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Germany gives €1m and manpower to Philippines

DPA/The Local · 12 Nov 2013, 13:28

Published: 12 Nov 2013 13:28 GMT+01:00

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On Monday help slowly began to arrive to the Philippines after it was hit by a devastating typhoon on November 8th. With heavy rains approaching, there are 680,000 people now homeless from 22 of the country's coastline provinces, according to Red Cross figures.

Germany's outgoing Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle confirmed at talks in New Delhi on Monday that his government would be doubling its initial donation offer to €1 million.

The EU as has upped its offering from €3 million to €10 million for the some 4.7 million people, 1.7 of which are children, who will need help, Focus news magazine reported.

Around 25 tonnes of relief supplies have arrived from Germany in the Philippines via national aid organization Technischen Hilfswerk. Supplies from other countries are also arriving en masse and from Tuesday 55,000 food packets are being handed out to hard-hit areas.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Monday afternoon that the government was looking into how else it could help. He said: “During this difficult time Germany wants to show the Philippines that it can be a good partner.”

“The country should know that Germany is standing by its side, and will continue to do so for a long time,” said Seibert. “We are mourning with the Philippines' people for their dead,” he said.

Mass graves are thought to be filling with as many as 500 bodies in each along the coast, Focus reported. They were dug before heavy rain began.

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German aid workers are heading for the country, particularly to the heavily-hit town of Tacloban. “Many children have lost their parents, siblings and friends. Others have been separated from their families during the catastrophe, and are wandering about helplessly,” said Fabian Böckler of children's charity Plan.

The German Filipino Friends foundation put out an appeal on Tuesday calling for donations. There are 2,000 Filipinos living in Berlin – the majority of whom have friends and relatives in their homeland who have been affected by Haiyan.

READ MORE: German floods 'likely to cost billions'

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