New Zealand's Humanitarian Mission Arrives in the Philippines
A Royal New Zealand Airforce (RNZAF) C-130 arrives in Philippines bringing 5.6 tonnes of aid and disaster relief supplies to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan
15 November 2013
A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) C-130 aircraft arrived in the Philippines at 6.30pm NZ time today, bringing 5.6 tonnes of aid and disaster relief supplies to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
“Our priority is to support the efforts by the Philippines Government and international community to provide aid and shelter to those hardest hit by the typhoon,” said Squadron Leader (SQNLDR) Steve Thornley, who leads the 24-member 40 Squadron detachment that has been deployed by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).
“We have brought 1500 collapsible water bottles, 12 chainsaw packs, four generators and 800 tarpaulins for shelter to people who have their homes damaged or destroyed.”
The aircraft is scheduled to return to Darwin on Saturday to pick up a further four tonnes of emergency supplies including tents, tarpaulins, water containers and face masks, before continuing to assist with internal aid distribution.
SQNLDR Thornley said the aircraft will form part of a multi-national pool of transport aircraft that will help deliver aid to the typhoon-ravaged areas of the Philippines. It will operate out of the logistics hub that has been set up at the Cebu international airport in the central Philippines.
“Conducting Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations is one of the core capabilities of the NZDF. Our detachment’s mission is to contribute to the international effort to ease the suffering from the enormous devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan,” he added.
The island provinces of Leyte and Samar bore the brunt of the storm and its aftermath. Many of the roads have been blocked by fallen trees and debris, hampering distribution of aid.
The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is co-ordinating the Government’s response to the devastation. Earlier this week, the New Zealand Government pledged $2.15 million for disaster relief efforts.
For more information, please contact the Defence Communications Group on 021 487 980.
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