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Minister Joe Costello authorises an emergency airlift for flood-hit Philippines

The Minister of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D., today announced that Ireland is preparing to airlift emergency shelter supplies to assist the international relief effort in the Philippines.

“The full scale of the devastation wrought by the typhoon which hit the Philippines on December 15 and 16 is now clear. It is estimated that 1,000 people have died while almost 350,000 people have been left homeless as a result of landslides and severe flooding on the island of Mindanao.”

“Given the extremely difficult conditions in which thousands of families are now living, I have instructed officials to prepare to airlift emergency shelter supplies to Mindanao from our pre-positioned stocks in Malaysia.”

“More than 280,000 people have sought shelter in evacuation centres in the disaster area. Ireland will provide tents and thousands of blankets to assist these families, who have lost their homes and belongings to the severe floods.”

“I would like to express Ireland’s solidarity with the people of the Philippines, and indeed with the thousands of Filipino people who live in Ireland.”

The emergency supplies will be airlifted by Ireland from our pre-positioned stocks in the United Nations’ humanitarian depot in Malaysia to Mindanao Island. The airlift is expected to take place on Christmas Day. The supplies are in addition to €100,000 already provided to Plan Ireland to support their emergency response in Mindanao.

Members of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps are on standby to deploy to the Philippines over the coming days and weeks to assist the international relief operation. 

Minister Costello also expressed concern at the earthquakes which struck Christchurch in New Zealand today, speaking this morning he said:

“Our thoughts are with the people of Christchurch, who have endured an extremely difficult year. We will continue to monitor the situation closely through our embassy in Canberra.”