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Minister visits Philippines to support Typhoon recovery

Minister visits Philippines to support Typhoon recovery

Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye will be in the Philippines March 16 and 17.

Ms Kaye will visit the area hit last November by the most powerful typhoon ever recorded, Typhoon Haiyan. Haiyan is regarded as a ‘super typhoon’, with wind speeds of up to 235 kilometres per hours and tsunami-like storm surges. Ms Kaye will spend time in Tacloban, the main city in the eastern Visayas, which bore the brunt of the typhoon when it made landfall. Of the more than 6,000 people that died in the typhoon, more than 2,600 people died in Tacloban alone. She will meet with city officials to see the humanitarian response and recovery efforts underway. She will also visit Palo where she will meet with farmers affected by the typhoon.

In Manila, Ms Kaye will meet with senior government officials involved in disaster preparedness and recovery from major disasters like Typhoon Haiyan.

“Very few countries in the world can respond on their own to a national disaster of this scale,” Ms Kaye says.

“It is important that as good international citizens we are ready to provide assistance when it is needed, especially to our Pacific and Asian neighbours.

“It helps us to learn from what happens in other countries’ emergencies and for others to learn from what happens in New Zealand.”

More than 20 countries and the United Nations are now involved in a large humanitarian response.

New Zealand’s contribution to date has been around $5 million in direct funding and emergency supplies, providing a member to the UN Disaster Assessment and Co-ordination team, a surgeon and a support staff member to the Australian medical assistance team, as well as provision of an RNZAF C130 Hercules aircraft.

Minister Kaye will travel on to China where she will speak at an event hosted by Massey University in Beijing. This is to celebrate the graduation of students who have completed the Master of Veterinary Medicine (Biosecurity) and Master of Public Health (Biosecurity) programmes.

“This is part of a programme funded by the World Bank, building human and institutional capability throughout the region to detect and effectively respond to epidemic and pandemic disease threats,” Ms Kaye says. “Government disease specialists from China will be graduating.”


Ms Kaye will join the Prime Minister’s delegation in China on Tuesday 18 March.

Ends

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