Despite having financial difficulties of its own, Ireland will provide €1m of aid for the relief effort in the Philippines after the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.
More than 10,000 people were killed by one of the worst storms ever to hit the country, and hundreds of thousands more have been left homeless and without food and water.
As well as the funds released by the Irish government, vital supplies of tents, blankets and tarpaulins are being donated and distributed through charity workers.
A member of Oxfam’s emergency team said: “The scene is one of utter devastation. There is no electricity in the entire area and no water. Local emergency food stocks have been distributed but stocks are dwindling. The immediate need is water, both for drinking and cleaning.”
Minister Eamon Gilmore said: ‘Ireland has strong bonds with the Filipino people through our missionaries and through the many Filipinos working in our hospitals and elsewhere in Ireland.
“My thoughts are with the families of those who have perished, and indeed with those waiting to hear of news from their loved ones. This funding and the emergency supplies will go towards those most at risk, as the crisis moves to the recovery stage.”
Oxfam Ireland chief executive Jim Clarken said: “With their crops wiped out, fishing boats ruined and homes destroyed, it is the poorest that have been hardest hit by this violent and deadly storm. Our immediate focus is on making sure people have clean water, safe sanitation and a roof over their heads.” An emergency appeal has been launched to raise funds for the victims worst affected.