic equipment and food for those in need, to be distributed in Mindanao through the Red Cross and international relief agencies. “A disaster relief expert from AUSAID’s rapid response team in Australia has been deployed to Manila to assist in monitoring relief efforts.” Senator Carr said further assistance would be considered after talks with Philippine Government and relief teams in Mindanao.

Typhoon Bopha first made landfall in Mindanao 4.45 am Tuesday December 4 with torrential rains and winds exceeding 250 kilometres an hour. Bopha is nearly three times the strength of Typhoon Washi which crossed northern and central Mindanao in December 2011, claiming 1,500 lives. Meanwhile Philippine Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis and Blacktown City Councillor Jess Diaz made separate appeals to the public for donation to the typhoon Bopha victims in Mindanao, as part of their individual messages during the Pasko sa Centre festivity in Schofields, NSW.