Typhoon Haiyan: UK government gives half a million pounds to older people in the Philippines


By Bharat Azad

The British government has announced that it is giving almost half a million pounds to HelpAge International and its partner Coalition of Services for the Elderly (COSE) as part of its Rapid Response Fund to help with our initial work in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. An older man in the Philippines carries a bundle of firewood. Typhoon Haiyan: We're on the ground in the Philippines responding to older people's needs (c) Luis Liwanag/HelpAge International

Lifesaving aid is now reaching survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, with water, food and emergency shelter remaining the top priorities. With 13 million affected people, it will take years to restore lives and livelihoods.

HelpAge and partners respond to older people's needs

The money from Britain’s Department for International Development is part of the UK’s disaster response that will bring food, shelter, clean water, medicine and other supplies to 800,000 people affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

The £480,000 given to HelpAge will allow us to help at least 1,000 families to construct shelters, and give 10,000 families food and other items. HelpAge and COSE staff are already distributing aid in key areas devastated by the typhoon around Ormoc city in Leyte province, and will be providing help in other areas in Leyte and Negros Occidental provinces.

Each family will receive a package of 10kg of rice, canned foods, sugar, coffee, and powered milk as well as blankets, mosquito nets, flashlights and first aid supplies. HelpAge will also be establishing help desks to facilitate access centres to emergency assistance and services for older people in 16 evacuation centres.

We will also be using the existing network of Older People’s Associations to create a support system that will provide psycho-social support to 3,000 extremely vulnerable and traumatised older people.

UK government’s response

The British government's efforts have so far included eight UK Government commercial and military flights and as well as the Rapid Response Facility which is providing a total of £8 million in emergency aid to leading humanitarian charities including Plan, International Health Partners, Christian Aid, CARE, Save the Children, Handicap International as well as HelpAge.

Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary said: “The British Government is providing vital aid directly to those that need it with the help of charities on the ground. Since the typhoon hit and we activated the Rapid Response Facility, DFID has helped charities to immediately scale up their response.”

The UK’s Rapid Response Facility is a network of pre-approved specialist aid organisations and private businesses who can rapidly deliver emergency medical, water and sanitation assistance to affected people.

Donate now

In the UK

Our sister organisation, Age International, has launched an emergency appeal to support older people affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

Or you can text URGENT to 70004 to donate £5 to help older people in the Philippines.

In the USA

Our sister organisation, HelpAge USA, has launched an emergency appeal to support older people affected by Typhoon Haiyan.


If you live outside the UK and the USA you can donate to support older people affected by Typhoon Haiyan here.

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