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MEDIA RELEASE

Australia to Help Victims of Philippines Typhoon

Australia will be amongst the first countries to provide urgently needed help to the victims of Typhoon Fengshen in the Philippines.

Australia has responded by providing an initial $500,000 to the Philippines National Red Cross appeal for emergency assistance, issued yesterday.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has sent a letter of condolence to President Arroyo.

An estimated one million people in the Philippines have been affected by the typhoon, which is the sixth to hit the Philippines this year. Hundreds are reported dead, missing and injured across the country.

Most of the damage has occurred in Panay Island (Western Visayas), Calabarzon (south- western Luzon), along with Eastern and Western Samar. The Government of the Philippines has responded urgently to the devastation wrought by the typhoon.

The Philippines National Red Cross is playing a key role in the relief effort. Australia's contribution will help the Red Cross provide critically needed shelter materials, sanitation facilities and other non-food items to the hardest hit communities.

An AusAID officer has been deployed to the disaster zone to make an assessment of any further needs.

Media contact: Sabina Curatolo (Mr McMullan's Office) 0400 318 205

AusAID Public Affairs 0417 680 590

Last reviewed: 25 February, 2013