British expertise from the Met Office will help the Philippines better predict and prepare for natural disasters.
As the Philippines marks one year since the devastating Typhoon Haiyan, the International Development Secretary has announced new UK support for the country’s long-term recovery.
A team of meteorologists and senior climate scientists from the Met Office will head to the Philippines to help develop their national weather centre, helping the country to better plan evacuations, put in place life-saving public warning services and build infrastructure that can withstand natural disasters.
Weather scientists from the Philippines will also be brought to the UK to be trained in how to use the supercomputers and sophisticated software behind the Met Office’s weather and climate prediction systems.
As well as this work with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the £9 million aid package will get small businesses back on their feet and help the country prepare for the financial costs of future disasters.
The total package includes:
- funding to develop the Philippines’ weather centre (£820,000);
- a contribution to an Asian Development Bank fund which will encourage lending to more than 160,000 micro-enterprises to help get small businesses, especially farmers and fishermen, back on their feet (£5 million); and
- help for the Philippines to access catastrophe risk insurance so it can prepare for the financial costs of natural disasters (£3 million).
International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:
The UK was at the forefront of the international response to Typhoon Haiyan. One year on from the devastating typhoon the UK has not forgotten about the people of the Philippines. As communities there continue the process of rebuilding their lives, UK aid is making a difference. By sending a team of specialists from the Met Office we are offering the very best of British expertise and weather know-how to strengthen the Philippines’ resilience to future disasters. We are also helping restart vital fishing and farming industries so thousands of the poorest women-led households can get their livelihoods back. It will not happen overnight, but the sooner people can get back to work and get on with their lives the sooner the country as a whole can fully recover.
Notes to editors
Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever recorded at landfall, killing 6,190 people, damaging more than a million homes and wiping out roads, schools and hospitals. The UK was one of the leading responders with £77 million in humanitarian funding delivering lifesaving food, shelter and medicine.
- matching the first £5 million donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee Appeal for the Philippines, ensuring leading charities had the resources to help victims of the typhoon and make the public’s generous donations go even further;
- £8 million for the Rapid Response Facility so partners on the ground could provide crucial humanitarian aid, including temporary shelters, bedding, blankets and solar lanterns;
- £8 million to fly vital supplies such as water purification kits and medical support, as well as teams of humanitarian and medical experts, to flood hit areas;
- up to £9 million for the deployment of MOD assets HMS Daring, HMS Illustrious and RAF aircraft to the Philippines to support the aid effort;
- the deployment of 21 NHS staff trained to operate under emergency conditions;
- £30 million to support the UN and Red Cross emergency appeals for the Philippines; and,
- up to £17 million additional funding to cover unmet needs and provide support for early recovery.
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