Philippines typhoon response ramps up

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Logistics operations have ramped up to assist with distribution of humanitarian aid in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan swept through six central Philippine islands on Friday, 8th November.

Bernard Kerblat, UN refugee agency representative in the Philippines said that because at least eight regions are logistically cut-off, information is trickling in “piecemeal” and hampering aid.

“I’m afraid that even if it’s day five of the crisis and even if everyone is working around the clock, we still don’t know the full extent of the picture.”

He said the challenge for the UN, the Government, and partner organisations “is how to reach, resupply on the multiple fronts so many populations who are in dire need.”

The UN estimates over 11.3 million people have been affected by Haiyan of whom 673,000 have lost their homes.

*The UK government has sent a C-17 aircraft stocked with key logistics equipment such as 4-wheel-drive vehicles to help in the distribution of aid and medical supplies, and JCBs to and other equipment to clear transport routes.

Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development, said: This C-17 flight is one of a raft of shipments this week delivering DFID-funded food, water, shelter, medicine and other bare essentials to where they are needed.

*By 14th November Deutsche Post DHL had sent the first members of its Disaster Response Team to help with on-the-ground airport logistics by setting up a warehouse to help sort relief goods.

They will manage the logistics of the inbound relief goods sent via air or sea at the regional Mactan Cebu Airport on Cebu island right next to the country’s most affected Leyte island.

“We know that in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, regional airport logistics can very often encounter bottlenecks which delay the delivery of life-sustaining relief supplies for victims. Here, we can make a difference with our logistics expertise at a crucial point in the relief effort” said Deutsche Post DHL
CEO Frank Appel.

*Air Charter Service, has already arranged a number of cargo charters carrying essential aid to the typhoon-ravaged Philippines and expects one of the largest relief operations in recent years.

ACS’s Group Cargo Director, Justin Lancaster, commented on Monday evening: “We have been working continuously over the weekend developing a situation report for the region: checking airport details and aircraft availabilities, so that we can advise relief agencies as soon as they call us. We have already booked almost 500 tonnes of cargo to be flown out, on various aircraft types, and expect a lot more in the coming days.

“Cebu Airport seems to be the main hub that is being requested currently and we will have ACS staff on the scene at the airport in the morning to help co-ordinate things on the ground over there and to make sure that the aircraft are offloaded efficiently so the agencies get their relief to those in need as soon as possible.”

*Flexi says one of its articulated trucks is in operation around the clock at the British Red Cross’s warehouse in Bristol  to bring humanitarian aid to the people of the Philippines.
Equipment includes supplies such as computers, printers, vehicles, as well as water purification and sanitation kits, tents and other heavy duty kit in to containers that will fly out to the Philippines from East MIdlands airport.

*Air Partner,  has organised four Boeing 777 flights and 2 Boeing 747 flights so far, which will collectively carry 600 tonnes of aid, including Land Cruisers, tents, shelter kits and tarpaulins to assist with the aid effort on the ground. The flights will operate from the United Arab Emirates and East Midlands International to Mactan Cebu International Airport in the Philippines.

Richard Smith, Air Partner’s Product Director for Freight, said, “With emergency enquiries starting to come into Air Partner’s UK head office on Sunday, the broking team has been working around the clock since then to get availability and options confirmed as quickly as possible.

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