President offers sympathies to the Philippines as he appeals for donations
PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins has extended his deepest sympathies to the people of the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan, and urged Irish people to help in any way they can.
The President met with the Honorary Consul to the Philippines, Mark Christopher Congdon, to discuss the impact the Typhoon Haiyan has had on the people of the Philippines.
"This is a dreadful tragedy. President Aquino has described it as a calamity, which it is.
"And of course the great challenge will be delivering the necessary shelter, the necessary health guarantees in relation to clean water and food, and equipment to areas that are the most inaccessible," he said.
"We must all do whatever is possible to try and bring relief quickly.
"At this time everyone's thoughts and prayers and concerns should be with the Filipino people at home and abroad."
More than 100 tonnes of Irish Aid emergency shelter supplies, including tents, blankets and tarpaulins, will arrive today in the Philippines.
The airlift, valued at €510,000 and which contains 599 tents, 700 tarpaulins, 10,000 blankets and 880 ropes, was sent from stocks in the UN Humanitarian Depot in Dubai.
Development minister Joe Costello said a further airlift of Irish supplies to the Philippines in the coming days is being actively considered.
The supplies are in addition to the emergency funding of €1 million towards the relief effort announced by the Tanaiste on Sunday. Numerous Irish charities are playing their part in the relief effort.
The first delivery of supplies from UNICEF reached typhoon-affected areas yesterday. The delivery contains items such as water purification tablets, soap, medical kits, tarpaulins, and emergency food enough for 10,000 families. UNICEF Ireland's executive director Peter Power is in the Philippines, as it launched an emergency appeal to allow Ireland to support current relief efforts.
To support UNICEF Ireland's Philippines Emergency Children's Appeal, visit www.unicef.ie or call lo-call 1850 767 999.
The Red Cross says more donations are urgently required – by phone at 1850 50 50 70 or online at redcross.ie.
Trocaire, who are also now operating in the Philippines, can receive donations online at www.trocaire.org/donate.
GOAL has dispatched an emergency response team, and can receive donations at 01 280 9779 or via the website www.goal.ie.