Brunei gives more funds to typhoon survivors
Aziz Idris

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to approve the release of US$500,000 (21.9 million pesos) in cash donation for survivors of super typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines according to a report by the Department of Foreign Affairs Philippinesí official website.

This is on top of the Ďin-kindí contributions from Bruneiís National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC), that is assigned to help organise donations as contributions from the local community to the Humanitarian Fund for victims of Typhoon Haiyan and the deadly earthquake on October 15

This update was conveyed by Pengiran Kasmirhan bin Pengiran Haji Tahir, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MoFAT) on the sidelines of the visit by His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Bruneiís Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade to the Philippine Embassy recently where he extended his condolences to the victims of the deadly typhoon.

His Royal Highness had come to the Chancery to sign, on behalf of the Brunei Government, the condolence book for victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

A humanitarian fund for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan and the earthquake in Bohol was also set up under the purview of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS).

The campaign aims to collect cash donations from the public for three months until February 10, 2014.

Likewise, Brunei has set up drop-off centres located in banks, as well as retail and public buildings across the Sultanate for in-kind donations from the general public. The in-kind donation drive continues until November 28, 2013.

The MCYS would also arrange transport of the items from Brunei directly to the Visayas in the Philippines. The Brunei Government has also provided a US$100,000 cash donation for victims of the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu.

Other initiatives from Brunei includes the dispatch of representatives from Brunei Darussalamís NDMC and the Fire and Rescue Department on November 8, 2013 to participate in the Asean-Emergency Rapid Assessment Team (Asean-ERAT) in the typhoon-affected areas in the Philippines.

The delivery of more than 30 tonnes of relief supplies to affected areas in the Philippines between November 15 and 20; The deployment of a Royal Brunei Airforce CN-235 aircraft and Royal Brunei Navy ship OPV KDB DARUSSALAM to Tacloban on November 15.

The aircraft transported 1.7 tonnes of relief goods while the vessel brought 20 tonnes of medical supplies, food, water, personal hygiene items, blankets, and cookers from various Brunei Government agencies.

A military aircraft carrying relief supplies left Brunei for the Philippines on November 17; and transported 1.3 tonnes of relief goods comprising bottled water and food items to the affected areas on November 20. - Borneo Bulletin (24 November 2013)